PICS: Multi-Cultural Cork trips the light fantastic

From trad sessions to rock concerts, poetry readings to magical 3D projections, Cork’s Culture Night was, as ever, one to remember.

A highlight of the event was, predictably, Cork Ignite, a collaborative project spearheaded by renowned artist Simon McKeown, which brought the façade of Cork’s College of Commerce to life with 3D projections.

The animations, which were set to a musical backdrop, lulled the crowd gathered on Union Quay into a respectful reverence before they were ushered either home to bed or further into town to enjoy the rest of the festivities.

“The whole event has been really successful,” said Rob Crowley, part of the team behind the event.

“The last few years it’s been growing and it’s getting stronger every year.”

Maeve Lynch, a fellow Culture Night team member, said the daytime events were also hugely popular this year.

“I’ve been running around doing social media,” she said. “I went on the L’Attitude tour and it was packed; same with the music workshops this morning. Everything has been really well attended.”

Performances from the Dowtcha Puppets were in high demand, with children and parents queuing up well in advance of their 5pm and 6pm shows.

Aisling Armitage, from The Lough, brought her children Adam, Emily, Hannah, and Ethan to the show but had to leave half way through to make it to a Music Generation workshop.

“It’s so hard to split yourself between all the different things going on,” she said. “There’s so much to do and to see, it’s just fantastic. We were up in Fitzgerald Park earlier and that was great.”

Elsewhere, a number of ceilis were forming as musicians from The Lee Sessions made their way from pub to pub, inciting dancing, laughter, and all manner of craic. Even the bus station was getting in on the act as the Cork Uileann Pipers Club and the Dust Busters Light Orchestra serenaded those coming into the city, as well as those bidding farewell.

“People have been very receptive to it. It’s making things very relaxing,” said bus inspector Jer Crowley.

“The crowd is coming and going all the time. People are coming for buses and find themselves waiting around and listening to the music. It’s very uplifting.”

Cork City Library had a full events schedule featuring guitar classes, musical performances and multilingual readings of WB Yeats.

“We are a multicultural city now and we want to reflect that. So we have people reading Yeats in Irish, French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Chinese, Polish, Russian, and Romanian,” said head librarian Eamonn Kirwan.

“We’ve been involved in Culture Night from the first year and it’s always a very exciting night.”

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