Audiences will once again experience the joy of live culture and arts at one of the UK’s oldest purpose-built concert halls as the ‘Grand Old Dame of Bedford Street’ reopens.
Part of the fabric of Belfast’s entertainment scene for 150 years, the Ulster Hall was where Led Zeppelin’s classic ‘Stairway to Heaven’ was debuted in 1971. As well as playing host to boxing bouts, comedians and TV personalities, recent stars to grace its stage include Lewis Capaldi and Belfast native, Ryan McMullan.
Visitor safety will remain our priority at the AEV member venue that has been awarded the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard as well as the ‘Safe Travels’ stamp. In March 2020, Ulster Hall was redeployed as a food distribution centre. The venue then went on to host a series of virtual concerts in December 2020, bringing live music fans together safely at a time when staying apart was essential.
Sister venues, Waterfront Hall and ICC Belfast have been operating in a COVID secure way since last summer. Ulster Orchestra have been using the Waterfront Hall as a socially distanced rehearsal and broadcast space since August 2020, while ICC Belfast has been in use as a COVID secure Nightingale venue by the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service since January 2021.
These events have equipped the team with the knowledge and experience to return to the safe delivery of live events; ensuring best practice is followed and public health guidance is adhered to at all times.
Robust risk assessments, enhanced cleaning protocols and appropriate provision of PPE and signage to direct people flow are among the mitigation measures in place to provide peace of mind. Matching Ulster Hall’s platinum standards, our providers of hospitality, security and maintenance are working with us to facilitate a seamless and safe event experience.
Julia Corkey, ICC Belfast | Waterfront Hall | Ulster Hall Chief Executive commented on the announcement saying, “We are delighted to have received an indicative date for the reopening of Ulster Hall. This greatly assists the team in finalising plans to welcome visitors back to our venues. It provides our team and clients with the confidence that the industry will thrive once again. We are looking ahead to a positive future and are excited that we will now be able to bring back great live entertainment and business events that drive economic impact for Belfast and Northern Ireland.
A successful application to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Organisation Emergency Programme also enabled us to launch ‘Live from the Ulster Hall’ in December 2020, catapulting a 158-year-old concert hall into a new era of streaming and on-demand content.