Summer may be officially over, but there's still plenty of fun stuff happening right now and for the rest of the month. Read on for my Top Picks in September 2019. There truly is something for everyone... and let's just say that fellow fans of live music, culture and fabulous home-grown food are in for a real treat!
31 August - 1 September FREE
A line-up of aerial attractions for two days of thrilling flying, with highlight, the fast and furious P-47-D Thunderbolt American fighter. On ground entertainment includes live music, trade stands, fun zone, artisan food market, arts and crafts stalls, military vehicles and a high-tech STEM village.
Clandeboye Food Festival
Clandeboye Courtyard, Bangor
31 August - 1 September
A fantastic local food event with cookery demonstrations, wine tasting and children's entertainment. Featuring producers such as Papas Minerals, Eringrove preserves, Kennedy Bacon, Heatherlea Bakery and Brownie Barn, this promises to be a great family day out!
Blue Grass Festival
Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh
30 August - 1 September
There’ll be strumming on the porches of the log cabins, dancing in the cobbled streets and jamming outside the General Store at the 28th Annual Bluegrass Music Festival. Three days of live music from some of the biggest names in bluegrass and old time music.
Angela's Ashes the Musical
Grand Opera House, Belfast
I absolutely loved and loathed Angela’s Ashes at school. And I only loathed it because of my own discomfort (and perhaps immaturity in dealing with) some of the hardships. The beautifully told story returns in this major musical adaptation of Frank McCourt’s memoir and I can’t wait to see it. The story is brought to life in an emotional telling of a childhood in Limerick and beyond, featuring songs and melodies with a rare lyricism and a warm sense of humour.
Belfast Waterfront Hall
Sunday 8 September
No need to walk 500 miles to see these talented Scottish twins, as The Proclaimers take the stage in Belfast Waterfront Hall. The pair's enduring appeal across generations has carved a niche where pop, folk, new wave and punk collide in sing-along raucousness.
Strangford Seafood Supper Club
Castle Ward, National Trust, Strangford
The first ever Castle Ward Supper Club takes place during Seafood September and features my chum Comber born chef, Will Brown, cooking with stunning local seafood ingredients from around Strangford Lough. A shared table setup in the NT's intimate candle-lit space, with the chef on full view and explaining each of their courses as they go along. Price includes a complimentary cocktail on arrival... But it’s BYO, so bring a bottle of your favourite tipple.
Wrap Up in Culture
20 September (free)
Wrap up in culture, as venues and public spaces across the city and district open their doors to host a programme of free entertainment, as part of an all-island celebration of arts, heritage and culture. There will be something for people of all ages and with all interests from visual arts to music and dance, heritage, discussions, street art, tours and trails and family fun.
Culture Night - and Day!
Belfast (various venues)
20-21 September (free)
Belfast Culture Night enters its second decade with its first ever weekender. The biggest event in the city's cultural calendar returns on Friday 20th September (1-9pm). For the first time, it doesn't stop there, with events rolling into a bonus Culture Day on Saturday 21st (10am-4pm). Hundreds of free attractions include live music, theatre, cabaret, bespoke food and drink stalls and a Flea Market at St Anne’s Cathedral. There will of course be loads of family friendly activities for little ones with music, face-painting and dancing.
Belfast Restaurant Week
BT1 + BT2
From Monday to Thursday enjoy 2 courses for just £15 in over 40 restaurants across BT1+2, with £10 lunch deals from 12-2pm, Monday to Friday. On Friday and Saturday you’ll find food demonstrations, producers’ market and live music at a Taste the City event in Writers’ Square from 10am-4pm, as well as a host of other events across the city, finishing off with the Big Belfast Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 2pm.
And if one week and one city isn’t enough, then check out the Tourism NI ‘Taste the Island’ 12-week celebration of Ireland’s finest food and drink, tasty experiences and scrumptious adventures, with an extensive range of events taking place throughout September, October and November. www.discovernorthernireland.com/tastetheisland
Two Fingers Up
The MAC, Belfast
Set in the cultural context of #metoo and Repeal the 8th, Two Fingers Up is a humorous journey back to your teenage self, to being scundered, self-discovery, abstinence-only sex education and coming of age, Northern Ireland style.