BELFAST'S musical heritage will be celebrated in this year’s St Patrick’s Day programme, taking place across the city from 1-17 March. 

This year's celebration will include the St Patrick’s Day Music Weekend – three days of concerts, céilís, displays, taster sessions and workshops in venues across the city centre, delivered with Belfast TradFest.

Featuring traditional music, song and dance, bagpipes, Highland dancers, Irish dancing and bodhrán circles, a festival village will be located at Cathedral Gardens, next to Belfast Cathedral, and will include a host of free performances, alongside food stalls, céili workshops, family-friendly activities and much more.

Ticketed performances will also be taking place including Anúna in Belfast Cathedral on Friday 15 March, a Kiddy Céili at Belfast Cathedral on Saturday 16 March as part of Belfast Children’s Festival, a gala concert with Frankie Gavin and Dé Dannan at Ulster Hall on the same evening, an all-day céilí and a finale event with Stockton’s Wing and John Spillane at the MAC Belfast on Sunday 17 March.

The traditional St Patrick’s Day parade will also bring a sea of colour to the city’s streets on Sunday 17 March, starting at 1.30pm from City Hall. 

This year's parade's focus will be on People, Place and Planet which is celebrating the city’s creativity throughout the year. The parade will follow a circular route, via Chichester Street, Victoria Street, High Street, Castle Place and Donegall Place, before making its way back to City Hall. 

Also on St Patrick's Day 2 Royal Avenue will open its doors to families for a day of free events, including art workshops, dance performances, music, a games area and lots more. St George’s Market will also be getting in on the craic with lunchtime performances from musicians from Ards Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann on both Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 March. 

This year, Belfast City Council has also joined with Seachtain na Gaelige and Féile na Earraigh to support events and activities running as part of both festivals, which begin on Friday 1 March and continue until St Patrick’s Day itself. 

Spraoi Cois Lao – an Irish language fun day – will take place at Custom House Square on Saturday 9 March from 1pm-4pm and is open to everyone to attend. Organised by Conradh na Gaeilge and Féile an Phobail, the event will be the biggest of its kind and will include musicians, dancers, activities, games, food and entertainment, all celebrating the Irish language. Admission is free. 

From Sunday 10 to Sunday 17 March, visitors and music lovers can also enjoy the return of the Trad Trail, offering free music performances in bars, restaurants, hotels and visitor attractions across the city. Delivered by Féile an Phobail, it will mark Belfast’s status as a UNESCO City of Music with performances from the best local and national trad musicians. 

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Ryan Murphy, said: “2024 is the year to celebrate Belfast’s creativity and diversity – and this year’s St Patrick’s Day programme really reflects that concept, with something for everyone to come along and enjoy.

"We are internationally recognised as a City of Music and are embracing our growing reputation as a trad hub with an amazing line-up of live performances, from all aspects of the musical spectrum, both in the run-up to, and across, St Patrick’s weekend itself – all of which will continue to put Belfast on the musical map and encourage people into our city centre. 

“This year, we are also working together with existing festivals and arts and cultural organisations to enhance their programming with new events and activities, focusing on making people feel welcome and included, and mirroring our Belfast 2024 themes of People, Place and Planet.  

"The addition of Spraoi Cois Lao at Custom House Square on Saturday 9 March also provides a chance for everyone to come along and learn more about the Irish language and our shared history in a fun way, whether they have a cúpla focal, are learning or are just curious. 

“There is so much to see and do in Belfast this St Patrick’s Day and I would encourage everyone to come along and experience a flavour of what Belfast has to offer.” 

Dónal O'Connor, Artistic Director with Belfast TradFest, said: "We are delighted to programme and deliver Belfast’s St Patrick's Music Weekend for the first time.

“We’re excited that this year’s St Patrick's celebrations will be a meaningful opportunity for people of different backgrounds and traditions to gather and share the legacy and inheritance of St Patrick, through 40+ hours of traditional arts events in 13 venues, both indoor and outdoor, alongside a great line-up of the very best in traditional Irish and Scottish music.”

MUSIC: Local musicians Brendan Quinn, Chloe McGregor, Alannah Greer and Ciara Maguire join circus performer Louise Glendinning at the launch of Belfast’s St Patrick’s Day programme.

MUSIC: Local musicians Brendan Quinn, Chloe McGregor, Alannah Greer and Ciara Maguire join circus performer Louise Glendinning at the launch of Belfast’s St Patrick’s Day programme.

Cuisle Nic Liam from Conradh na Gaeilge said: “Spraoi Cois Lao is an incredibly exciting event that aims to bring the Irish language back into the heart of Belfast city centre, building on the pioneering work of community groups right across Belfast and supporting our goal of seeing the Irish language celebrated, recognised, respected and normalised, especially in our shared spaces.

"We’re delighted to partner with Féile an Phobail and bring both Seachtain na Gaeilge and Féile an Earraigh together, with the support of the council, in this year’s programme.”

Kevin Gamble, Director at Féile an Phobail, said: “Féile an Phobail is delighted to be involved in this year’s St Patrick’s Day festivities. Our Trad Trail will animate all parts of the city, as well as the city centre, with world-class Irish trad music and musicians on show. Come along and enjoy the sessions, and the craic, as we celebrate St Patrick’s in Belfast!”

To book tickets for this year's St Patrick's Day events, visit