Cities brace for flock of culture vultures

Up to half a million people are expected to flock to thousands of venues nationwide as they open their doors to the public this evening for a free and fun-filled celebration of heritage, culture, arts and music.

Cities brace for flock of culture vultures

Started as a small celebration of heritage in Dublin in 2006, Culture Night has morphed into an all-island event which saw more than 350,000 people take part last year. It has also become almost an all-day event, with many activities starting in the early afternoon.

From Belfast to Cork, and lots of places in between, there will be cain, ceoil, craic agus lots more for the tens of thousands of people expected to attend events all over the country.

Organisers hope the annual multitude of events will raise the profile of Ireland’s creative community and re-ignite a passion for the arts.

In Dublin, the Oireachtas will exhibit a rare consensus, as the gates of Leinster House open from 5pm to 11pm to welcome 1,650 members of the public for an evening of culture and entertainment.

Visitors will enjoy exceptional access to the Dáil and Seanad chambers while also exploring the historic corridors of power and enjoying the traditional musical entertainment provided by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. It is anticipated that by 11pm, 10,000 people will have passed through the doors of Leinster House since the Houses of the Oireachtas first participated in Culture Night in 2008.

Belfast takes part again this year as it has since 2008 and Culture Night Belfast — or CNB as it is known there — has more than 250 events planned.

Many of the city’s events will centre on the Cathedral Quarter which will showcase hundreds of performers at indoor and outside venues. Among the more unusual events being staged in Belfast is Puccini and a Pint at the Harp Bar in Hill Street — a salute to opera over a Friday night drink.

In Cork, Culture Night promises to be bigger and better than ever with a range of events throughout the city.

One of the more intriguing offerings is a ‘secret concert’ by singer and musician, Lisa Hannigan.

Known as Lisa’s Secret Gig, the concert itself is no secret, but the venue is, and only those allocated tickets through a draw can attend. Ticket winners will be notified early today where to meet and then escorted to the venue. Another new development in Cork’s Culture Night programme is the line-up for the Outdoor Cinema in Fitzgerald Park. Things will kick off just as the sun sets, with a 7.30pm showing of the Oscar- nominated short Give Up Yer Aul Sins, followed by the animated The Secret of Kells by Cartoon Saloon. The night continues with a 9pm screening of The Commitments.

Another cultural highlight in Cork involves the Vanbrugh Quartet who will perform a Concert by Candlelight at 10pm at City Hall.

As Ireland’s City of Culture for 2014, Limerick is pulling out all the stops this year, with 70 events planned.

Two legacy projects of City of Culture will be launched, including the Urban Horse project, developed by artist Angela Connolly, and That’s Limerick City, a pop-up people’s museum to be hosted in the Milk Market. John’s Square will host a medley of music, movies, dance and drama involving Dance Limerick, Limerick Youth Theatre, Fresh Film Festival and Music Generation, while Macnas will also put on a street theatre performance.

Highlights on the night

-Dublin — The Delorentos play in Merrion Square, among an eclectic mix of acts.

-Cork — Play the Bells of Shandon and enjoy the views of Cork from the tower balcony.

-Limerick — Urban Horse project will see 15 creative horses on display in The People’s Park.

-Belfast — Toast opera with Puccini and a Pint at the Harp Bar in Hill Street.

-Galway — Writers from the Travelling community share their stories at the Galway People’s Resource Centre.

-Ennis — Tic Toc Puppets present Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile.

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