It might be famous for bands such as Snow Patrol and Stiff Little Fingers, but Belfast also does a good line in jazz.
In a working man’s club in the County Down townland of Ballyhackamore, just outside the city, you’ll hear the distinctive strains of Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker and John Coltraine. Scott’s Jazz Club hosts a weekly gig featuring the best local musicians, as well as visiting international performers. And it’s earned a reputation as one of Europe’s top live jazz clubs.
Back in Belfast city, swing by Bert’s Jazz Bar for an evening of smooth sounds and beautifully crafted cocktails. Located within the five-star Merchant Hotel, this glitzy spot is also home to a 2 AA Rosette restaurant. The perfect choice if you enjoy your evenings with a touch of class.
Belfast has a great reputation for its thriving live music scene – attracting world famous talent and some of the hottest young acts around.
See the stars of the future at the Belfast Empire Music Hall. This converted church has three separate floors and provides an intimate setting for everything from breakthrough acts to tribute bands.
Catch the world's biggest stars at the SSE Arena is Belfast’s premier concert venue. Since opening in 2000, the 11,000-capacity arena has hosted some of music’s top performers.
If you find yourself in the Cathedral Quarter, check out the Black Box. This converted 19th century building hosts a wide range of cultural events, from live music, to literature, comedy, art and everything in between.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Ulster Hall. Nestled in the heart of Belfast city centre, the venue is one of Belfast’s most famous locations. Its intimate setting has played host to some true music megastars, including The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Van Morrison.
Lastly, we have the night clubs, and Belfast is known as the home of some of the most fun, distinctive club nights on the island of Ireland.
Limelight comes from a fine dance pedigree. Established in the late 1980s, this bar was born during the heyday of house music. It’s since become a sprawling dance complex that boasts Limelight 1 and 2, Katy’s Bar and an outdoor terrace. It’s a great spot to catch new and up-and-coming bands performing live, as well as various club nights – so if you want to be plugged in to the moment, Limelight is your choice.
If you fancy something a bit wilder, take a trip to the ominously titled Filthy Quarter. But don’t be dissuaded – this area is home to some of Belfast’s most diverse and exciting venues. With four music venues, as well as six bars in one complex – from a quirky front bar with live music to a cocktail bar and a chilled secret garden, all tastes are catered to!