Northern Irish nightlife advocacy group Free The Night have announced their first fundraiser event, taking place 23rd April in East Belfast’s new venue, Banana Block with performances by some of Northern Ireland’s most prominent names in electronic music, plus a series of opening talks, followed by a Q&A session by the Free The Night team.

Free the Night is a non-profit organisation advocating for a progressive, creative night time economy that allows dancefloor culture and late night industries to thrive. The event serves to shine a light on the work the group have been doing since its launch last June, initially launching as a response to a lack of progression with recent changes to alcohol and entertainment licensing.

Sonically, the night will see a carefully curated setlist with both established and emerging grassroots artists performing. Following a groundbreaking twelve months of releases on top UK labels and a flurry of bookings at international festivals like Dekmantel and AVA, Northern Irish born Rotterdam-based artist Kessler returns to Belfast for the fundraiser. Support comes from legendary local club promoters Twitch, emerging talent Cartin, who will perform a live set, Sound Advice record store owner Marion Hawkes, local wordsmith MC EMBY and a special back-to-back from two of Belfast’s most exciting newcomer club nights – Jerry’s Stolen Goods and Plain Sailing.

Opening talks kick off at 5pm, with Dylan Murphy (District Mag) hosting a series of short discussions on the future of nightlife in Northern Ireland and the issues faced within the creative night time economy, including inadequate public and private transport at night, regressive licensing laws and lack of creative venue spaces. Speakers include Free The Night founders Holly Lester and Boyd Sleator, Free The Night lead researcher Ciara Power (QUB) and Irish DJ Sunil Sharpe, founder of sibling nightlife advocacy organisation Give Us The Night in the Republic of Ireland.

Talks will be followed by a Q+A, with time for the audience to speak with Free the Night about any issues they are currently facing as workers or users of nightlife in Northern Ireland. There will also be a chance to discuss volunteering opportunities within the team. 

Tickets are just £10 and available to purchase here

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