General Industry

Belfast TradFest Winter Weekend Making A Return In February

By Robert McHugh
Belfast TradFest Winter Weekend Making A Return In February

The Belfast TradFest Winter Weekend will be returning to the city from 23 to 25 February.

For a third year, the event will celebrate traditional music, with concerts, workshops, sessions and talks.

It is supported by Belfast City Council, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Ulster University and Dunville’s Irish Whiskey, and the festival programme is filled with internationally renowned talent in traditional Irish and Scottish music, song and dance.

‘Music Lovers’

“What an incredible line-up of live music, song and dance to look forward to from 23 to 25 February at the Belfast TradFest Winter Weekend!” said Councillor Ryan Murphy, Lord Mayor of Belfast.

“We’re hugely proud to support this wonderful event, which showcases exactly why we’re a UNESCO City of Music.


“I look forward to seeing our venues thronged with music lovers, and our city centre buzzing with beautiful sights and sounds.”

Opening Concert

For the opening concert, Donegal songstress Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh brings her band Altan back to Belfast to play the Empire Music Hall on Friday 23 February.

Also on the bill that evening is Monaghan man Michael Rooney, playing a rare solo set in the city famed for its Harp Festival of 1792.

Shane McGowan Tribute

Long-time Tyrone resident fiddler Bríd Harper is being celebrated with a family-friendly concert on Saturday 24 February in the Mandela Hall, featuring traditional musicians and singers such as Australian guitarist Steve Cooney, Donegal accordion player Dermot Byrne, Breton flute player Sylvain Barou, singer Rita Gallagher, and many more.

The songs of Shane MacGowan will be celebrated and performed by a selection of singers, featuring Andrew Hendy and Finnian O’Connor (of the Mary Wallopers), Monaghan songstress Dani Larkin, Lough Neagh singer Niall Hanna, Belfast’s own Duke Special, Crossmaglen rising star Piaras Ó Lorcáin, County Derry’s Jack Warnock, and Castlewellan native Múlú.


‘Fabric Of This City’

“As the winter lifts and the days get longer, we’re looking forward to welcoming some of the most incredible musicians, singers and dancers of all ages to venues across Belfast City,” said Dónal O’Connor, artistic director of Belfast TradFest.

“Traditional music is part of the fabric of this city, and in recent years it has become recognised as one of the main attractions for visitors to this part of the world.”