— Culture Night (@CultureNight) August 9, 2017
DESPITE THE SQUEEZE in funding for culture and the arts in post-recession Ireland, one cultural institution that has gone from strength to strength is returning for a twelfth night.
This Friday 22 September, Culture Night will take over all parts of Ireland as 1,400 venues nationwide open their doors after hours to allow people to indulge in all things artistic and creative for one night only.
The 12th annual Culture Night will see towns and cities across Ireland transformed into cultural hubs, with all of the 3,000 events free to the public.
Ahead of last year’s edition, Dublin City Council’s Arts Officer Ray Yeates told TheJournal.ie that the event “doesn’t seem to want to stop growing – there are more and more venues every year”.
“I think it’s totally true that people may not have been in the national gallery but on Culture Night they go for the first time,” said Yeates. “Here is a special thing that I can bring the children to, it’s free and we can go and have a hot chocolate afterwards and head home on the bus. It has a certain crowd that gathers around it.”
Everything from museums, galleries, cathedrals, studios, libraries, parks, government buildings, theatres and more will be opened to the public for the occasion.
There are hundreds of events taking place across Dublin on the night, but other parts of the country will have more on than ever before with something to cater for all ages and tastes on the programme.
There are far too many to name, but here are a few that caught our eye:
- A pop-up trad tour will perform music and song around Achill Island.
- You can visit a fine art museum, paint an entire room, be inside an animated movie or build a unique sculpture at a VR party in Offaly.
- Unpublished authors and poets will “speed pitch” their ideas to the O’Brien Press in Dublin.
- An immersive morning dance party will take place at Meeting House Square in Dublin with Morning Gloryville.
- The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will perform two concerts from a programme including Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy.
- A screening of the film Maze in Cork will be followed by a Q&A with director Stephen Burke.
- Three of Ireland’s most skilled fire performers will bring their latest show Firestorm to Clare.
- In Cavan, a musical exhibition created and constructed from recycled materials and re-purposed objects, such as bicycle wheels and office printers, will take place.
To help get people around on the night, Dublin Bus, Irish Rail and Bus Éireann in Cork are offering free services to help you take in as much culture as you can.
Keep an eye out for news of this year’s TheJournal Culture Night preview bus.
With reporting from Aoife Barry