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Friday 24 June 2022
– Sunday 26 June 2022

The MAC Belfast
10 Exchange Street West
Belfast
BT1 2NJ

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Join us in Belfast – for a weekend of science and politics, culture and comedy – at Humanists UK Convention 2022

In 2016, Northern Ireland Humanists came together to unite its growing number of members, supporters, and campaigners, and to respond to increasing demand to put humanism into practice, including through work in schools, ceremonies, and campaigns for a more secular, inclusive vision of Northern Ireland. In the five years since its foundation, Northern Ireland Humanists has quickly established itself as one of Northern Ireland’s leading human rights organisations, and a voice for the non-religious that cannot be ignored. It’s no wonder that it’s in Northern Ireland we’ve seen the fastest growth in the non-religious population – and that in Northern Ireland, the fastest-growing religion or belief groups is the non-religious.

Clearly, change has come to Northern Ireland – and I hope you’ll come see it for yourself, and enjoy a weekend getaway in one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in the UK.

After five years of such success, it’s only fitting that it’s in Belfast that Humanists UK Convention makes its return. With gorgeous architecture, stunning natural beauty, great museums, and some of the UK’s best bars and restaurants, Belfast has it all.

At our 2022 Convention, Tim McGarry will lead an all-star cast of scientists, historians, philosophers, activists, and comedians for a fantastic celebration of humanism and World Humanist Day. Join us!

Our ticket types

Convention

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Tickets for Humanists UK Convention 2022 are £99, and we have a special rate of £59 for students.

Ticket-holders are entitled to attend all sessions of Convention 2022 from Friday evening comedy through to Sunday afternoon.

General ticket £99
Student ticket £59

Food add-ons

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Attendees may choose to add on teas, coffees, and lunch on both days. Please note that the Gala Dinner is now sold out.
We include these as optional add-ons to allow attendees to choose the shape of their weekend, while keeping the basic ticket price as low as possible.

plus coffees, teas, and lunch +£59

Day Tickets

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Friday

Featuring Tim McGarry, Angela Barnes, Eleanor Tiernan, and Colin Murphy

Friday night comedy £15

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Saturday

Featuring Francesca Stavrakopoulou, A C Grayling, Laura Lacole, and more

Saturday ticket £49

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Sunday

Featuring Adam Rutherford, Richard Wiseman, and more

Sunday ticket £39


Speakers

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Tim
McGarry

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Eleanor
Tiernan

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Angela
Barnes

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Colin
Murphy

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Imtiaz
Shams

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Laura
Lacole

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Andrew
Copson

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Kate
Devlin

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Alyson
Kilpatrick

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A C
Grayling

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Francesca
Stavrakopoulou

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Adam
Rutherford

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Gary
McLelland

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Madeleine
Goodall

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Rachel
Taggart‑Ryan

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Richard
Wiseman


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Tim McGarry

Comedian and actor

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Eleanor Tiernan

Comedian

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Angela Barnes

Comedian

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Colin Murphy

Comedian

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Imtiaz Shams

Co-founder, Faith to Faithless

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Laura Lacole

Humanist campaigner, model, and media contributor

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Andrew Copson

Chief Executive, Humanists UK

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Kate Devlin

Author, Turned On: Science, Sex, and Robots

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Alyson Kilpatrick

Chief Commissioner, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

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A C Grayling

Philosopher, author, and Vice President of Humanists UK

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Francesca
Stavrakopoulou

Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion historian

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Adam Rutherford

Geneticist, author, and broadcaster

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Gary McLelland

Chief Executive, Humanists International

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Madeleine Goodall

Humanist Heritage Coordinator

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Rachel Taggart‑Ryan

Campaigns Officer

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Richard Wiseman

Psychologist, magician, and author

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Testimonials

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We need a spirit of optimism and a sense of the progress we’re making – and the Convention delivered it.

Humanists UK Convention 2019 attendee

 

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I loved the variety of the talks and sessions – not just specifically humanist topics.

