Get out and enjoy Culture Night with these events around the country

Culture Night offers a myriad of options for free entertainment and enlightenment this evening. Alan O’Riordan selects some of the highlights



  • College of Commerce, Morrisons Island 8.45pm-9.45pm

Possibly the most spectacular sight anywhere on Culture Night will be the animated facade of Cork’s College of Commerce, which will be brought to life with 3D projections and accompanying music.

Renowned artist Simon McKeown has worked with local artists and disability agencies to produce a spectacular event that will dazzle and delight. Behind the scenes footage from the project in the Atrium, City Hall (below) until September 25.

On Culture Night, audiences should gather from 8.45pm on Union Quay for a 9.15pm start.


  • Fitzgerald’s Park 8.30am-8pm.

The Sounds from a Safe Harbour festival joins up with Cork City Council to present the European premiere of Music for Wood and Strings by Bryce Dessner and LEAV.

This outdoor music experience uses a phone app and leads you on an aural journey through the city park, soundtracked by Dessner’s intricate counterpoints, striking rhythms and vibrant harmonies. How the piece develops is dictated by the route you take.

Intrigued? Then download the free app and get wandering.


  • Former Government Buildings, Sullivan’s Quay 7pm-11pm.

Sample-Studios has become a hive of creativity since it began offering 60 affordable studio spaces to Cork-based artists. Its member base now stands at 85, and, for Culture Night, the doors will be open on 60 studios, with the public invited to meet and greet member artists.

The TACTIC Gallery at the same location is showcasing The Construction of Meaning, an exhibition of new work by Gemma Kearney.

Also showing is a work-in-progress as part of the performing arts residency programme, A&B.


  • City Hall, Anglesea Street 2-11pm

A day of music at City Hall features live performances in the plaza from the Barrack Street Youth Band, the Ballyphehane Youth Music Initiative, Comhaltas na Dúglaise Céilí Band and Cork City Samba Band. Inside, in the Atrium, you’ll find an exhibition of golden moments from the Cork Film Festival’s 60 years.

There’ll also be workshops for children and adults and, to top it all off, a 10pm performance by the Cork Concert Orchestra that includes Vaughan Williams’s wonderful Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain (made famous by Disney’s Fantasia), and Britten’s Four Sea Preludes.


  • Aula Maxima, UCC 1pm.

Sounds from a Safe Harbour pops up again at UCC for an intriguing afternoon concert, Playing Your Heart Out begins with a performance of Music for Heart and Breath, a contemporary composition by Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, in which the musicians use their own heartbeat and breath to dictate the pace and pulse of the music.

The piece will be performed by Richard Reed Parry and Nadia Sirota, and its unique effect is achieved by trapping stethoscopes to the musicians. A discussion involving following will explore this juncture between science and art.


  • Albert Road, 5-8pm.

Daily life at the National Sculpture Factory involves people working with a wide range of materials and techniques, ranging from casting in various metals to delicate ceramic work. On Culture Night, members of the public are invited to witness this factory-floor of artistic enterprise. One of the factory’s artist in residence, Mollie Anne King, will mount a display inspired by the variety of materials used on site.


  • Castle Road, Blackrock 6pm-10pm.

Don’t get your astrology mixed up with your astronomy if you plan to go to Blackrock for Culture Night. You won’t get much welcome from Colm Ryan of the Cork Skeptics Society, who will be giving a presentation entitled The 15-Minute Baloney Detection Kit: Homeopathy, UFOs, Ghosts, Miracles. Audiences will be schooled in how a sniff out suspicious, non-scientific claims, and given a brief history of debunking, touching on everything from vaccination fears to the aging of the Earth, alien encounters and bogus cures.


  • L’Atitude 51, Union Quay.

Hennessy brandy has its roots in Cork, but that’s not the only Cork link to French winemaking. This walking tour sets out from Union Quay and takes in the buildings, places and people that connect Cork to some of the most famous names in wine. The tour circles back to its point of origin for a special Wine Geese tasting in L’Atitude 51’s upstairs bar.


  • MacCurtain Street 4pm-9pm.

There will be stories and songs for all the family from 4pm at the Everyman, along with the chance to meet some characters from the theatre’s 2015 panto, Aladdin. From 7pm curious culture vultures will get the chance to attend a rehearsed reading of a secret play.


  • Unitarian Church, Princes Street, 6-9pm.

To mark the bicentenary of the birth of George Boole, Olivia Frawley, project manager for the George Boole 200 history project at University College Cork, will tell the intriguing story of the famed mathematician’s life.

Boole, himself a Unitarian, was a man almost as complex as the theories that proved so crucial to our present digital age: a self-taught linguist, a poet, devoted teacher, turbulent academic and social reformer.


