Belfast Carnival Village a new creative project for Belfast

29 July 2015 17:07 -- Rebecca

Belfast Carnival Village will transform an area in Ormeau Park in June 2016 into a colourful carnival village, a theatrical set with structures that depict Belfast landmarks such as H&W Cranes and Albert Clock where carnival acts, performances and workshops involving 1,000 community participants from local communities across Belfast will attract an audience of 10,000- 15,000.  It is a partnership project led by experienced arts company Beat Carnival with two community- partner organisations: Denmark Street Residents Association and Ballynafeigh Community Development Association.

The Carnival Village, created by Beat Carnival artists, will consist of:

  • KidzTown- An interactive children’s and young people’s area with creative activity workshops and children’s performances.
  • Circus City- performance area with Belfast themed performance structures made for circus and street theatre.
  • Bandstand- A music area featuring traditional, contemporary and carnival music forms, including Beat’s Big Drums, Street Choir and Carnival Bands and specially composed Belfast Songs.
  • Village Green- Featuring a Town Hall structure and will provide facilities for socialising, presentations and discussions, and performances.
  • Post Office- An information and project area that highlights international links and exchanges with Belfast’s carnival and communities.
  • Samba School- Where attendees get a taste of drumming and other carnival arts related experience by participating in workshops and showcase performances.
  • Market Place- food and refreshments.
  • Among other features of the site there will be a big-top tent, carnival games stalls and golf with Beat ‘Big Head’ Characters of Rory McIlrory, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell.

Belfast Carnival Village is supported through the £900,000 Creative and Cultural Fund for Belfast, set up by Belfast City Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2014 to bring three years of exciting arts and heritage projects to the city of Belfast. Altogether, seven projects, inspired by Belfast’s rich culture and heritage, are bringing together some of the city’s best art practitioners with community groups all across the city and using a wide variety of arts and media to tell their stories.

To find out more information about the projects please visit You can also keep up to date by visiting or connect with projects online at and via twitter @Cre8tiveBelfast and  #CreativeBelfast

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Arder Carson, commented:

“Creative Belfast is the first initiative of its kind. It represents the largest amount of project funding ever awarded by Belfast City Council and underlines the Council’s strong, ongoing commitment to the cultural life of this city, and to promoting community engagement and challenging social exclusion by engaging Belfast’s diverse people and communities in culture and arts.

“Over the course of the next ten months, we will see the staging of seven bold and exciting community arts events throughout the city, from the world’s first ever ‘Baby Day’, through the spectacular ‘Nine Nights’ outdoor theatre production, a programme of films in unusual and surprising locations, a re-imagining of one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, a festival tracing the story of the River Farset, to a specially-commissioned ‘Belfast Opera’.

“The Belfast Carnival Village will be a fitting conclusion to this bold and ambitious programme of events, and I am delighted that, by the end of next June, thousands of people, right across the city, of all ages and walks of life, will have had the chance to be involved in and be inspired by these flagship projects.”

Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“This exciting project is one of seven large-scale arts and heritage events which Belfast can look forward to over the next year. Landmark projects such as Belfast Carnival Village will offer local people, from the young, to the old and everyone in between, an opportunity to explore their creative-side and be part of something truly magnificent.”

David Boyd, Beat’s Founder-Director commented:

“This funding presents us with an exciting opportunity to produce a spectacular and ambitious event for all to enjoy and participate in. 

We will have the opportunity to develop the carnival art form by increasing art access, participation and skills by providing shared learning & skills development for individuals and communities that will increase confidence knowledge and reduce social exclusion and isolation.”


Beat Carnival’s role is to create and produce carnival arts, organise and direct performances, train and develop artists and encourage community participation and ambition. Beat Carnival Centre in Belfast is recognised as a world-class centre of excellence, delivering free carnival arts workshops and training programmes to a wide range of diverse participants from four years old to over 60.

For more information please contact: Rebecca Boyd, Programme Co-ordinator on 02890 434 767 or by email

David Boyd, Director on 028 90 434 767 or by email