Béal Festival 2012 is a festival of new music and poetry. The whole festival takes place over three days (Nov 7th - 9th) in the Banquet Hall at Smock Alley. The format is open-plan, trying wherever possible to allow different aesthetics and approaches to rub against each other.

Featured composers include: Robert Ashley and Tom Johnson with a European première of Ashley's recent opera World War III as well as a newly-commissioned work by Johnson for vocal ensemble.

The festival features a wild multiplicity of creative approaches to text and music. There are works with both projected and performed text, Carnatic text-based improvisation, phonetic games, poetry read through resonant objects and readings by poets from the experimental wing of Irish poetry.