Look North – The third North Belfast Festival takes place over the weekend of the 23 to 25 February 2024 celebrating the heritage and creative talents of North Belfast.

The festival programme is jam-packed with a wide range of activities and interests showcasing and celebrating North Belfast’s rich heritage, cultural, creative and literary talents, with appearances from local authors, artists and young people, though it is not limited to the area.  It includes talks, walks, poetry readings, panel discussions, music, tours of historic buildings and three beginners creative writing classes in Poetry, Short Story and Memoir.

Planned and delivered by the NBF network, it is led by The John Hewitt Society and includes The North Belfast Heritage Cluster, Beat Carnival, Imagine Belfast, Ulster University, and other interested individuals who reside in or are associated with North Belfast.

Welcoming the Festival, Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said, ‘It’s a great pleasure to welcome the third annual Look North! multi-arts and heritage festival. This is the part of Belfast where the great poet and polymath, John Hewitt, was born and grew up. It shaped his early views on life and the influential poetry he would go on to write, just as its rich cultural and artistic heritage continues to shape the lives of its current residents and inspire whole new generations of writers and artists today.’

Speaking at the launch yesterday in Sailortown’s St. Joseph’s Church, Dr Frank Ferguson Chair of The John Hewitt Society said “It is a great pleasure to bring a festival to such a vibrant part of Belfast today. The Festival is open to all and is important in recognising the rich heritage and cultural contributions of North Belfast. I would like to thank my fellow committee members on the NBF network for all their support in planning and producing this exciting programme.”

Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor, Councillor Ryan Murphy, who launched the festival said: “Look North! Is all about collaboration.  This multi-arts festival aims to celebrate not only the uniqueness of north Belfast but tells of the hidden histories behind some of its landmark buildings. I wish this fantastic, cross-community festival every success!

Tony Kennedy Chair of the Look North NBF network, commented that the festival reflected the vibrant and diverse community which is today North Belfast. “Look North is not just for the people of North Belfast. It demonstrates the rich cultural heritage of the area and should attract visitors from throughout Belfast and beyond.” He thanked all the partners who had helped with the event and the sponsors for their generous support.

To view the full schedule and to book for events or workshops, please visit northbelfastfestival.com.

Do join in the fun by following us on our socials and look out for the festival brochure and flyers in your local area.