Get ready to switch on culture this Friday 22nd September as Ireland’s annual cultural nocturnal extravaganza Culture Night returns for another year. From large cities to rural villages and remote islands, Ireland is set to burst with colour and creativity as over 1,500 venues across the country prepare to host 3,000 plus free events and experiences for all ages and cultural tastes. Organisers encourage planning in advance to make the most of the night with the full programme available from www.culturenight.ie or download the free Culture Night 2017 app, available for iOS and Android.
Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said: “As Culture Night returns for another year, I encourage everyone to get out this Friday and take advantage of enjoying the exciting and vibrant cultural events which are taking place in every county across the country. Whether you’re coming out with your friends, family or doing some cultural exploration on your own, Culture Night offers a wonderful snapshot of contemporary cultural Ireland which we can all be proud of. Access and participation to arts and culture is at the heart of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme and with events taking place in a fantastic array of venues, from national cultural institutions, iconic and historical venues to smaller, more intimate settings, it’s the perfect evening for cultural discovery.”
Each year some of Ireland’s most exciting minds get behind Culture Night as Trailblazers promoting their own genres, new creative industries and our rich history and heritage. Renowned fiddler and lead singer of Altan, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, will take part in an improv music and jam session with a group of young people in The LOFT Youth Project & Health Advice Café in Letterkenny, while in Kildare urban are is set to explode onto the walls of St. Michael’s Boxing Club in Athy, as one of Ireland’s best known street artists, Solus, creates a mural especially for Culture Night. In Dublin singer-songwriter and Electric Picnic New Artist of the Year, Katie Laffan, will thrill at a live performance in Irish Music Rights Organisation; one half of Rubberbandits fame Blindboy Boatclub is sure to raise some laughs as he reads from his new book ‘The Gospel According to Blindboy’, a surreal and genre-defying collection of short stories and visual art exploring the myths, complacencies and contradictions at the heart of modern Ireland, in Temple Bar’s Gutter Bookshop; and in The Lilliput Press, one of the leading actors of his generation, Tom Hickey, reads from a piece of his a favourite literature.
Culture Night 2017 also includes a strong programme of Irish language events, with over 110 taking place across the country. Come along to Club Chonradh na Gaeilge in Dublin for an evening of ceol as Gaeilge. In Clonakilty Cork singer songwriter Bernie Pháid performs songs from her latest album, SÍOL, in which she weaves traditional Irish and American folk songs. Get your dancing shoes on in Waterford for Rince sa Rinn, an evening of set dancing with Mary Rafferty, Húlaí providing the tunes and set dancer Tom Hyland as expert guide. Cavan’s Johnston Central Library hosts an evening of storytelling and entertainment with Eddie Lenihan and the Armagh Rhymers at Oíche Scéalaíochta agus Siamsaíochta; and in Mayo Clare Island Film festival presents Fís na Fuiseoige/ The Lark’s View introduced and followed by Q&A with director Aodh Ó Coileáin.
Other highlights of events taking place around the country include the Unearthed Exhibition in the Kilkenny Medieval Mile Museum with the chance to go on a journey spanning 800 years of history in Ireland’s medieval capital and view hundreds of unearthed artefacts including coins dating back to Roman times and a cache of guns and military paraphernalia discovered amongst the 16th century tombs. In Galway, the Róisín Dubh hosts an evening of music and spoken word featuring Galway’s finest Oh Boland, Bob Skeleton, Anna Mullarkey, Elaine Cosgrove, Liz Quirke and Daniel Mulcahy. Further down the coast in Limerick, visitors to The Hunt Museum have the chance to enjoy an exhibition of works by two of Ireland’s most important 20th Century artists, Jack B. Yeats and Paul Henry. In Wicklow accomplished Irish cellist Ailbhe McDonagh performs an evening of classical music in the stunning surroundings of the saloon at Russborough House, while in Kerry guests at the legendary John B.Keane’s can take part in an evening of poetry, song, theatre and music with Billy Keane, son of the much loved playwright.
Cultural audiences in the capital can travel with a ‘cultural edge’ on the night thanks to transport partners Dublin Bus and Irish Rail. 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. Don’t be surprised if you catch some trad music on your journey, curated by Temple Bar Tradfest. In Cork, Bus Éireann will provide three complimentary bus routes to cater for those on the cultural hunt and Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail is offering 100 family passes for travel on Culture Night.
Once again, RTÉ Supporting the Arts, which supports over 100 events annually, is a key supporter of Culture Night.
Culture Night takes place with the support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht with the regional arts offices, local authorities, and cultural organisations throughout the island of Ireland.
The full programme of events and participating venues for Culture Night 2017 is available on www.culturenight.ie.