4C 2021

So, after many months of hibernation and imaginative incubation we are delighted to tell you that the 4 Corners Festival 2021 programme is almost in the can for 2021. No pandemic is going to stop us from attempting to bring Belfast together and contribute some goodness into the ether.

5 things I am excited about:


1. Our theme. Breathe 

As the website says, The Hebrew word Ruach means ‘breath’ or ‘spirit’ – the source of life. In our 2021 Festival, we seek to tap into that spirit and breathe hope into our city, fostering creativity and resilience as we respond to the challenges of the pandemic.”


2. Our logo…

Brian O’Neill has done a great job by taking the Breathe… theme and giving it a Belfast signature. You can tell that Brian has been blowing some bubbles with his young son Ronan because as soon as we told him the theme he had Nuala breathing out big imaginative bubbles all over the city.


3. Our platform… Virtual/Actual/Hybrid

We felt particularly blessed in 2020 that our Festival was one of the last in Belfast before the world went into lockdown. Coronavirus has threatened so many festivals but from our first planning meeting we were focused on having a 2021 Festival, no matter what.

Well, we might be locked down but we are rocked up and ready. We want to highlight how even staying well within the restrictions that are attempting to fight off this virus that we can present a quality festival. Enjoy it from the comfort of your own home. There will be no postponements due to the weather!  

This has added to the challenge but has been another instigator of imagination. 4 Corners Festival 2021 will be unique as a result.


4. Our Keynote… John Paul Lederach

At last. We have been trying so hard to have John Paul Lederach as a key note speaker for so many years. One of the advantages of these “lockdown” days is that we can welcome him virtually from Indiana right into every corner of Belfast.

A world authority on peace and reconciliation with a working knowledge of Belfast there is also a fascinating chapter in his book when Blood and Bones Cry Out where he unpacks how Van Morrison’s catalogue healed him after a bad car accident. 


5. My In Conversation With Duke Special

I cannot lie but my 4 Corners Festival series interviewing some of my very favourite songwriters has been a personal thrill, not only of the Festival, but of my life. This year we follow an amazing series of Gary Lightbody, Brian Houston, Ricky Ross and Iain Archer with an evening with Duke Special.

I have known his Dukeness for twenty five years and am looking forward to talking to him about how Belfast has influenced his work not only on record nut in this theatre work and his PhD thesis. Expect some compelling chatter and even more compelling music. 

I will even enjoy the over indulgence in Duke Special’s work between now and then… Quiet Revolutionaries Vol 2 ordered already!


See the full programme and book your spots here:


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