Half a million arts lovers are expected to turn out tonight for a host of free cultural events across the country.
Now in its fourth year, Culture Night will see venues in 11 cities and towns nationwide throwing open their doors for an evening of music, poetry, theatre and dance.
Participating areas include Dublin, Cork, Galway, Letterkenny, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Tralee, Waterford and Wexford.
Arts Minister Martin Cullen said the night offered an opportunity to highlight the country’s many artistic talents.
“Culture Night gives us a wonderful opportunity to embrace our unique creativity and celebrate the talents and achievements of the Irish imagination,” he said.
“Events like Culture Night also have an important role to play in opening up arts and entertainment to new audiences.”
Dublin City held its first Culture Night in 2006 while more than 100,000 people took part in 2008.
This year in Dublin alone, 124 venues will open until late including the Science Gallery at Trinity College, Dublin City Hall, the Ark Cultural Centre, FilmBase Centre for Film and Video and Dublin Castle State Apartments.