Outburst Queer Arts Festival started in 2007 as a grassroots LGBTQ community-led showcase for queer creativity. Since then it has grown into one of the most innovative and exciting festivals in Ireland and the UK, with an eclectic multi-discipline arts programme unlike any other in Northern Ireland.
The overall vision for Outburst is simple: to create a bold, brave and innovative platform in Northern Ireland for new local and international queer arts, performance and brilliant creative ideas. From celebrated cutting-edge international artists to explosive new local talent, Outburst shines a great big spotlight on the best of LGBTQ creativity in theatre, performance, spoken word, film, music, dance and much more.
While focusing on the creative voices and engagement of LGBTQ artists and community, we actively promote Outburst as a festival where everyone is welcome, making it one of the most inclusive, welcoming and diverse queer arts events in the world.
Over the past ten years, we have
• delivered over 350 Arts events to an audience of 47,000+
• partnered with over 100 organisations and groups to develop and deliver arts events for the community
• engaged over 2500 people from the LGBTQ community directly in event performance and production
• supported the development of brilliant new local LGBTQ themed work, such as Stacey Gregg’s Award-winning Scorch and Brenda Murphy’s Baby It’s Cold Outside, which has played to diverse audiences of thousands in the MAC, Grand Opera House and social clubs in West Belfast.
• Delivered rural Outreach Arts Projects to some of the most marginalised and isolated LGBTQ communities around NI, including Strabane and Fermanagh
Outburst work has been celebrated through:
• Winning BEST NEW PLAY at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards 2016, as co-producer of Prime Cut Production’s stunning gender-queer themed play, Scorch, written by Stacey Gregg
• Ongoing international development and partnership work around queer arts with the British Council in the Americas.
• Appointment of Outburst’s Artistic Director, Ruth McCarthy, to the British Council’s International Arts Advisory Group
• Nominations for an Aisling Award 2013 and The Funding Network’s annual funding event in 2014, nominated by Belfast’s former Lord Mayor, Mairtin O’Muilleoir.
• Winner of Queer of the Year Award and PRIDE Awards Nominations
• Invitations to speak about our work and share our programming approach at universities across NI, the UK and Ireland
• Participation in public panel discussions on Arts and community in The MAC, Cambridge Junction, Oval House Theatre London, Museum of Liverpool
• Appointment to the jury of the IRIS International LGBT Short Film Prize