Beats In The Street - Community Music Project


– Celebrating Community Music in Belfast, providing information for more people to become involved and enjoy the experiences on offer.


This Community Music Groups Map is a resource for spotlighting and accessing the variety of Community Music available in and around Belfast, to encourage collaboration, participation, performance opportunities... windows can be approached, doors opened, when we know where they are.


It is enough that Community Music provides untold, long-lasting enjoyment. Happily there is a long list of accompanying benefits: there is a wealth of… skills training; confidence building; new friendship; group formation; public performance; community celebration; inspired collaboration; musical commissions and musician employment. From involvement with accordion bands to choirs, guitar ensembles to gamelan percussion; in small groups and large-scale ensembles; we believe there are social, physical and mental… soulful and practical creativity gains to be enjoyed in the community of music-makers. 


Belfast enjoys a huge amount of music activity. Many of the artform types and sub-sectors are catered for, promoted by supportive organisations and music media, especially endeavour in what is often called the music industry. Community Music-making is not highlighted or detailed just as often or as much. This Community Music Map is a project to research Community Music groups and collectives within the Greater Belfast Area that offer open participation and performance. Findings are collated in an interactive map, publicly available for anyone to locate music projects that might grab their interest. We will be grateful for help in building a more complete picture.


The Map displays an extensive but inevitably incomplete list of groups. We have listed information that is publicly available about each band and invited more from any groups we could find a contact for. We have sought to include groups that – 

  • encourage broad participation
  • have open membership with ease of access, with or without a skill requirement 
  • enable people to develop music and performance skills and confidence
  • provide performances to audiences in a variety of accessible public spaces and places 
  • be connected to community, with a tangible social network.

Click the icon at top left corner of the Map to show a Map Key. Groups are currently listed in categories of Accordion Bands, Choirs, Flute Bands, Percussion, Strings. This is a start: please contact Beat Carnival with further information and suggestions so that we can add to and update the Map resource. 




It's a start. The map can be easily updated to include any new or overlooked groups or to remove any defunct groups. We will add an online form with which people can suggest an update to the map. There are groups not included in the Map as we believe that they fall beyond the scope of the project, such as City of Belfast School of Music and its many performance groups, or Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School – and others that are focused on commercial tuition rather than participation.
Please contact Beat Carnival with further information and suggestions. Go to online Submission Form > HERE


Beat Carnival promotes shared, participatory musical experience. Over two and half decades we have enabled thousands of people of all ages and all abilities to directly experience the joy and achievement of music making & collaboration with others. That’s many thousands of participant-musicians: the audience experience has reached millions of people over the years, at home and away. Best known for Samba drumming since first bringing specialist tutors to Belfast and then the famous Brazilian Afro Reggae band, Olodum, for our first ‘100 Drummers’ parade in Belfast (1995) Beat Carnival has initiated, developed and provided often specialist or unique music creation resources, mostly offered free-of-charge to individuals and communities.