Culture Night is one of the most exciting evenings of the year. Galleries, museums and historical buildings fling their doors open wide and invite us in for free, and have later opening times
If you haven’t done anything for it before, this year it’s on September 20 and a great chance to go and visit that tour, exhibition or historical building that you have been meaning to go to for ages. The evening is a celebration of Irish heritage, culture, music and art, with most activities being friendly for the entire family.
It’s a popular event, now in its 14th year, with communities all around the country getting involved. There are endless lists of events you can attend, with many of them already booked up or filling up fast.
Tickets to almost everything are free of charge but you still need to book in for many of the events as it’s so popular. Whichever city you live in, it’s sure to come alive on the night. With so many events, pop-ups and exhibitions on you’ll find people are hopping from one to another and perhaps stopping for a pint in between.
Here’s our pick of some of the best events on this year;
The National Gallery: Flamenco and free tours
As well as just getting to spend the evening in the beautiful space that is The National Gallery, you’ll be able to experience Flamenco dance performances, live music, workshops, photo booths, choirs, and complimentary guided tours. It is free for the evening but you will be able to purchase wine and tapas on the night at the Gallery Café. Open from 5-10pm this is an event suitable for the entire family.
Atelier Maser: Exhibition
Maser’s own open-plan studio will be open to the public on Culture Night from 4-10pm. As well as launching a new exhibition on the night, there will be a collection of pieces from other internationally renowned street artists on display too. You may be given the catch a glimpse of some works in progress whilst you’re there.
The Abbey Theatre: Get a look behind the scenes
Our national theatre will be allowing us to visit their vast collection of props, archives, design material and portrait collection. As a big part of Ireland’s cultural history, this is a must-see. It will be free of charge on the night and is open from 4.30-8.30pm. Keep an eye on their social media where they will be releasing more information on the event details closer to the time.
Arran Street East: Pottery throwdown
Massive Ghost fan? Now is your chance to put your pottery knowledge to the test at Arran Street East’s Pottery Showdown. Watch two of their potters battle it out and the audience decides who wins!
This is on from 5 – 9 pm and is friendly for all the family — we think kids especially will love this one. They run regular throw-in workshops so this is a great chance to see the potters in action if you were thinking of signing up yourself. No need to book tickets for this one, you can just drop in on the night.
Dollard & Co: Print-making
If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at print-making, pay a visit to the pop-up printshop in Dollard & Co. It will be run by The National Print Museum, and they will be running through this traditional craft as you get to make your own. Not to mention you’ll be bringing home your own custom print when you’re done! There’s no need to book and the event runs from 4-9.30pm, plus you can grab a slice of their amazing pizza whilst you’re there.
The Hugh Lane Art Gallery: Music, workshops and film screenings
Personally, this is one of my favourite spots in Dublin and one that doesn’t get shouted about enough. Visit on Culture Night for film screenings, music, workshops and tours. If you’ve never been before, an absolute must-see is Francis Bacon’s studio, lovingly transported from London and displayed in the heart of the Gallery. There is no need to pre-book and the gallery is always free of charge, make sure to pop in between 5-10pm.
Town Hall Theatre: Baboró Children for Climate Change
Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s school strike for climate change? Bring the children along to this family-friendly workshop that showcases everyday ways to be more sustainable as well as arts and crafts with local artist Sandra Gonzalez. This is a free, drop-in event on from 4-5pm.
St Joseph’s Court: Film screening
To celebrate the 100 years since the first transatlantic flight, St Joseph’s Court in Clifden will be hosting a screening of Those Magnificent Men with finger food and refreshments afterwards. Sir Arthur Whitten and Sir John Alcock flew from Newfoundland in Canada before crash-landing in Derrygrimlagh Bog, Connemara in 1919. The event is completely free to all and begins at 5.30pm.
Oughterard Courthouse: James Joyce on Stage and Screen
If you’re a Joyce fan, this entire evening devoted to the man himself is for you. Beginning with a short production of The Muse and Mr Joyce, followed by an interpretive presentation afterwards. Lastly, at 8pm there will be a showing of The Dead, based on Joyce’s short story of the same name. No booking is required and this event is free of charge.
The English Market: Live music and local dishes
A popular spot whenever you’re out and about in Cork City, The English Market is also open on Culture Night. As well as the usual local vendors, there will be live music to keep you entertained as you stroll through soaking up the atmosphere as you go. The market will be open from 6.30-9.30pm.
Triskel Arts Centre: Film screening
This is one for the film buffs out there. The Triskel Arts Centre will be hosting two screenings in homage to the humble 1980’s videocassette. Viva VHS! will be screened at 7 pm and 8.45pm featuring the best of cheesy and classic 80’s film trailers. No booking is required, but bear in mind this event is not suitable for anyone under 18.
The Everyman: Behind the scenes tour
From 4-7pm, Cork’s Everyman Theatre will be opening its doors on culture night. Pop in earlier, between 1-2pm for a behind the scenes tour of this beautiful, Victorian theatre. Later in the evening there will be singing, dancing and storytelling from Jack and the Beanstalk as well as face painters for all the kids. Booking is not required, except for the behind the scenes tour which is more limited.
People’s Parklet: Flower arranging
Justine Looney from Cork Flower Studio will be hosting a flower arranging demo for the public, which is a great chance to flex your creative skills and try something new. It’s on from 4-5pm in the People’s Parklet, Douglas Street, booking is not necessary.
Images: Courtesy of culturenight.ie unless otherwise stated.
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