A Student’s Guide to Belfast this Summer

Entertainment and Events to Kill the Boredom

by Tabitha Buckley, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Summer can be boring. You spend the entire semester looking forward to it, but then it comes and you realise that the student loan’s run out, you have no coursework to distract you and all your mates have left you in favour of warm bedrooms and free food. And even if they haven’t left you, there’s only so much time you can spend together doing nothing before you grow sick of each other’s faces and wish they had gone home (trust me, no matter how strong your friendship is, this will happen).

In a bid to combat this ennui, I’ve put together a guide to some of the events and places you should check out this summer – and because we’re students, they’re organized by price. You’re welcome.


The Fine & Dandy Market


When: Monthly

Price: Free!

Strictly speaking, you can go to this any month, but who has time at this time of year? The Fine & Dandy Market promotes work from various independent designers, artists, crafters and illustrators. It’s a really nice place to go and get bits and pieces for your house, or locally produced food and drink, and just generally has a lovely vibe even if you don’t buy anything.

EastSide Arts Festival 2016


When: 10 Aug 2016 – 21 Aug 2016

Price: Various (Some free)

EastSide Arts Festival is a fantastic collection of events which you should definitely check out. Showcasing the talent of East Belfast, the festival takes place all across the EastSide with a whole host of events including music, movies, talks, exhibitions, community events, comedy, theatre, workshops, heritage tours and poetry. Be sure to check out http://www.eastsidearts.net closer to the time for more information!


Belfast Pride Festival 2016

When: 29 Jul 2016 ‐ 7 Aug 2016

Price: Various (some free)


Belfast Pride is the largest LGBT+ festival in Ireland, and welcomes thousands of people to a vast range of events every year. The festival is made up of events such as drag acts, comedy nights, family events, discussions, health resources, workshops, political talks and a whole load more, all in the run up to a massive parade (which is on the 6th of August this year). If you’re in Belfast around that time, it’s almost impossible to miss it entirely, but it’s definitely one you should explore fully.


When: 17 Jun 2016 – 19 Jun 2016

Price: £18.31

Q-Con is the annual Gaming & Anime Convention hosted by QUB Dragonslayers, the Gaming and Anime society at QUB. Now running for 23 years, it promises one of the greatest weekends of gaming and anime entertainment available in the UK and Ireland. The convention offers a great range of attractions such as gaming events in a range of shapes and sizes, anime screenings, quizzes, workshops and cosplay events. You don’t have to dress up to go, but you’re more than welcome to!qcon








AVA Festival 2016

When: 4 Jun 2016 ‐ 3:00 pm

Price: £22 – £30

Now in its second year, AVA Festival offers a platform for emerging and established DJs, producers and audiovisual artists from all over the country. A dazzling mixture of new names and international icons, Belfast T13’s industrial space is set to welcome RØDHÅD, Bicep, Guerrilla Shout, Mano Le Tough, Optimo and many more for one day of intense festival-ing, to celebrate Belfast’s ever-growing underground scene.

(More acts to be announced.)

Belsonic 2016

When: 9 Jun 2016 – 29 Jun 2016

Price: £32.50 – £38

Everyone and their mother is going to Belsonic. In fact, the musical event of the year now draws so many concert-goers that they’ve had to relocate to a larger venue. Now located at the Titanic Belfast building, the lineup includes massive acts such as Robin Schulz, Oliver Heldens, Bring Me The Horizon, Stereophonics, The Chemical Brothers, Biffy Clyro, Tiesto, Foals, Faithless, David Guetta and Ellie Goulding. Unsurprisingly, these artists are drawing quite a crowd, so you’re going to have to buy your ticket soon if you want in on the action!



Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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