MAC is back

Press Release: One of Ireland’s leading arts venues, the MAC Belfast, is set to offer a warm welcome back to visitors to its galleries and cafe bar from Wednesday 2nd September. Operating reduced opening hours, 10am - 4pm, Wednesday - Sunday, the staff at the city centre venue are so looking forward to welcoming visitors back again.

Having been forced to close in March, like all arts venues and many other businesses in NI, due to the ongoing pandemic, the MAC has put precautionary measures in place that will allow it to open its doors again and host visitors safely and enjoyably. All three galleries will be open to the public, plus the Cafe Bar on the ground floor which will serve a tasty brunch and lunch menu, homemade sweet treats, tea, coffee and family-friendly options.

As well as achieving the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry-standard mark under Government and public health guidance, the MAC has implemented a carefully planned social distancing system, introduced pre-booking to its galleries to monitor visitor numbers and is operating an enhanced hygiene regime throughout the venue. All visitors must also sanitise their hands regularly and wear a face-covering during their visit.

Speaking ahead of the reopening, Anne McReynolds, Chief Executive at the MAC explained what visitors can expect on their return to the MAC. She said:

“We are thrilled to officially announce that the MAC is back, albeit with a few new changes. We are anxiously awaiting news on our theatres being able to reopen but have been working behind the scenes for months to enable us to be one of the few arts venues in the city able to welcome visitors back to our galleries and cafe bar.

We are delighted to have, for our first reopening exhibition, a selection of work across our three galleries from the graduate class of 2020 from Ulster University, which would have formed part of their final year show. As our close neighbours, this is the perfect opener helping to showcase our next generation of artists to visitors to the MAC.

Access to the arts has been badly missed during the lockdown, with lots of people turning to art, literature and music to provide an expressive outlet for themselves and spread positive messages of hope. That only reinforces the importance of venues like the MAC, the Lyric, the Grand Opera House and others, as a powerful tool for wellbeing and pleasure, not to mention a driver for the local economy. We hope our colleagues in the industry will soon be in a position to be opening their doors again too.

While things will be a little different, we’ll still have all our exciting exhibitions, terrific hospitality and the same great experience that you’ve come to expect at the MAC. Our doors will be flung open and we look forward to seeing everyone on September 2nd.”

Gallery slots are now pre-bookable online between 10am and 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday, to help manage visitor numbers. Visitors solely wishing to visit the Cafe Bar do not need to book in advance and are very much encouraged to call in. On arrival, all guests will enter via the Exchange Street West entrance and will follow a one-way system throughout, exiting via Saint Anne’s Square.

Proudly supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland.