Big things, Giant things, Titanic things are afoot in Northern Ireland. The biggest celebrations in its history are lined up for 2012, and it’ll take a whole twelve months to get through them all. From festivals to concerts, great unveilings and grand openings, the calendar is packed to the brim.
Here’s why yours will be too.
Let last November’s MTV European Music Awards in Belfast set the tone: the music scene blasting at a new volume of confidence after the first Northern Ireland Music Awards; the world’s cameras roving the streets; Rihanna shooting a video in a fish and chip shop.
Now imagine it happening every month throughout 2012. Imagine Jude Law bringing his to the city of Londonderry; the celebrating its 50th anniversary with its biggest and brightest schedule yet; and the unveiling a new state-of-the-art worthy of its epic reputation.
No less than seven enormous events – iconic new visitor attractions, unprecedented events and historic anniversaries – are in store. Which if you do the maths, equals… amazing! They’re not letting the one hundred year anniversary of the RMS Titanic sail by either. Belfast, the city that built it, will mark the occasion with the in April and May. Special theatre (they’ve promised ‘drama by the hull-full’), tours, talks and exhibitions are on the bill, with MTV returning for a special concert in the iconic slipway. Expect a big fuss for the unveiling of the Titanic Belfast visitor centre, one of the most intriguing projects in the city’s history. And one of the most peculiar in its skyline.
At this stage, Titanic’s slipway is a symbol for ambitious projects and big thinking, and makes the perfect host for the ; only the largest outdoor arts event ever seen in Northern Ireland. Well it will be when the spectacular one-night show opens on 30 June.
To give a watery feng shui to NI 2012 proceedings, the world’s biggest yacht race, the , will moor up in Londonderry to find a Maritime Festival thrown in its honor. And finally, along the serrated beauty of the North coast, the renowned opera and theatre director Deborah Warner will install a major living artwork. will be a wondrously creative project combining local and international talent for a unique spectacle. Co-commissioned by Londonderry’s City of Culture company and the Cultural Olympiad, it promises to amaze.
With celebrations, commemorations, installations (all the -ations you could think of really!), through to arty parties and epic events, you could say Northern Ireland is telling a new story in 2012.
It’s time to spread the word.
Titanic Belfast is opening on 31 March 2012 and the best part is we’re getting a sneak peak around the building on March 30 – and doing a live blog about it. Listen in on our .
Excited? Yep we are too. Find out more on .