Coronavirus isn’t going to stop Street Art being painted in Belfast. It might delay it though.
Hit The North, having recently moved from it’s traditional September slot as part of Culture Night, moved to the first May Bank Holiday Weekend last year. Before they had a chance to settle into their new date, Coronavirus saw it get cancelled, before they were able to slot in a smaller scale event in September, taking place seven days ago on 20th September.
Part of the May event was a Lisburn event leading into it on the Thursday night before. Unfortunately, that did bite the dust.
If you don’t know, Hit The North is a Street Art event where new pieces get painted in the Northern End of Belfast City Centre.
This year’s location was Kent Street and Union Street. Or to put it in simpler terms, near The Sunflower.
As it was near Stephen Street, where a mural of Catwoman and Joker was painted last year, I took an opportunity to have a look. Sadly, it has since been defaced.
The event started at 12pm, and I arrived there at around 12.30pm, having a look about and snapping pictures every ten to fifteen minutes to chart the progress.
As it was a much smaller event, there were no sneaky starters. In previous years, due to the size of the artwork and time needed, some artists would start a few days in advance.
There was a decent sized crowd during the day but very little concerns regarding Social Distancing as people were keeping their distance. It did help that the streets hosting the event were pedestrianised for the day.
Another plus was the weather, dry throughout, which helped make the day a more enjoyable experience.
Amongst the Artists on display included KVLR, Holly Pereira, Danni Simpson, Glen Molloy and Friz.
Holly Pereira incidentally, turned up in advance to paint the entry that leads from the back of Guiney’s.
It was interesting, but not surprising, to note that the mural of Lyra McKee painted as part of last year’s event was untouched.
I left just after 4pm on the Sunday, but returned on the Monday night after work to have a look, and there was already a crowd of people getting photos.
With brighter weather and more daylight to work with on Wednesday, I returned to get some photos when out for my lunch. I had to be quick though due to not having a lot of time to work with.
While I was there, there was someone else getting photos ….. of their dog in front of the artwork.
To be honest, Dogs In Front Of Murals sounds very Tumblr.
With more time on my hands after work and daylight until 6.30pm, I cycled over on the Wednesday teatime to get more photos as the ones at lunchtime were rushed. Again, there were people turning up to get photos and admire them.
A lot of events in Belfast are doubtful, even for 2021, because this city is too stupid to not spread a virus. I’m actually considering staging a coup at Belfast City Hall and putting myself in charge. Thankfully, this event looks safe.
Whatever the situation regarding Coronavirus in 2021 and beyond, at least Belfast has it’s Street Art, the only decent thing about the city. Might be worth someone painting a mural which simply says “WALK ON THE LEFT YOU IDIOTS”.