Festival Venues

Festival Venues

50 Red Plagues mark the locations of these venues and will be displayed throughout the 2012 Festival.

This is a representative survey of some of the venues that have been used during Festival since 1961. Festival uses a wide range of venues and public spaces which changes year to year.

These venues were chosen to represent the broad spectrum of venues from the unusual, community focused to traditional.

1. South Dining Hall

Queen's University Belfast, Main Campus

  • Guinness Spot

2. Whitla Hall

Queen's University Belfast, Main Campus

  • Used extensively for theatre, music, comedy, talks etc
  • Jimi Hendrix to Noam Chomsky have graced the stage

3. Whitla Basement

Queen's University Belfast, Main Campus

  • Late Night Revues 60s

4. Students Union

Queen's University Belfast, University Road

  • Recently for pop, rock and dance
  • Gigs that appeal to students and younger audiences
  • Three different venues within the building

5. Elmwood Hall

Queen's University Belfast, 89 University Road

  • Huge range from music performances and talks and lectures
  • First used in 1972 for a performance from BBC NI Orchestra
  • Elmwood Gallery also there – temporary exhibition space
  • Main space for festival talks and lecture series
  • Refurbished in recent years

6. The Naughton Gallery

Queen's University Belfast, Lanyon Building

  • Since 2001 centre of visual art programme. Major exhibitions and outreach activities

7. Queen's Film Theatre

Queen's University Belfast, 20 University Square

  • Born from festival
  • NI’s only art house theatre
  • Large majority of film programme/talks etc

8. Old Library

Queen's University Belfast, Main Campus

  • Used as a venue from 1970s
  • Home of folk club until late 1970s
  • Used for theatre, seminars, lectures etc

9. The Harty Room

Queen's University Belfast, School of Music

  • Wide range of musical events – large majority classical recitals
  • Major venue for School of Music
  • 60s lunchtime recitals, music at night etc

10. The Sonic Arts Research Centre

Queen's University Belfast, Chlorine Park

  • Opened in 2004 and now an established centre of excellence dedicated to the research of music technology
  • State of the art Sonic Laboratory
  • Technological facilities to accommodate cutting edge sound and music performances

11. The Hut

Queen's University Belfast, Camden Street, Belfast

  • The Hut on Camden Street no longer exists
  • Home of the Dramasoc in 60s – used by them and other QUB societies along with touring companies

12. Senior Common Room

Queen's University Belfast, University Road

  • Folk club based there from 78 until then.
  • Closed in 2004

13. Brian Friel Theatre

Queen's University Belfast, 20 University Square

  • Opened in 2004, major theatre venue for the festival hosting performances from University students and professional companies

14. The Great Hall

Queen's University Belfast, Lanyon Building

  • Centre piece of the University - Lanyon Building and Great Hall built in 1849
  • Home to classical performances and folk gigs in 60s

15. Anatomy Museum

Queen's University Belfast, Administration Building

  • 60s Folk venue
  • 'Folk among the dead Folk' really popular

16. David Keir Building

Queen's University Belfast, 20 - 30 Malone Road Belfast

  • Films pre QFT
  • Some lectures

17. Social Science Theatre

Queen's University Belfast, Peter Froggatt Centre, Main Campus

  • Now the Peter Froggatt centre on the Queen’s quadrangle, the Social Science theatre
  • used a lot in 60s for the main lectures and talks, some theatre and jazz gigs like Cleo Laine
  • Opened gallery temp gallery space in 70s

18. McMordie Hall

Queen's University Belfast, School of Music

  • McMordie Hall was the Queen’s students Union
  • Hosted some late night revues in 60s
  • Lunchtime film programme in 60s
  • Also hosted jazz and folk gigs (was Guiness spot in early 70s)

19. New Physics Theatre

Queen's University Belfast, Main Campus

  • The New Physics Theatre provided a home to one of the more unusual events of the festival, Clement Freuds cook-ins that took place in the 60s. Here Clement Freud fed the hungry festival hords and taught them how to coook...

20. Drama Studio

College Green Mews (behind Dukes Hotel), Belfast

  • Tucked away in a back street, no longer in use, previously part of University
  • Performances from QUB drama soc and local groups like Belfast Community and Youth Drama throughout 70s

21. The Lyric Theatre

55 Ridgeway Street, Belfast

  • First Lyric festival performance seems to be Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf in 1966 on the old Derryvolgie Avenue site. First performance on this site was in 1968 with Chekov’s The Seagull

22. Waterfront Hall

2 Lanyon Place, Belfast

  • Opened in 1997 and has a main festival venue throughout 2000s.
  • Opening Concerts
  • Comedians, orchestral etc
  • Waterfront studio hosted smaller, more intimate gigs, lots of dance and community workshops etc

23. Ulster Hall

34 Bedford Street, Belfast

  • Not only the main hall but also the Group Theatre
  • Boxing in 60s
  • Comedy, Music and more throughout festival history

