Culture Night - what's on and how to make the most of it
Everything you need to know ahead of Culture Night on Friday September 21
Culture Night may well be Ireland’s biggest and best free event with over 4,000 individual events taking place in 1600 venues across the country on Friday night.
Designed to celebrate arts and culture and open them up to people from all backgrounds and generations, it well and truly demolishes any perceived walls of snobbery and pretentiousness by being enormous fun.
As well as entertainment there are events designed to educate and inform on important issues from LGBT services opening their living library to the public to Concern Worldwide showing the work they do all over the world.
With so much on offer, however, it’s almost overwhelming and planning in advance is imperative. Thankfully, the organisers have added a new feature to their website which allows you to plan your Culture Night adventures and trails in advance.
We’ve picked out a few of the most interesting and quirkiest highlights from various genres in our main towns and cities below, but you’ll find the full jam-packed programme on www.culturenight.ie Bear in mind that there’s stuff going on in every nook and cranny of the country so even if it’s lashing rain and you’re feeling lazy, you probably won’t have to travel far.
Also, while events are free some do need to be booked in advance due to limited capacity so check the website first. You can also refine your searches to include family friend events, wheelchair accessible events, and Gaeilge events.
In Dublin and Cork, there will be a little help getting around courtesy of Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail, and Bus Eireann.
Dublin Bus will provide free buses every 20 minutes starting on Bachelor’s Walk, Pearse Street, Aston Quay and Eden Quay bringing visitors to and from their favourite cultural quarters. In Cork, Bus Éireann will provide three complimentary bus routes and Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail is offering 100 family passes for travel on Culture Night.
Even before you get stuck into Culture Night, you can indulge in a little culture on Friday morning with the new Culture Night Podcast, a series of four special episodes with contributions from Saint Sister, Irish language writer and poet Gabriel Rosenstock, Fiona Kearney of the Glucksman Cork and Edel Tobin of Waterford Walls Festival. They're in association with Headstuff Podcast Network and available to download across all platforms and from the website on Friday morning.
So, here's a brief taster of what's on, to whet your appetite...
Mundy and more
Culture Night ambassador Mundy is a Culture Night virgin but he’s looking forward to an interview and performance at Irish Music Rights Organisation in Dublin. The Offaly star, who has spent the summer touring Ireland before heading off to the US, will be joined by the legendary BP Fallon, Fangclub and Stephanie Rainey.
Nelson Mandela Exhibition
Kilmainham Gaol, Inchicore Road, Dublin 8, 5-8pm
The exhibition marks the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth and the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and South Africa. The exhibition traces Mandela’s extraordinary life through five themes or phases – as comrade, leader, prisoner, negotiator and statesman. Each theme is explored through images and text, supported by films, photographs and audio recordings.
14 Henrietta Street – Georgian Townhouse to Tenement Dwelling
A 30 minute taster tour experience and insight into the lives of the building’s residents when it was a tenement dwelling. The tour will be followed by an opportunity for visitors to reflect on the tour, share memories and enjoy a cup of tea.
Darach Ó Séaghdha
Gutter Bookshop, Temple Bar, 7pm
The award-winning author of Motherfocloir and Irish language activist will read from his new book Craic Baby and take part in a Q&A session at The Gutter Bookshop, Temple Bar Dublin.
RTÉ Open-Air Concert
National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks Dublin from 8pm
The free two hour concert will feature a mix of live music, theatre, comedy and poetry from names including Villagers, Sebastian Barry, Waterford Whispers and many more. Singer, harpist and comedian Ursula Burns, who has won an Irish Musical Comedy Award and also been nominated for her show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, will be giving a family-friendly performance. Also joining the line-up will be 14 year old Syrian refugee Alma Harrack who, having never taken a lesson before, stunned the world by teaching herself how to play the piano by looking at YouTube videos.
Cé Eile a Chónaíonn Anseo?
Rathangan Library, Kildare Road, Rathangan, 6.30-8.30pm
Artist Monica de Bath invites children and adults to Cé Eile a Chónaíonn Anseo? to work with her on a large scale drawing of the creatures, both real and imaginary, that live by the local canal and river.
Cork Gay Project
4 South Terrace, 8-10pm
The Drag Extravaganza will explore the best of Cork’s drag culture with workshops, an exhibition and live performances from local talents.
L'Atitude 51 walking tour
1 Union Quay, from 4-6pm
The Trio behind the Bringing the Wine Geese Home tastings are reuniting again this year for Culture Night to lead a historical walking tour around the streets of Cork City. Maurice O'Mahony, Colm McCan and Beverley Mathews will retrace the footprints of Cork’s Wine Geese families’ – the street names, buildings, places and people, originally from Cork, connected with some of the famous wine families of the world and will finish back in L’Atitude 51 with a special “Wine Geese” tasting in the upstairs bar.
Puppeteer Dominic Moore
Carrigaline Library, 4.30-5.30pm
Dominic Moore is a leading writer and puppeteer for children’s television programmes in Ireland. His writing and puppetry credits (for RTE) include: The Why Guy, Hubble, Sattitude, Wordwitch, The Swamp, The Morbegs and The Rimini Riddle. This script, devised over 20 years of testing material with young audiences, allows children to interact with the characters and become immersed in the world of the story, participating through answering questions asked to them by different characters in they meet during the puppet show.
Short film screenings
Killarney Cinema, East Avenue Road, 6.30pm-7pm
Kerry Film Festival presents two short film screenings, 2018 Academy Award winning The Silent Child which tells the story of a deaf four year old who lives in a world of silence until someone teaches her the gift of communication and Little Bird, set against the backdrop of 1941 London explores how far one young woman will go to create a new life for herself.
The Breadwinner as gaeilge
The Glens Centre, Leitrim, 4-6pm
At the Glens Centre in Leitrim the Irish language version of the Oscar nominated animated film The Breadwinner will be shown.
Bedford Row Bedlam
Bedford Row, Limerick, 5-9pm
There will be hip hop performances, mini all ages dance classes, performances by Limerick Music Generation and the Mary Immaculate Community Choir. There will also be caricature drawing, a photo booth with live projection, kids arts and crafts and street animators, ending the night with an LED performance.
Baboró presents Revolting Rhymes
Town Hall Theatre, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway, 4-430pm and 5.30-6pm
Join actor Rod Goodall as he brings Roald Dahl’s wonderful 'Revolting Rhymes’ to life for this special reading. Children (aged 10+), teenagers and adults are invited to hear well-known fairy tales get the Roald Dahl treatment with a whole new set of dark, devious and very funny twists.
Famous People, Theatre and Literature Tour
Browne’s Doorway in Eyre Swuare and finishing on Sea Road, 7-8.45pm
Brendan J Hynes will reveal what is missed by the casual traveller and tourist on this tour which will highlight what the city has become famous for – its rich cultural history that has been expressed through it literature, theatre and famous people.
Wholegreen Wellness, Church Lane, Letterkenny
Denise Driver is a wellness advocate with 20 years experience, working with mind, body and spirit and on Culture Night she will present a programme for families where adults and children can move, breath and relax together in a wonderful union of dance and yoga.
Julian Gough: Children's Storytelling
Cashel Library, Friar Street, Cashel, 4-4.45pm
Novelist, playwright, poet, musician and script-writer Julian Gough hosts a Children’s Storytelling & Writing Workshop where visitors can find out where the idea for Rabbit & Bear came from, generate their own story and hear from his latest book, Rabbit & Bear: Attack of the Snack.