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From 6th – 16th June the 8th annual Belfast Book Festival, supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council, will open the world of books to everyone. For 11 days venues across the city including The Crescent will come alive with unique and diverse events featuring high profile authors as well as events exploring a range of interests and themes.



1.      Roald Dahl inspired Family Fun Day

Saturday 16th June from 12-4pm Lower Crescent Park will come alive with the wonderful characters and stories of the great Roald Dahl. Supported by Belfast City Council, children of all ages and abilities will enjoy arts & crafts, face painting, interactive storytelling, children’s author readings, entertainment and a book fair. Best of all it’s free to attend.


2.      International authors

Some of the key highlights for this year includes; acclaimed journalist, broadcaster and former Downing Street Press Secretary and now prolific novelist Alastair Campbell at Windsor Park; award winning comedian, writer and actress Francesca Martinez at The Crescent; champion motorcyclist, truck racer and television presenter Steve Parrish at Malone Lodge Hotel; adventurer, environmentalist, speaker and writer Huw Kingston at The Crescent; best-selling author on the subjects of Nutrition and Health, the Medicinal chef Dale Pinnock at Hillmount Garden Centre, Belfast ; Guillem Balagué Sky Sports journalist and author of best-selling biographies on Pep Guardiola, Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at The Black Box and Internationally renowned speaker, mathematician, scientist and philosopher John Lennox at Fisherwick Presbyterian Church.

3.      Belfast’s First Lit Crawl

For one night only on Saturday 16th June the area known as the Queen’s Quarter will welcome Belfast’s first Lit Crawl. The night is divided into 3 sessions, each lasting 45 minutes, to make a fast-paced evening of pop-up events and quirky literary happenings in unusual venues across the area. Perhaps you want to take a dander to No Alibis and visit the Book Doctors, or pick up an MP3 player at Botanic Gardens (bring your own headphones) and take a poetry jukebox tour?  Or sit back and relax in the festival marquee at Lower Crescent Park and have a bite to eat and then head over to Friar's Bush to visit Belfast’s Books of the Dead. There’s lots to choose from and it’s all FREE.

4.      Workshops

Get creative at this year’s festival as the authors and poets of Belfast Book Festival 2018 share their knowledge, wisdom and know-how with a superb programme of workshops and classes for anyone and everyone with a writing itch to scratch. Workshops take place across a range of festival venues.


5.      Music and words

Donal Scullion leads a special guest band at the Strand Arts Centre for Astral Weeks: The Music And The Myths Of Van Morrison featuring a set in tribute to the album that blessed us with such tracks as Madam George, Cyprus Avenue and Sweet Thing. Poet, writer and novelist Jan Carson and singer songwriter Anthony Toner: will be your travel guides at The Crescent, as they lead you on an adventure through some exceptional pieces of writing and songs which explore our obsession with the open road. Join spectacular storytelling duo Jane Talbot and Noel Harron at The Crescent for a rambunctious evening of story and song! The stories in the show are original, dark faerie tales or quirky, radical re-tellings, and they’re all set locally (North Coast of Northern Ireland and Donegal).  Dr. Lucy Collins (UCD) and poets Maria McManus and Nessa O'Mahony are joined by HIVE Choir (SARC) at The Crescent for this unique collaboration, exploring women's representation in literature and sound, from suffrage to the present.

 6.      More for the family

And there’s more for the family. Bring along your little one for Chamber Babies featuring pianist Nadene Fiorentini, who will be performing The Mother Goose Suite at The Crescent, Northern Ireland Opera will offer an interactive afternoon which is designed specifically for children of primary school age, let their imagination flourish and explore their ideas about a new fairytale world with mysterious creatures, magical landscapes and exotic sounds at The Crescent. Direct from London’s West End, the Grand Opera House, in association with The Belfast Book Festival welcomes The Kite Runner the critically acclaimed stage adaptation of the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini. The Kite Runner is a haunting tale of friendship which spans cultures and continents, following one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption (suitable for 14+).


 7.      Literary lunch

Throughout the festival enjoy a range of literary events at lunchtime. Join Sir Robert Salisbury and his wife Rosemary in the beautiful setting of the Botanic Gardens Palm House to learn of the inspiring story of how he and Rosemary transformed an unloved rural wasteland into a thriving, renowned wildlife garden. Join Diana Oxlade at Ulster Museum as she gives an illustrated talk about her often funny and surreal experience of producing her unique book A Tropical Glen, a Florilegium’ Join Frances Green at Ulster Museum for Flowers at the Frontline which considers the role of women and the part they and fresh flowers played in boosting morale at home and overseas. Belfast Book Festival has also teamed up with Linen Hall Library to bring you a host of literary events for you to enjoy during your lunch hour.

8.      Poetry

Poetry JukeBox is an audio installation of contemporary poetry which is located permanently in the grounds of The Crescent and The Festival has partnered with the Poetry JukeBox to celebrate the works of Mairtín Crawford & Heather Newcombe. Join James Harpur, Mark Roper and John F Deane for an evening of readings from three superlative poets at The Crescent. Poetry NI proudly presents The Belfast Book Festival Poetry Slam! Open to all poets, we invite you to take the mic and enter our annual poetry slam competition at The Crescent. Share your work in front of a lively and appreciative audience, with new readers always welcome.

For further details on the Bookworm pass and full festival programme visit


And now, easy as 1-2-3...


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