Nine-day festival to feature ‘world leaders’, a spot of weather and inclusive dance, theatre and music.

Roll up, roll up, Belfast Children’s Festival 2024 is coming to town!

Launched on 25 January 2024 at the Crescent Arts Centre, this year’s circus themed festival will welcome crowds to ‘big top’ venues including The Lyric, The MAC, Belfast Cathedral, Culturlann MacAdam Ó Fiaich and Ulster University Belfast Campus from 8-16 March.

Over 100 events and performances will take place during the festival, which features productions from the Netherlands, Scotland, England and Ireland, local artists, firm festival favourites like Baby Rave and several UK and Ireland premiers.

The Belfast Children’s Festival is principally supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and by Belfast City Council.

Speaking at the launch of Belfast Children’s Festival, Young at Art Director, EibhIín de Barra said:

“We are so excited to launch Belfast Children’s Festival 2024 as we bring together everything from the big top circus to sea, land and the world of creativity in between. After last year’s 25th anniversary, we are delighted to bring over 100 events and performances to Belfast during the nine-day festival for families, small children from 0-100. Age is just a number when it comes to the festival.  We are really pleased to be bringing world and UK premières to the festival and tackling some major real-life issues around neuro divergence, wellbeing, relationships, disability, and diversity.  As well as firm favourites like Baby Rave, we are delighted to have so many new pieces, and visiting artists from Europe, UK and Ireland.  So, whether you are young, or simply young at heart, roll up, roll up, and come and explore the festival with us!”

Looking forward to the 2024 Belfast Children’s Festival, Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said:

“Thanks to the National Lottery players, for many children, the Belfast Children’s Festival will be their first experience of live, professional arts. There is no better place to start. Our early encounters with theatre and storytelling can have a deep and lasting influence on our creative imaginations and the way we view the world around us, so we owe it to our children – all of our children – that these formative experiences meet the highest possible standards. 26 years championing the rights of children to enjoy full creative lives and in the process, building one of the biggest and certainly one of the greatest children’s arts festivals on these islands, means that every one of the hand-picked events that you will have the opportunity to enjoy, comes with BCF’s copper-fastened quality assurance.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Ryan Murphy, who addressed guests at the festival launch said:

“Our city is just bursting with creativity and potential and that’s exactly what we’re celebrating during Belfast 2024.

“We want to give people opportunities to dream and invent; to speculate and investigate; to learn and experiment; to imagine a new future, new spaces, a new balance with nature, new stories and new experiences. a celebration of our people and our place, as we look towards our city’s future.

“So a big thank you to Belfast Children’s Festival for curating an outstanding programme of creative, innovative and fun experiences for young people across all communities. We’re proud to invest in BCF and look forward to seeing even more people engaging with cultural experiences and their own creativity during Belfast 2024.”

A Chrildren's Guide To Anarchy by Dumbworld, an arts organisation led by Ulster University's Prof Brian Irvine and John McIlduff, is inspired by the 1931 publication La Anarquia Explicada a Los Niños, an instructional manual for children published during the Spanish Civil War that explained the ideas and practices of anarchy, Made in collaboration with the children of Oakwood Primary School in Glasgow and the Red Note Ensemble, Dumbworld have created a collection of seven musical animated video posters that explore key elements of “anarchical” thinking such as autonomy, kindness and human connectivity from a child’s perspective. Visit it in our Biden Atrium from the 7th March.

The Belfast Children's Festival annual Family Day will take place across the Belfast Campus on Saturday 16th  March. Open to all, keep an eye on Young at Art's website for programme details as they are updated.

View the festival programme at  Community groups wishing to secure tickets for events can apply via