Clowns, somersaults, stilts and more at Festival of Fools

Acrobatic feats will be part of the exciting line-up
Acrobatic feats will be part of the exciting line-up

Expect a bounty of free and colourful street entertainment for this year’s Festival of Fools featuring trapeze artists, jugglers, clowns, a candy floss sculptor, a singing nun playing a motorised piano, a marvellous magician and numerous other entertaining characters.

The free events - totalling 120 street shows and 30 walkabout performances - will all take place in outdoor locales across Belfast City Centre and the Cathedral Quarter.

Artists performing will come to Belfast from all over the world with slapstick from San Francisco, tumbling from Tanzania, bicycle acrobatics from Belgium, mime from Mexico and stilt-walking antics from Scotland.

The delightful family-friendly array of street entertainment will take place across the May bank holiday weekend.

Now into its 11th year, the Festival of Fools kicks off with weirdly wonderful acrobatic comedy from Spanish company Capitan Maravilla who like to somersault over a customised Mini Cooper. Audiences can also enjoy the installation of an urban beachscape with deck chairs, Punch & Judy shows, sticks of rock and giant seagulls, plus a theatrical experience - involving mermaids, pirates and shipwreck - all staged deep in the belly of a 60-foot long blue whale in a surreal transformation of Writers Square.

Will Chamberlain, director of the the festival and once a professional clown himself, said: “This year we are looking forward to the biggest street theatre celebration ever seen in Northern Ireland.”

For more information on the full Festival of Fools programme visit