Punk rocker Dolores offering musical walking tours of Belfast

A punk rocker who once jumped on stage to play the drums to ‘Peaches’ with music legends The Stranglers at the Ulster Hall in the 1970s is now offering a musical walking tour of Belfast to showcase the city’s arts to both locals and visitors.

Dolores Vischer on the drums at the Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast
Dolores Vischer on the drums at the Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast

Dolores Vischer, who recently retired from a job at Queen’s University after almost 20 years, studied to become a tour guide during the pandemic and has now set up a new addition to Belfast’s cultural offering.

Over a period of 18 months, she became a qualified Belfast Green Badge Tourist Guide and opted to take on a lifelong passion, live music, for the theme of her tour.

Her new business, Creative Tours Belfast, covers not just music but also street art, historic entries and pubs, all of which are delivered with a trademark combination of facts and fun.

Dolores Vischer's summer schedule for the Belfast Music Walking Tour begins on July 8

“Music is part of what keeps me feeling young,” she said.

“I’m lucky enough to have boundless energy and during festivals can be out at arts events seven nights a week! During the punk era, if something didn’t exist, you made it happen – and that’s what I’m doing with Creative Tours Belfast.”

She continued: “Belfast has such a rich music heritage and so much talent, past and present, across all genres. From electronic to classical and punk; opera to folk and pop – and everything in between. The recent designation of the City of Music title by UNESCO makes it the perfect time for locals and visitors alike to discover more about Belfast’s musical stories.”

Starting out at the Ulster Hall, the Belfast Music Walking Tour explores some of the venues that are important in Belfast’s musical history. Guests can find out about some of the characters down the years who’ve shaped the city’s music culture, and acknowledge some of the talented people, festivals and events taking it forward today.

The tour concludes with a visit to Belfast’s own dedicated music hub, the Oh Yeah Centre, with a chance to browse the centre’s NI Music Exhibition, which features memorabilia from Northern Ireland musicians including Snow Patrol and Stiff Little Fingers. Guests can then settle down to enjoy a special, private performance by a local musician, often a rising star who has completed an Oh Yeah Talent Development programme.

Charlotte Dryden, chief executive of Oh Yeah, explained the centre’s support for the new walking tour: “With the NI Music Exhibition and Belfast Music Bus Tour already provided by Oh Yeah, there was just one thing missing from the city’s offering – a walking tour.”

The summer schedule for the Belfast Music Walking Tour begins on July 8.