Humanists UK Convention 2019 attendee

 

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Comedy was brilliant. Speakers were brilliant. Delegates were brilliant.

Humanists UK Convention 2019 attendee

 

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I enjoyed the high quality speakers who brought so many ideas and such understanding to us. I felt thrilled to belong to an organisation which takes action at the highest levels of politics and does so much work in so many fields. I enjoyed the sense of being with people who shared my values and were of similar mind. Thank you to all who organised it.

Humanists UK Convention 2019 attendee

 

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It’s like in the old days, when we used to read newspapers – when you turn the page, you’re not sure what you’re going to get. So it can be challenging and thought-provoking, but most of all it is an oasis of greatness in a world that is going absolutely mad.

Humanists UK Convention 2019 attendee

 

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I loved the fabulous array of speakers – top quality people with really stimulating and worthwhile things to say. Utterly brilliant.

Humanists UK Convention 2019 attendee

 

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Excellent speakers who were witty and spoke from the heart.

Humanists UK Convention 2017 attendee

 

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An excellent experience for my first convention – interesting, stimulating, varied and a lot of fun.

Humanists UK Convention 2017 attendee

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Thank you for a very enjoyable and enlightening weekend. I’m so glad that I took the plunge into the unknown to meet such a friendly bunch of people. I think I will be signing up…!

Humanists UK Convention 2017 attendee

 

Programme

The below times are tentative and subject to adjustment

Friday 24 June

Start time End time Session
19:00 21:00 Comedy night
21:00 23:00 Welcome drinks

Saturday 25 June

Start time End time Session
08:30 Registration
09:00 12:00 Morning sessions
12:00 13:00 Lunch
13:00 17:00 Afternoon sessions
19:00 00:00

Drinks reception and gala dinner

No dress code

Sunday 26 June

Start time End time Session
09:30 Registration
10:00 12:00 Morning sessions
12:00 13:00 Lunch
13:00 15:00 Afternoon sessions
15:30 ~17:00 Humanists UK AGM – members only

Host city

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For the first time ever, Humanists UK Convention will visit Belfast – capital of Northern Ireland, home to almost almost 400,000 non-religious people. Our venue for the weekend is The MAC Belfast, right in the heart of the city centre.

We will update this section with more to see and do in Belfast, and information about local amenities in the future.

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Accessibility

The MAC Belfast has produced an Access the MAC Welcome Pack.

The MAC has lifts to all levels and their Front of House team is fully trained to provide additional assistance during your visit.

The theatres booked by Humanists UK for Plenary and Parallel sessions are fitted with induction loops.

Should you have any specific requirements, or feedback, the MAC Belfast is contactable at tickets@themaclive.com.

Reducing our environmental impact

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As we reckon with the climate crises, we are seeking ways to reduce our environmental impact at every stage. We are particularly aware of this in 2022, when we expect an appreciable proportion of attendees to travel from Great Britain.

As a result, we will be providing our full-colour programmes in an electronic (PDF) format by default. Attendees wishing to receive a printed full-colour programme can purchase one alongside their ticket. This is not a profit-seeking measure. Any surplus generated from these sales will be donated to Belfast City Council’s One Million Trees initiative.

In addition, if you intend to fly, we offer the option to offset your CO2 emissions direct from your ticket-buying page. All post-tax proceeds from this option will go direct to a Voluntary Gold Standard carbon offset project. Humanists do not agree about everything and carbon offsetting is not without controversy. We merely offer this as an option. Attendees are welcome to decide for themselves how, or if, they wish to offset their environmental impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How do the food add-ons work?

  • Our base ticket does not include any food or refreshments, including teas or coffees. We separate these out to allow us to offer the ticket at as low a price as possible, to allow as many people to attend as possible.

    The most affordable General ticket is now £30 lower than in 2015. Attendees are welcome to add on coffees, teas, and lunches, and the Gala Dinner, or to arrange their own food from the range of shops and eateries in Belfast City Centre.

Can I bring my lunch in from outside the venue?

  • No. As is standard, our venue’s terms and conditions do not allow food to be brought in from off the premises.

Is there a dress code for the Gala Dinner?

  • No. You should wear what you feel most comfortable wearing. Some people take a quick nap, freshen up, and have a change of clothes before dinner, while others head out to see what Belfast has to offer.

Can I attend just the Gala Dinner?

  • No. The Gala Dinner on Saturday night is open only to Convention attendees with the Gala Dinner add-on.

Can I attend the Gala Dinner without adding on lunch?

  • Yes. We have added now added the option for attendees join the Gala Dinner without having also bought a lunch add-on. This decision makes the dinner a more affordable prospect for more attendees. However, you must still be a Convention attendee to attend the Gala Dinner.

Can I get a printed programme?

  • Yes. By default, the option to receive a printed programme is selected when booking your ticket. If you leave the checkbox selected, you will receive a full-colour printed booklet at registration.

    At previous Conventions we have printed a programme for each attendee, and have always had many spare by the end of the weekend. We have take the decision to make the programme available by request, to cut down on unnecessary printing and waste. All attendees will be emailed an full-colour electronic version of the programme in advance of the event, and we will have simplified black-and-white schedules available at the venue.

    Any surplus raised by the charge on the printed programme will be donated to Belfast City Council’s One Million Trees initiative.

Are there hearing loops in the venue?

  • There are hearing loops in the Downstairs Theatre and the Upstairs Theatre, where all our plenary and parallel sessions are taking place.

    The Factory, our Gala Dinner room, does not have a hearing loop. If you indicate you are d/Deaf or hard-of-hearing when buying your ticket, we will make sure you are seated in the best position for dinner.

Where does each part of the day take place?

  • Our plenary sessions take place in The Downstairs Theatre, on the Ground Floor. When two sessions are running in parallel, we will also make use of the Upstairs Theatre, on the First Floor. Our catering spaces are on the sixth floor, and there are lifts between all floors. We ask you to take the stairs if you can, to leave the lift free for those who need them.

Do you offer day tickets?

  • Yes! See the section on ‘Our ticket types’ towards the top of the page.

Can I pay in installments?

  • No. Unfortunately our systems are not capable of processing payments by installment at this time.

Do you offer discounts?

  • No. We have reduced our minimum ticket price for everyone, from £129 in 2015 to £99 in 2022, to allow as many people as possible to attend each year.

I only bought one ticket. Why does my confirmation show more than one ‘total participants’?

  • This is expected behaviour. Behind the scenes, our system ‘counts’ your Convention ticket and your add-ons in the same way, each as distinct parts of the one event. If you have purchased a Convention ticket, a lunch add-on, and a Gala Dinner add-on, your confirmation email will tell you there are three total participants. This is normal, and nothing to worry about.

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Event policies

Cancellations

Bookings may be cancelled free of charge up to 120 days prior to the Convention start date (by 24 February 2022, inclusive). Bookings cancelled 60-119 days (by 25 April 2022, inclusive) from the start date will incur a 50% charge of the full price of the ticket. Cancellations made within 60 days of the Convention start date (from 26 April, inclusive) will not be refunded, but may, at the discretion of Humanists UK and with no less than 21 days’ notice (by 3 June 2022, inclusive), be transferred to another eligible individual. Any refunds for ticket cancellations will be processed within two months.

Speakers

All appearances are subject to speakers’ work and other commitments.

Photography, video, and audio recording

Humanists UK reserves the right to photograph and record video and audio of all public sections of the Convention and to make public the footage as it sees appropriate. Please be aware that by attending Humanists UK Convention 2022, you consent to your voice, name, and/or likeness being used, without compensation, in any and all media, whether now known or hereafter devised, for eternity, and you release Humanists UK, its successors, assigns, and licensees from any liability whatsoever of any nature. If you would like to ensure that you are not captured in any media, please contact events@humanists.uk and we will do our best to accommodate you.

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