A message from Sophie our Chief Executive

After 18 months, we are looking forward to welcoming you back to our beautiful Victorian building.

We know many of you are eager to return; may we take a moment to explain our thinking and planning for the next few months. 

Firstly, our priority is for everyone to feel safe and comfortable in the building, so we are taking our time and will come back slow and steady. As some context: pre-COVID there would be around 800 people in the building every evening; this won’t be the same on our return. In line with NI Executive Guidance, we will enable 1m social distancing across all areas in the building and have staggered the start times of all our Courses and Workshops. 

So, over the next months: 

  • August: Crescent Staff and Creative Hub Companies have returned to work in the building. (We are also doing a fair bit of re-organising and tidying in August to get the building ready for you, further to extensive repair works)
  • September - December: We plan to run an in-person Creative Learning Autumn Term. We would usually run a 10-12 Week Term. Instead, this Autumn, our plan is to run a Part 1 (5 weeks) and a Part 2 (5 Weeks). Do keep an eye on our website, social and email for more information on Part 1, coming soon. 

We would like to take the opportunity to thank our funders - principal funder, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and Belfast City Council for sustained and generous support over this challenging period. 

The Crescent generates 70% of income through our programme activities/ticket sales. Our public sector investment does not cover our core costs. As such this has been a devastating time for us as it has for so many cultural organisations.  

If you have a moment, please take a read of this article which rang true for some of us - we think it highlights the position that many arts organisations, and our audiences, find themselves in.

In the meantime, if you do have any questions you can email us on 

We are really looking forward to seeing you soon, 

Best wishes, The Crescent 

And PS: for some online activity - we’ve got some great Book events coming up - see here (including Elizabeth Day on Tuesday 7 September and Luke Cassidy on Wednesday 29 September).  

At The Crescent we have implemented the following to try and create the safest possible environment: 

The following Guidelines have been written in accordance with the NI Executive announcement of the reopening of Theatres on 26 July 2021, Click here for the link to the announcement. 

The Crescent will update these Guidelines in line with updates from the NI Executive 

Our Five Key Messages are: 

  • Face coverings should be worn in public areas 
  • Use hand sanitiser and wash your hands often (There are hand sanitiser stations on every landing in the building) 
  • Maintain social distancing (1m) 
  • Adhere to our Track & Trace System 
  • If you show any signs of Covid-19 please do not enter the building 

These are explained in a bit more detail below: 

Face coverings should be worn in all public spaces. (This is a mandatory requirement - see link here). 

Once you are situated in your seat/allocated space, you are able to remove your mask for the duration of the session (the capacity and set up of each space in the building enables 1m social distancing).   We appreciate that for some artforms, situations may arise that require closer contact with the tutor e.g.  an Art Tutor wanting a closer look at your work. On this occasion, we ask that both Student and Tutor wear their face covering and keep time spent in close contact to a minimum. 

Maintain 1 metre social distancing. The Crescent is deceptively small/narrow in places,  and social distancing will be challenging to implement in certain areas. To help us all ensure we are maintaining a safe distance, we ask that public spaces are kept clear. We recognise that it’s really hard not to stop and chat in the corridors and public areas (and usually this would absolutely be encouraged!), but can we ask you to keep it brief so that everyone can feel confident navigating the building. There are a number of areas in the building where we will highlight recommended capacities, including the lift and toilets. 

We have set up each room so that you and your fellow classmates are 1 metre apart. Please leave the furniture where you found it. 

We have allowed a 1 hour gap between every Class/Workshop to allow for cleaning and ventilation, and have staggered start and end times of activity to ensure that the number of people moving in and out of our Front Door and Reception Area is kept to a minimum. 

Mechanical ventilation systems are in place in some of the spaces within The Crescent and will be in operation during activity. Spaces include The Cube, David Hill Studio, Helen Lewis Studio and the toilets. For areas where mechanical ventilation is not possible, we encourage the opening of windows to support the flow of fresh air in the space.

Use hand sanitiser and wash your hands often! There are hand sanitising stations located on every floor of the building, and there are toilet facilities on every floor.  It is recommended that you wash your hands regularly, and for 20 seconds. 

Adhere to our Track & Trace System. All users of the building are encouraged to download the Northern Ireland COVID-19 app – STOP COVID 19. ALL visitors to the building must be recorded. Customer information will be tracked via our Box Office system. At the time of booking you must provide up-to-date contact details. 

If you show any signs of Covid-19 please do not visit The Crescent.

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