  • Sarah Walker Gallery, Castletownbere 5-10pm.

In the Garden of Last Things is an installation by Bénédicte Coleman, combining her use of industrial air filters with new elements. Coleman’s work draws on religion, literature, science fiction and mythology, evoking links to novels such as Paul Auster’s In the Country of Last Things, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods, as well as alluding to such films as Aliens and The Day of the Triffids are evident.


  • Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh 7.30pm.

Sacred Harp singing is a kind of a cappella music with roots in the American South. It is characterised by haunting harmonies, traditional modes, raucous songs, serene hymns, fast fugues, and high-energy anthems. The notation is written in shapes that correspond to degrees of the scale, making it easy to sight-sing, even for those with little musical experience .



  • Fishamble Street, Dublin 8 6-10pm.

For serious listening, the Contemporary Music Centre will be hard to beat. A host of composers’ will have their work featured in an exciting evening of new music and conversation. The centre promises a salon-style setting with live and electronic sets in the courtyard. The programme features works by Ian Wilson, John Gibson, Andrew Hamilton, Sean Clancy and more. Full details at


  • Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8, 6pm-10pm.

Fumbally Stables is an offshoot of the Fumbally Cafe, a buzzing centre for Dublin foodies. The 18th-century building was originally a distillery stables and has since been a meat processing factory, a bakery and a photographic studio. That heritage of food and creativity lives on now, with a marriage of food, culture, education where experimentation. The stables are open for workshops and events on Culture Night. Go along and you’ll probably learn all you’ll ever need about the art of fermentation, and more.


  • Start point at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin 8.

The balladeer Seán Fitzgerald will lead a group on a unique tour of Dublin, charting its social history across 1,200 years of song, storytelling, music and poetry. To encourage a singalong, songbooks will be provided for everyone, including rare Irish ballads from the Irish oral tradition to encourage participants to sing along. Fitzgerald will also provide musical accompaniment on the fiddle for this tour by lantern and candle light.

Starting Point: Entrance to Christ Church.


  • Smithfield Square, Dublin 7 6pm-10pm.

Bluefire is an annual street festival that brings the diverse communities of the north inner city together in a blaze of colour and sound. Culture Night this year falls on the eve of the Bluefire festival, so a “picnic under the stars”, with live music, performances and workshops, seems the only logical thing.


  • Dawson Street, Dublin 2 from 6pm.

Cafe en Seine invites you to step back in time to experience history and culture in its beautiful 300-year-old home on Dawson Street. An evening of story-telling, cabaret entertainment and theatre performances will be produced on site by Wonderland Productions. And when Culture Night is wrapping up at every other venue, the after party will be getting started here, with more entertainment featuring live musicians and dancers.


  • 5 Leinster Street South 6pm-9pm.

Enjoy a cosy night in with a difference at a beautiful 18th-century townhouse, once the home of United Irishmen leader Rowan Hamilton. See a selection of cinematic shorts and video art from some of Ireland’s newest talents in the house’s very own mini cinema.



  • Central Arts, Parade Quay, Waterford.

Central Arts is a community arts company based in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle dedicated to supporting and nurturing creativity in Waterford. It regularly hosts Session nights in its small theatre space, letting visiting performers and musicians take over. For Culture Night, it is hosting a first ever “scratch night”, promising a showcase of local entertainers. See for booking.



  • John’s Square 5-9pm.

After a great success last year, Dance Limerick, in association with UL undergraduate performers, Fresh Films and a host of others, will celebrate youth arts in Limerick with a showcase of some of our finest young talents the city has to offer. A feast of music, dance, film and poetry is offered.


  • Rutland Street 2-10pm.

A day of events at the Hunt Museum kicks off in the afternoon with a trip through the stories surrounding the collection. A digital tool called the Loupe will be your guide. There will be opera in the Captain’s Room, a choir workshop in the Riverside Garden, art for kids in the Education Wing, and a metaperception tour where you can try on the perspective-shifting helmets designed by the Paris-based artists Cleary Connolly. See for full details.



  • The Square, Listowel 7pm.

There’s much talk of All-Irelands in Kerry this week, but maybe not as much about this one: the All Ireland Wren Boy competition. That said, it’s a competition not lacking in pedigree, given that it was established by the late John B Keane and Johnny Walsh in Listowel more than 50 years ago. For Culture Night the best wren groups (above) in the country will battle it out for the coveted title.


  • Killarney Town Centre 8-10pm.

Since Tim O’Shea, Samuel Bewesa and Paul Dolan founded the group in 2012, Afro Trad have been treating audiences to a unique fusion of Irish and African rhythms and songs. See how two rich musical cultures collide on Culture Night as they present From Kampala to Killarney, a night of drums, fun, songs, stories for all the family.


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