Festival of Fools

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Festival of Fools
Bash Street Theatre, Belfast, May 2013 (21).JPG
Bash Street Theatre Company performing at Festival of Fools, Belfast, May 2013
Genre Street festival
Location(s) Belfast, Northern Ireland
Coordinates 54°36′07″N 5°55′34″W / 54.6020°N 5.9262°W / 54.6020; -5.9262Coordinates: 54°36′07″N 5°55′34″W / 54.6020°N 5.9262°W / 54.6020; -5.9262
Founded 2004

The Festival of Fools is an annual Street Festival held in Belfast, Northern Ireland, usually during the May Bank Holiday weekend. It first started in 2004 and includes performances from around the world. The festival is different from some other festivals in that performers are paid a fixed amount and money collected from audiences at the end of each show is used to fund the next years show. Celebrating its 10th year of events, the 2013 Festival of Fools ran from 2–6 May 2013 and was opened by a performance of 'The Strongman' by the Bash Street Theatre Company.[1]

Previous to that, the annual International Festival of Fools, created by the Friends Roadshow went on from 1975 to 1984 in Amsterdam.[2] It was a "comedy convention of the Nouveau Clowns".[3] In a nice twist, the circle continues to turn with co-founder of Friends Roadshow, Nola Rae, appearing at the 2009 Festival of Fools in Belfast in her new show Exit Napoleon Pursued By Rabbits.

The London Critics Group held an annual show called the Festival of Fools. Running over Christmas they satirised events of the previous year whilst including folklore and customs of each month. They were written by Ewan MacColl, staged in the back room of a North London pub, The New Merlin's Cave, and ran for five years in the late 1960s and early 1970s.


  1. ^ "Belfast's Festival of Fools celebrating 10 years of funny business". Belfast Telegraph (4 April 2013). Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  2. ^ Blanchette, Ron (Autumn 1977). "Amsterdam's Festival of Fools". Performing Arts Journal (PDF) (Performing Arts Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2) 2 (2): 86–90. doi:10.2307/3245341. JSTOR 3245341. 
  3. ^ "Clown & Fool JANGO EDWARDS BIOGRAPHY". Jango Edwards & Peter Ercolano website. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 

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