The Lyric Theatre Belfast has been voted the 'Most Welcoming Venue' by participants of Audiences Northern Ireland's 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Arts' Project.
The award was voted for by members of the project at an awards night in the Hudson Bar, with participants highlighting the warm and friendly staff and the inviting setting when visiting the Lyric Theatre Belfast to see Philadelphia Here I Come.
Ciara McCann, Customer Services Manager at the Lyric Theatre, said: “We are delighted to accept this accolade for ‘Most Welcoming Venue’ from Audiences NI’s Hitchhikers’ project. It is particularly special because we were voted for by a group of non-traditional theatre goers who found our theatre a warm and welcoming place to spend an evening. It is also a great pleasure for Lyric staff who work very hard to ensure all our customers have an enjoyable experience at this theatre.”
The trip to see Brian Friel’s classic play Philadelphia Here I Come back in February was part of Audiences NIproject ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Arts’. The project aimed to give new arts audiences the chance to try out different shows and events at no financial risk. The ‘Hitchhikers’ received a VIP experience to five different art forms including visual art, opera, classical music, cultural cinema and theatre with guest tickets and exclusive talks from venue staff and artists.
Danielle Ross, Programmes, Membership and Events Manager at Audiences NI said “We are delighted that the ‘Hitchhikers’ voted the Lyric Theatre as the most welcoming venue during their time with the project. ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Arts’ was designed to introduce non-traditional arts attenders to what the arts in Northern Ireland has to offer. We would like to thank all the venues who took part and made their first arts experiences so special.”
Speaking about their time with the project, one of the ‘Hitchhikers’ said, “This whole thing has been a totally new experience, I could see the effort that artists and performers put into entertaining us and I found that very moving. It’s been really fun and I feel like we’ve really supported the city of Belfast. The benefits of experiencing the arts are so evident, I’m sure not only for older people like myself but children and those with mental illness.”
The participants of the Hitchhikers project also voted the staff at the Ulster Hall ‘Friendliest Staff’ and the Opera ‘Aida’ at the Waterfront Hall Belfast ‘Best Event’ and ‘Best Overall Experience’ during their time with the project.