Culture Night Belfast
Back for it's eighth year, Culture Night is probably the biggest event in the year for Northern Ireland's capital. If you haven't been yet, take out your phone and set a reminder for September 2017 and GO.
This was the third year I've experienced it...and still can't describe it in a way that does it justice. It's amazing. See, that still felt inadequate. I'll steal some words from the Irish Times instead, from an article the day before CNB kicked off:
UP TO 80,000 people are expected in Belfast city centre tomorrow for Culture Night 2016 with more than 250 music, dance and visual arts events being staged in 100-plus venues spanning out from Donegall Street in the Cathedral Quarter from as early as 10am.
The first two years I just 'winged it'. Arriving into the Cathedral Quarter and just seeing what and who I come across in the next 6 hours of complete madness and amazement. This year, with several friends groups transcending on the city, a schedule was needed to fit in some of the known best bits. And even at that we still didn't make it to half of them - there's just so much happening.
I missed out on the African Drum Circle last time, so chuffed to get in the mix this year. Great craic for all ages!
Street Countdown is always hilarious. I'll not even try to describe what happened, but if you know how Channel 4's series works, combine that with a witty Belfast host and an ever-smiling glamorous assitant (pictured above), and throw in plenty of craic, you're nearly there.
Oh, and a shrine to Richard Whiteley. How could I forget?
New for this year was feed Feed The 5000 - despite not getting a chance to taste the grub, or stop and chill out at the Big Table later in the night with unfamiliar faces, it definitely looked a great success.
The spectacular Belfast Cathedral - aka St Anne's Cathedral - was packed again this year for a selection of jaw dropping vocal performances; one of the highlights being the Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra later on in the night.
And then there was the Kent Street Carpark Rave. Say no more.