The Waterfront Hall is an iconic venue and been instrumental in bringing the world’s stars to Belfast.
Waterfront Hall has been a beacon of peace within Belfast. First opening its doors in 1997, it came at a turning point in the history of the city and has since gone on to host some of the most iconic names to visit Belfast.
Designed by local architects Robinson McIlwaine and built by contractors Gilbert Ash, the Waterfront Hall was introduced to the people of Belfast in an opening concert on 17 January 1997, where guests were treated to a breath-taking performance by Ulster Orchestra in collaboration with world-renowned flautist, Sir James Galway, and internationally-acclaimed pianist, Barry Douglas.
Since its inaugural concert, Waterfront Hall was making headlines again when it hosted U2 for the infamous ‘Yes’ concert; a free concert for the youth of Belfast which was envisioned as a last hope to get the ‘yes’ vote over the line in the historic referendum that took place just three days later. The people of Belfast took the world by surprise when 71% of the voters opted for peace, overwhelmingly endorsing the Good Friday Agreement which was instrumental in bringing peace to Northern Ireland.
First came peace, then came prosperity
As Belfast rebuilt itself moving into the 21st Century, the economy grew and the nightlife economy was rejuvenated. Waterfront Hall was fundamental in the development of the city of Belfast hosting some of the biggest names in live entertainment; Van Morrison, Blondie, Neil Diamond, One Direction and Snow Patrol have all graced the stage of Waterfront Hall and brought their energy to the city of the Belfast.
In 2016, the portfolio grew and a £29.5M extension was granted to establish Northern Ireland’s largest convention centre, ICC Belfast. The status of Belfast was growing in Europe and it was fast-becoming the vibrant city we have before us today.
The future is rich for Belfast, and it’s our role as a city to show every visitor and artist our energy and passion for live entertainment…and that starts at the Waterfront Hall!