John McMahon doesn’t seem convinced by Frances Matthews’s Capoeira skills, but Robyn Cassidy loved them! The trio were helping to promote upcoming Culture Night 2016, which will once again uncover many of Dublin’s historical, architectural and cultural gems for the public to see. Picture: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

ON THE evening of Friday, September 16, Dublin will erupt with creativity when Ireland’s annual cultural spectacular – Culture Night – returns for its massively popular annual occurrence.
From powerful spoken word performances that will stop you in your tracks to eye-catching art in motion, Culture Night will once again be an evening that is not easily forgotten, no matter what cultural corner of the city – or indeed, country – you find yourself in.
Having grown in Dublin from 40,000 attendees to 172,000 in 11 years, Culture Night is now a countrywide movement, as the whole of the city, and country, is filled with cultural expression, exploration and appreciation on the night.
Commenting on this year’s programme for Culture Night, Ray Yeates, Dublin City Council arts officer said: “Culture Night is a very special night for children as they and their families look forward to another wonderful night of civic engagement and cultural discovery.”
As always, the celebratory, exploratory event will include thousands of participants from all cultural genres, including photographers, illustrators, designers, composers, visual artists, dancers, aerialists, authors, singers and musicians.
Some of Ireland’s most exciting minds have got behind Culture Night 2016 as ambassadors, promoting their own genres, new creative industries and our rich history and heritage, including artist Pauline Bewick, alt-pop duo The Heathers, musician and poet Ronan O Snodaigh and author Colin Barrett.
As well as a celebration of the arts and culture, much of the city and country’s rich built and natural heritage will also be opened up for the people to see and experience.
Some of last year’s most popular venues in Dublin are returning once again, including guided tours of the official residence of the President of Ireland, Aras an Uachtarain, along with some new additions to the programme.
This year, The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland’s iconic building at St Stephen’s Green will come to life with a spectacular 3D animated light show that will take viewers on a journey of the building’s history, from its foundation in 1784, through the historical events of 1916, and ending with a glimpse into the future cutting-edge healthcare technology being developed by the college.
North of the Liffey, and Smithfield Square will buzz with excitement on the night with interactive events from Makeshop to fencing, with the evening to close with Firefly, a fire spectacle by Dublin Circus Project.
Exploring the cultural side of the city by foot, bike or bus will be made easy with the Culture Night Tours, which include the Urban Potato Bike tour, Revolutionary France in Dublin tour, the Dublin Bus Ghostbus tour and tours of different areas in Dublin, presented in English and international languages.
At the heart of its schedule of music, theatre and words is Culture Night’s live broadcast of RTE Radio 1’s Arena with Sean Rocks in the upper courtyard of Dublin Castle, which will also feature the RTE Concert Orchestra and special guests from music, theatre, comedy and poetry.
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 around the cultural quarters, starting at Bachelor’s Walk, Aston Quay, College Green and Eden Quay, to bring visitors to and from their favourite spots.
For the full programme of events and participating venues for Culture Night 2016, see www.culturenight.ie.