Well known music acts from across Belfast and beyond are set to take to the stage at the 1st annual Focal Festival in South Belfast. The open-air festival, which will take place on Friday June 30th and Saturday July 1st, will feature acts such as Discobeard, Travis Is A Tourist, The Russian Dolls, Carl Q and Tuskany.
6pm: Musicians Ross Maguire and Gareth McGreevy make up Discobeard, from Newcastle, Co Down. Best known for their unique take on pop classics these guys are set to get the post work crowds jumping on Friday evening from 6pm.
8.30pm: Belfast band The Russian Dolls are without doubt becoming one of the most sought after session bands around, so, when the individual members aren’t working and touring with some of Ireland’s world renowned artists, you’ll find them together at festivals like Focal.
After you’ve enjoyed these unique covers, Belfast DJ Paul Short will be taking to the stage with his mix of 80’s disco merged with modern house – let’s get the disco gear out ladies!
On Saturday Focal Festival is showcasing the best in original talent in Belfast, each act will be playing their own scores. A chance to catch an emerging Foy Vance or Two Door Cinema Club live!
6- 7:30pm: Brass heavy musical sensation Fat Lip, whose members have played and recorded with the likes of The Pogues, Bad Manners, Brian May and local talent David Lyttle to name but a few, will be there to give you the best of what is hot – from Hard-hitting Brass and steaming hot funk to the hardest grooving Blues and Jazz. Get your dancing shoes on and don’t miss your chance to experience the hardest working band in Ireland!
7:30 – 8:30pm: Cari Q, Texan born, Belfast based. Indie rock singer songwriter will be there covering Mowtown, classic rock and jazz through an array of instruments. Propelled in the US through Season 11 of American Idol, Cari came to Europe to focus on projects she believes in, this has led to various European shows and a UK & Ireland Tour.
8:45 – 9:30: Journey man Travis Gilbert is the one and only member of Travis Is A Tourist, already popular with Northern Ireland millennials his fictional fantasies and epic journey is something of a mystery. See Travis from
Belfast based indie/pop act Tuskany have influences of funk, soul and pop in their music. Their sets include lots of punchy riffs and melodic synth lines. Don’t miss them from 9:45– 10:30pm
DJ Paul Short will again take over closing the Festival displaying his unique blends of disco and house.
Focal Festival, which will take place at Crescent Gardens in the city’s thriving Queen’s Quarter celebrates everything that is great about the spirit of innovation in Northern Ireland. Focal Festival is a new collaboration between the entrepreneurs behind Copeland Spirits, Harland Wines, Bullhouse Beer and Gallopers Craft Beer.
The idea for Festival germinated to fruition as the young companies struggled to showcase their outstanding brews and the emphasis will be on local – local food vendors, local drinks companies and local musical acts to round the whole thing off.
Simon Bryans, Harland Wines said: “We wanted to create a festival that not only celebrated the best in local produce in the food, drink and entertainment industry but we wanted to show how young entrepreneurs and creatives are making a big waves in Northern Ireland.
“We hope that by promoting our products through events like this aimed at a younger generation we can help to change the industry and bring more focus on local produce which in turn should help to reinvigorate the NI Market.”
In the heart of Belfast’s university and party area Crescent Gardens is the ideal location for Focal Festival – an oft-overlooked gem of a setting. Simon added: “In what was once a student dominated area, Crescent Gardens and the surrounding area is now home to some fabulous venues, eating houses and local businesses, this beautiful part of the city is beginning to thrive again and we are delighted to bring the first of many event to this part of the city.”