As in many other places around the world, a quick after-work drink is never a bad thing in such a popular place as the Harp Bar in Belfast. Once a meeting point for punks, it is today an established cultural institution in Belfast.
Van Morrison once gave a gig here, as so did the Stiff Little Fingers and The Undertones. The new Harp Bar is located just a few metres away from the old Harp Bar, where Belfast’s punks rocked out in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Quite a few artists made a name for themselves here, some even gaining international fame. Back then, Hill Street used to be a dark place in a run-down former business and commercial district. Over the last twenty years, the Cathedral Quarter has been transformed into a cultural centre that now hosts events such as the annual Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. To this day, the Harp Bar is one of the most visited pubs in the area, probably also due to the live music every night. The historic version of the Harp Bar, replicated in a studio, once featured prominently in the multi-award winning movie hit “Good Vibrations”, released in 2013. It chronicles the life of Terri Hooley, a record-store owner who was instrumental in developing Belfast’s punk-rock scene at the time of the Northern Ireland conflict - back in those days, punk provided a social escape for dissenters of all denominations, playing a mediating role between Protestants and Catholics.