“Dolores keeping the punk spirit alive with new Belfast music walking tour”
Creative Tours Belfast
in association with Oh Yeah Music Centre present
the Belfast Music Walking Tour
If you were looking for the right person to host a musical walking tour of Belfast, then someone who jumped up on stage in the Ulster Hall in 1978 and played drums to ‘Peaches’ with punk legends The Stranglers would probably fit the bill!
Live music has always played a central role in Dolores Vischer’s life – and still does. Following her recent retirement from Queen’s University after almost 20 years, Dolores decided to explore her long-held dream of becoming a tour guide.
Over a period of 18 months during the pandemic, Dolores studied to become a qualified Belfast Green Badge Tourist Guide. One of the modules on her course was to develop a new walking tour and with her lifelong passion for music, Dolores knew what the theme of her tour had to be.
Since qualifying as a tour guide, Dolores has set up a new business – Creative Tours Belfast – to showcase her home city’s arts to the world. She offers a range of walking tours to locals and visitors alike, covering music, street art, historic entries and pubs, all of which are delivered with her trademark combination of facts and fun.
Speaking about her new venture and the forthcoming summer season of the Belfast Music Walking Tour, Dolores says:
“Music is part of what keeps me feeling young. I’m lucky enough to have boundless energy and during festivals can be out at arts events seven nights a week! During the punk era, if something didn’t exist, you made it happen – and that’s what I’m doing with Creative Tours Belfast.
“Belfast has such a rich music heritage and so much talent, past and present, across all genres. From electronic to classical and punk; opera to folk and pop – and everything in between. The recent designation of the City of Music title by UNESCO makes it the perfect time for locals and visitors alike to discover more about Belfast’s musical stories.”
Starting out at the Ulster Hall, the Belfast Music Walking Tour explores some of the venues that are important in Belfast’s musical history. Guests can find out about some of the characters down the years who’ve shaped the city’s music culture, and acknowledge some of the talented people, festivals and events taking it forward today.
The tour concludes with a visit to Belfast’s own dedicated music hub, the Oh Yeah Centre, with a chance to browse the centre’s NI Music Exhibition, which features memorabilia from Northern Ireland musicians including Snow Patrol and Stiff Little Fingers. Guests can then settle down to enjoy a special, private performance by a local musician, often a rising star who has completed an Oh Yeah Talent Development programme.
Charlotte Dryden, Chief Executive of Oh Yeah explained the centre’s support for the new walking tour:
“With the NI Music Exhibition and Belfast Music Bus Tour already provided by Oh Yeah, there was just one thing missing from the city’s offering – a walking tour!
Walking around a city with someone who is both knowledgeable and entertaining is the best way to get to know a new place – or to fall in love with your home all over again. We love Dolores’ personality, energy and passion for music and are thrilled to be supporting her new venture.”
The summer schedule for the Belfast Music Walking Tour begins on Friday 8 July and will run two or three times a month on a Friday or Saturday. Each tour starts at 1pm outside the Ulster Hall and ends at 4pm at the Oh Yeah Music Centre.
The new walking tour also complements the two-hour Belfast Music Bus Tour offered by Oh Yeah, that Dolores occasionally takes out. The music bus tour is starting up again for summer, usually running on the last Saturday in the month: The next bus tour dates are Saturday 23 July and Saturday 27 August.
To purchase tickets for the respective tours, search ‘Belfast Music Walking Tour’ or ‘Belfast Music Bus Tour’ on www.visitbelfast.com
For further information or interview requests, please contact: Dolores Vischer, firstname.lastname@example.org ,tel: 07305 754028
1. Dolores Vischer of Creative Tours Belfast is first and foremost a passionate and knowledgeable music fan.
She is a Belfast ‘Green Badge’ Tourist Guide – a qualification awarded by the UK-wide Institute of Tourist Guiding (ITG). Dolores is a member of ITG and also of the Northern Ireland Tourist Guide Association.
In addition to being a keen gig goer and local music lover, Dolores enjoys singing and has performed with several choirs, as well as playing the drums and bodhran. She has been a member of the Girls Rock School NI team, organising a series of GRSNI gigs, and is a member of the Over the Hill (OTH) Collective.
Growing up between Donegal and Belfast, she loved widely differing genres of music – from the vibrant Irish trad scene in Donegal, where she learned bodhran, to the thrill of raw punk gigs in Belfast’s Harp Bar in the late 1970s. She also plays the drums, (which is where her Stranglers claim to fame comes in!)
2. Belfast became a UNESCO City of Music in November 2021, celebrating the city’s rich musical heritage and recognising the importance of music to its future. Belfast is the third city in the UK to become a City of Music with Liverpool receiving it in 2016 and Glasgow in 2008. It is also the first city on the island of Ireland to receive the accolade. There are 59 Cities of Music forming part of the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and Emmy-nominated composer Hannah Peel have been appointed official Belfast Music patrons (by Belfast City Council).
3. The Oh Yeah Music Centre
Oh Yeah is Belfast’s dedicated music hub, a resource for music makers and also for the business of music. A charity and social enterprise, it was constituted in 2007 in the belief that music is a valuable agent in Northern Ireland, a catalyst that changes lives for the better. Oh Yeah’s Mission Statement is ‘Open Doors to Music’. It provides affordable rehearsal space, a live venue, a music exhibition, a café space, a recording studio, a song-writing room and workshop spaces. Oh Yeah programmes focus on talent development, industry mentoring and community outreach. It runs two annual festivals, Sound of Belfast and Women’s Work. The building also homes local music enterprises. www.ohyeahbelfast.com