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Performances & Exhibitions

Watch performances, screenings and exhibitions at Making Festival 2024 at the Folk Museum

The Armagh Rhymers playing at the Folk Museum

Performances, screenings & exhibitions 

The Armagh Rhymers are one of the most celebrated traditional music and theatre ensembles on the island of Ireland. Through music, storytelling and drama, they provide an experience that is both entertaining and educational. 

Their colourful costumes evoke a sense of tradition and history and encapsulate the spirit of the Wren boys and the ancient house visiting traditions of Ireland, where the kitchen floor became the stage. The Rhyming tradition is a celebration of the ‘theatre of the people’ and has inspired many poets such as Seamus Heaney, Brendan Kennelly, John Montague and John Hewitt. The Armagh Rhymers are supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Catch the Armagh Rhymers roaming in the Diamond in the Town area (no. 15 on map) 

Established in Ballymartin village Co Down in 1968 in the kingdom of Mourne, the Ballymartin Brian Boru Pipe Band are one of only six Brian Boru pipe bands remaining in Northern Ireland. Brian Boru war pipes are a version of the great Highland bagpipe. The Brian Boru bagpipe was invented and patented in 1908 by Harry Starck.  

Listen to the Ballymartin Pipe Band on Saturday 17th August roaming around the Diamond in the Town area (no. 15 on map) 

The name Ferguson is steeped in history, not only in Northern Ireland but throughout the world as innovator Harry Ferguson modernised the farming industry with his little grey Ferguson tractor. Born at Growell near Hillsborough Co-Down on the foothills of the Dromara mountains this small town land called Drumlough is the area in which a pipe band was formed in 2008. After seeking permission from the Ferguson family, the Harry Ferguson memorial pipe band was born. The (Harry) band has become a social hub of activity for the local community bringing with it a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere with an opportunity to help people of all ages improve their musical ability and culture, with plenty of craic and banter along the way.

The Harry band is not only about the music, it’s about building relationships and sharing the Ulster Scott’s heritage. Proudly supported by Friends of Ferguson heritage N.I & The Harry Ferguson Celebration Committee. 

Watch the Ferguson Pipe Band on Sunday 17th August roaming around the Diamond in the Town area (no. 15 on map) 

Twin brothers Roy and Noel Spence, hailing from Comber Co. Down, have been making films and inspiring film makers for over fifty years. Their remarkable and sometimes eccentric films span many genres, from sci-fi to horror. A teacher by trade, Roy Spence was seconded to the Ulster Folk Museum in the 1980s where he made a series of wonderful documentaries capturing folk-life and heritage skills and crafts, some made in the museum itself.  We are thrilled to be screening some of these films again in the museum.

Learn about making films from the Spencer Brothers at Gilford Picture House in the Town area (no. 26 on map) 

CRAFT NI are the sector lead body for Craft in Northern Ireland, with a mission to build an integrated, entrepreneurial, and vibrant contemporary crafts sector in Northern Ireland. Their gallery is located on Royal Avenue in Belfast and showcases a wide range of craft and applied art by local makers.

For the Making Festival, their exhibition will highlight the innovative application of traditional craft methods by local designer makers in a fresh and modern way. CRAFT NI will reveal a little of their personal inspiration and journey through traditional and contemporary craft skills.

Find CRAFT NI at the Photographers Studio (Reawakening Hub) in the Town area (no. 27 on map) 

The Traditional Folk are returning to the Folk Museum Making Festival this August! An Irish Traditional Folk band consisting of some of Ireland's top professional Folk musicians, their Making Festival performance will include a 3 piece band consisting of Fiddle, Flute, Guitar and Vocals to showcase their traditional talents. 

Listen to The Traditional Folk at McCusker's Pub in the Town area (no. 30 on map) 

Stage 1 Architecture Students at Queen’s University have this year undertaken a hypothetical design project using the Ulster Folk Museum as their setting, drawing inspiration from and aligning with the ongoing Reawakening project.  Two sites were chosen as suitable for proposals, located at the top of the town area of the outdoor museum.  Observational studies and analytical drawings of the existing Ulster Folk Museum acted as starting point for the project, and there was a focus on traditional sustainable practices through the exploration of traditional crafts, skills and construction evident on site.  The resulting design proposals represent the students’ response within this context, encompassing living, growing, making, multipurpose gathering spaces for community events/workshops, and exhibition space for hypothetical artist and maker residences.

See the Queens University Architecture Student Final Projects downstairs in the RIC in the Town area (no. 19 on map) 

Lilting is a form of mouth music common to our music tradition. Listen to Lilting in action and learn about this interesting artform and why it's so important. 

An Droichead is an Irish language organisation that preserves and promotes the development of Irish language and culture through education, arts, family & community services, and outreach work. An Droichead are at the centre of the growing traditional music community in Belfast. 

Listen to Lilting by An Droichead at Ballydugan Weavers in the Field area (no. 39 on map) 

Come along to the Weavers Cottage to hear performances from Maurice Leyden and Jane Cassidy of folk songs from the Ulster Weaving Tradition.

An Droichead is an Irish language organisation that preserves and promotes the development of Irish language and culture through education, arts, family & community services, and outreach work. An Droichead are at the centre of the growing traditional music community in Belfast.

Listen to Weaving songs by An Droichead at Ballydugan Weavers in the Field area (no. 39 on map)