This year the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s will work alongside East Belfast Arts Festival and Féile an Phobail to  co-present one of Festival’s key outdoor events representing the first time the three festivals have worked together.

Pictured from left to right: Tina and Ken from Tumble Circus Kevin Gamble Director Féile an Phobail Susan McCleary, Marketing Manager Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's Mimi Turtle, Chair East Belfast Arts Festival .

International, award winning Tumble Circuswill challenge our perceptions of what a circus is all about in their new performance Damn the Circus which runs on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October in Belmont Park in the East of the city and on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 October in the Falls Park in West Belfast.

Tumble Circus reinvents the circus art form as a theatrically stylized and lively entertaining platform of storytelling. Described by the Irish Times as “Turning the circus tradition upside down” this new show Damn the Circus is their story about how hard it is to make the dream of circus a reality.  It is a show about circus poetry and annoying reality with all the usual circus delights such as trapeze,  juggling and clowns  – just not as you might expect and definitely targeting an older family market.

Representing the first time three Festivals have come together Richard Wakely, Director for Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s is excited about the collaboration.” We are extremely lucky in Belfast to have a number of fantastic festivals all offering unique experiences for audiences throughout the city. This collaboration is recognition that as an arts community we all share the city and captures the opportunity to jointly provide arts for everyone.”

Kevin Gamble, Director of Féile an Phobail is looking forward to working alongside both Festivals, “ Audiences in West Belfast have enjoyed the expanding programme that we have been delivering year on year and this partnership is another chance to provide something exciting for West Belfast audiences. To work alongside both these Festivals shows the unity that exists within the arts community and demonstrates how the city can work together to provide new and exciting experiences.”

Mimi Turtle, Chair of the East Belfast Arts Festival also recognises the importance of partnership within the arts, “As an arts festival we are at the early stages of development having just completed our second year. The artistic passion and appetite in the East of the city is growing rapidly and we relish the opportunity to work with these two festivals to bring another new experience to the East for our local audiences. “

The scale and diversity of this annual Festival programme would not be possible without the continuing and generous support of various public and private sponsors, including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank, Belfast City Council, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the EU and the British Council. Plus, the many venues, performers and partner organisations whose commitment and passion bring the arts to life for all to enjoy.

The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s runs from 17th – 27th October at venues all over the city. To find out more and book tickets visitwww.belfastfestival.com  or call  box office on 02890 971197. ⧣BelFest