Culture Night is taking place on Friday September 19th. More than 900 venues will participate in 36 regions, towns and cities around the country. Record crowds are expected to come out this year, building on last year's estimated 350,000. An incredible blend of cultural events will take place with museums, galleries, cathedrals, studios, observatories, libraries, parks, government buildings and theatres in each corner of the country opening late to create an inimitable celebratory night-time atmosphere.
There are a huge amount of events and activities taking place around country incorporating all genres of culture – music, visual arts, spoken word/theatre, heritage, quirky and family events. Some highlights in Dublin which will feature over 200 venue, more than 40 new ones, include:
• Tours of the official residence of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin
• Tours and talks in Ireland's largest urban farm and food experience, Airfield Dundrum
• Downstairs Dublin with the Irish Times will see the basement areas of Merrion Square taken over with a range of activities/mini events – a mini subterranean cinema, a carpet of sunflowers, a dine in the dark experience, a library of free books, a fleeting chance to feature on the cover of Gloss magazine, and papier mache creations from Ireland's most exciting conceptual artists.
• The Complex in Smithfield Square will be an exciting night of drive-in movies with The Mission and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane on the big screen.
• World famous recording studio Windmill Lane, synonymous with U2, has also hosted some of the biggest selling recording artists such as The Rolling Stones, ACDC, Spice Girls and recently Lady Gaga. Visitors on Culture Night can sit in on a special live performance with exciting Irish band Relish.
• Visitors to Croke Park Stadium can immerse themselves in our sporting and cultural heritage. Tour the stadium and visit the refurbished GAA Museum, enjoy the new exhibits and Interactive Skills Zone!
• A visit to the Guinness Storehouse on Culture Night offers a unique chance to have a specialised talk with the Guinness archivists and view some of their most precious documents, followed by a session in the exclusive Connoisseur Bar.
There are also double the number of unique Culture Night tours of each Dublin quarter on offer, including a bike tour, for those who want to pack more than one venue into the night, taking in art, history, music, architecture, hidden histories and even Grand Canal Dock.
Of course there are a huge amount of events taking place around the country, not just Dublin. A selection of events/activities include:
• In Cork within the atrium of City Hall Daragh Wilkins, Crawford College Art and Design Graduate, will spend the week leading into Culture Night installing a large temporary floor sculpture created out of raw pigment and other materials that will fade away over the course of Culture Night. The creation of this installation can be watched live on www.corkcity.ie/tv.
• In Limerick the Hospital Shop Window Festival will use dormant and functional shop premises as a showcase for visual arts with the aim of bringing art and culture to the street, allowing free and unrestricted access for all.
• Galway City Museum will host Sketches of Galway's Cultural History where twelve historians will present short non-stop illustrated talks dealing with aspects of the cultural life of the city and county over the past four hundred years.
• Belfast will play host to Big Gigantic Drum Circle, the unofficial start to Culture Night in the city. Featuring a staggering 350 drummers, it will be the biggest, most interactive event of the night, letting the whole city know the party has started.
The full Culture Night programme can be viewed at www.culturenight.ie