24. Ulster Museum

Botanic Gardens, Belfast

  • Talks, lectures, exhibitions. Festival venue from 64 to present

25. The Arts Theatre

41 Botanic Avenue, Belfast

  • Major theatre venue from 66
  • Hosted international and local companies
  • Also orchestral and opera performances
  • Comedy such as Michal Palin

26. Grand Opera House

2 - 4 Great Victoria Street, Belfast

  • National Theatre 1965
  • Michael Barnes was Director after 1980
  • Festival contributed to its reopening
  • Out of action from 1969 – 1980 c.
  • First listed building in Northern Ireland

27. News and Cartoon Cinema

Stokes House, 17 College Square East, Belfast

  • No longer exists
  • In early years of the festival, before the existence of the QFT screened hugely popular Late Night Films

28. The Linen Hall Library

17 Donegall Square North, Belfast

  • Ireland’s oldest subscription library since 1788
  • Hosted talks and music
  • Extended in 2000 to include performance area

29. Belfast Model School for Girls

35 Dunowen Gardens, Belfast

  • The Model School and the Belfast Synagogue venue of 2009 continued to move the festival out of the centre towards the outer reaches of the city’

30. No Alibis Bookstore

83 Botanic Avenue  Belfast

  • The leading independent bookseller in Belfast, this venue holds music and literature events throughout the year. It's proprietor, David Torrens was literature programmer for the Festival in 2012

31. Wellington Hall

Oyster House, 12 Wellington Place, Belfast

  • 60s venue – performances from Ulster Orchestra, RUC Band

32. Aquinas Hall

Arts Council Northern Ireland, MacNeice House, 77 Malone Road, Belfast

  • Festival's strong connections and relationship with the Arts Council
  • Started using hall in 68 for theatre and was used until 89
  • Also held some talks and musical performances from Studio Opera Group etc

33. Stranmillis College Theatre

Stranmillis University College, Stranmillis Road, Belfast

  • Used from 78
  • Extensively for Dramatic productions

34. Old Museums Arts Centre

7 College Square North, Belfast

  • Seems to have been used first in 1990 and has been significant venue since being used extensively every year until it’s closure for a wide range of events

35. Barrow Square

Clarendon Dock, Belfast

  • Macbeth 2009
  • Festival’s interest in site specific theatre from international companies

36. St Annes Cathedral

Donegall Street, Belfast

  • First used as a venue in 1965 and is still used today.
  • Mostly classical recital performances

37. Clonard Monastery

Clonard Gardens , Belfast

  • Began to use in 2000s
  • Special atmospheric festival venue for classical performances such as Ulster Orchestra performing score from There Will Be Blood.

38. The Crescent Arts Centre

2-4 University Road Belfast Co. Antrim Northern Ireland

  • First used in early 90s and became one of the most widely used festival venues from workshops, theatre, music, talks to the festival club.

39. Divis Tower

Divis Street, Belfast

  • Rita Duffy Installation
  • On of most recognisable buildings in city

40. Ulster Bank, Donegall Square

11-16 Donegall Square East, Belfast, Co Antrim

  • 2008 The Young Musicians
  • Headquarters to the festival sponsor
  • The development was created around the façade of an old Methodist church designed by

41. Europa

Great Victoria St., Belfast

  • Festival Club
  • Where festival artists have traditionally stayed over the years

42. Belfast Exposed

The Exchange Place, 23 Donegall Street, Belfast

  • Exhibitions throughout 90s/2000s
  • One of the main Cathedral Quarter Venues

43. Custom House Square

Custom House Square, Belfast

  • Site of the Speigeltent, which visited Festival from 2007 onwards

44. George IV Youth Centre

Corner of Joy Street and May Street, Belfast

  • Now a car park
  • 60s popular for opera from Intimate Opera Company and Belfast Operatic Society

45. Ulster Arts Club

90 Lisburn Road, Belfast

  • Used in early 90s for talks such as Benedict Kiely in 92, some music performances and Drama productions like Krapp's Last Tape

46. Tower Street Theatre - Belfast Metropolitan College

Belfast Metropolitan College, Tower Street Campus, Belfast

  • Cahoots productions in 2000s such as Only Believe and The Musician

47. Portview Mill

Portview Trade Centre, 310 Newtownards Road, Belfast

  • Linen spinning mill ceased trading and in the early 1980's, the building was sold and converted into useable workspaces for small businesses
  • Creative Exchange Art on the Eastside exhibitions

48. Arts Council Gallery

Bedford House, 16 - 22 Bedford Street, Belfast

  • The site of the Arts Council Gallery is now Bedford House, a busy office complex.
  • Open from 1968 taking over from gallery on Chichester Street.
  • First festival exhibition there in 1973 – Italian Conceptualists

49. Ormeau Baths Gallery

18 Ormeau Avenue Belfast, County Antrim

  • Opened 1995
  • Forefront of contemporary art with exhibitions from Gilbert and George, Bill Viola and Yoko Ono.

50. Obel Tower

Donegall Quay, Belfast

  • New Venue making most of unused commercial space in the city
  • 2011 Corcadorca Theatre Company production 'Request Programme'