Belfast City Council have been working towards the submission of a bid to become a designated UNESCO City of Music.

They are now undertaking a series of public workshops to engage the wider creative sector as well as businesses, organisations and individuals working and living in Belfast.

Each session will focus on a dedicated theme that may eventually form part of the City’s commitments as a UNESCO City of Music. In each workshop, there will be a short presentation from an individual in the field concerned, followed by a Q& A for attendees to learn more and ask questions. The recordings will also be made available later on the Belfast City Council website.

Full details of the sessions are set out below. However, if you have any questions or can’t make these workshops and want to feed in to this process, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at

UNESCO City of Music – Proposed Initiatives Workshops
Workshop 1 | Wednesday 12th May 12.30-1.30pm


Local – We’re all in this together

Safety, inclusion, access. Belfast sets the standard for safe gigs, festivals & events across the city

International –  Raise the bar. How green is your gig?

Global hybrid conference to connect the Creative Cities Network and share our Green Festival Toolkit and our approach to running sustainable events

Workshop 2 | Friday 14th May 12.30-1.30pm


Local – Bring it all back home

Can a music sector advice & guidance hub help to put music at the heart of Belfast’s cultural offer? We want to explore the role of specific music sector programme support and coordination

International – We’d like to teach the world to sing

Did you know Belfast was a UNESCO City of Learning? We want to celebrate the simple joy that learning music can bring and how it can enhance all our communities through a shared approach to education. We also want to connect with the music & learning communities across Ireland & UK to find our unique place in the post-Brexit world.

Workshop 3 | Monday 17th May 12.30-1.30pm


Local – Make space for music

We bring our music heritage to life in unused spaces across Belfast. Through a “Learn to play day” get to experience Belfast’s most unusual or oldest instruments in places & spaces that have been transformed with lighting, design & film and see how creative collaboration creates a future facing, playful vibrant city that still holds a place for all parts of our cultural heritage.

International – Tell me a Belfast Music Story

We want to share the Belfast Music Story and our journey from the Troubles to a shared, peaceful society. Through the power of lyrics, poems, stories, photographs and archive footage we will share our story of struggle and how art & music have narrated our transformation. This will be a “travelling story” through time & space & using our transport hubs (airports, train & bus stations) to guide our local commuters and international travellers through the Belfast Music Story.