We finished our 20th Festival last night. We're not usually ones for hyperbole, but the last 11 days have been - as the kids used to say - f***ing epic! We were chuffed to be able to bring together so many great acts and make a proper celebration of it. You came in record numbers to our festival. Wirtnessing the audience reactions was a sheer joy. Whether it was Spritualized in the Marquee, Say Sue Me in the Ulster Sports Club or the legendary Roy Walker in the Black Box last night, your amazing response has been the biggest thrill of all. Thank you.
Thanks must also go (deep breath) to the Festival core team - including Maggie, who hit the ground not running, but sprinting in her new role of making sure everytihng happens when it's suposed to happen, our intrepid and excellent intern Meabh, the magificent Louise and her Marquee team, Michael our "driver to the stars", Seamus our "van driver to the stars", sound guys (and sound guys) Barry H and John McG - the beautiful noise makers that they are, The American Bar team led by Ricky and Xander, who kept the marquee bar ticking over beautifully, the guys at Noreast, all our excellent partner venues includig The Black Box, The Sunflower and The Ulster Sports Club, Pauric and Keith for visuals both printed and electronic, our crack team of excellent venue managers including Caroline, John, Romy, Bernie, our snappy snappers Bernie and Gerry, our utterly fabulous film guy Will, the excellent promoters and bookers who helped us make this programme so very damn special, each and every one of our ace volunteers who do it for so much more than the teeshirt, our funders and sponsors, without whom..., all the artists that came and played a blinder, anyone in fact who was involved in any way. Whether it was buying a ticket or telling a friend about us, you're all part of this! And we think you're great.
And now we're off to drop Roy Walker back to the airport... "Say what you see", as the great man himself once said. We hope you saw one of the best arts festivals in this island over these last 11 days. See you all in January when we promise we'll definitely take you Out to Lunch. X #CQAF19 #Belfast