Outburst Queer Arts Festival opening in Belfast this week

A series of exciting live events will take place across the city from 12 to 20 November, celebrating Belfast’s vibrant queer culture.

Outburst Queer Arts Festival is returning to Belfast this week with a programme of exciting live events for lovers of queer culture.

The festival, now in its 15th year, is returning to a largely in-person programme of events, from storytelling to opera, poetry to film screenings, and much more.

Organisers have planned a variety of indoor and outdoor gatherings for the nine-day festival. Expect lots of colour, fun, and art with a hint of activism.

Celebrating Belfast’s queer culture – a festival of arts

Outburst Queer Arts Festival opens this weekend.
Credit: Facebook / @outburst.arts

Artistic Director of Outburst Queer Arts Festival spoke to GCN.ie about the festival opening this week. She said, “it’s really about bringing art and activism together but not with a capital A activism.

“It’s not about having to do stuff. It’s about, ‘Let’s get together and think and look what’s happening right now’.”

This spirit of art and activism lies at the heart of the festival, which has proved increasingly successful year after year.

With a positive ethos of intersectionality and community support, the festival brings together a whole host of queer artists from Northern Ireland and around the world.

Moreso than ever before, the festival is placing a major focus on showcasing newly commissioned works. Organisers hope to support emerging artists, acknowledging the hardships artists faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MASS – this year’s headliner

MASS will headline this year's Outburst Queer Arts Festival.
Credit: Facebook / @outburst.arts

Following the success of his 2019 hit-show, Abomination: A DUP Opera, Ivor Novello-nominated composer Conor Mitchell returns to this year’s Outburst Queer Arts Festival with one of the most highly anticipated shows of the year.

MASS is a collaboration between Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Belfast Ensemble, and the Ulster Orchestra.

It has been touted as “epic in scale and ambition” and “a stunning evolution in the way we experience live music and queer ritual, dancing in the spirit of celebration and power in the collective.”

The world-premier of this revolutionary spectacle launches in The Telegraph Building in Belfast. Book now for 17 or 18 November at 7 pm or 9 pm.

Other events to watch out for – old favourites return to Outburst Queer Arts Festival

David Hoyle will return with Rebellion.
Credit: Facebook / @outburst.arts

This year’s festival brings together a range of well-established and up-and-coming artists for an exciting programme of events.

David Hoyle returns to The Black Box on 13 November with his brand new show Rebellion. Meanwhile, co-founder of the Lesbian Avengers and former ACT UP member Sarah Schulman will take part in two brilliant talks.

Outburst Queer Arts Festival 2021 will also see the launch of the brand new in-house, print-only magazine, catflap.

The brilliant launch event, ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’, takes place at The Black Box on 12 November.

Kate Brennan Harding set to appear at this year's Outburst Queer Arts Festival.
Credit: Instagram / @kate_brennan_harding

Featuring a range of thought-provoking queer writing mixed with a hint of disco, catflap will feature several brilliant essays, interviews, and its very own Dear Hole Art Agony Aunt.

The magazine will be launched with a lively disco, brought to life by DJ Kate Brennan Harding. There will also be specially performed toasts from FRUIT SHOP food artists. Plus, a live performance from TS Eliot Prize 2021-nominated poet Joelle Taylor.

Book tickets and find out more about this year’s Outburst Queer Arts Festival here.

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