From its beginnings in Temple Bar, where many a visitor enjoyed equal doses of culture-pints to match their intake of the arts, Culture Night has grown beyond the cobbled stones of the city centre to encompass all the major quarters. This year’s booklet is stuffed full of interesting, fun, and adventurous things to do during the one night that the city’s doors are flung wide open for all to enter. With nearly 500 free events to choose from, avoid choice overload by selecting one thing you really want to do and spend the rest of the evening going with the flow. And remember, dress comfortably for the long night ahead because who knows where you’ll end up…
Meeting House Square
The square is throwing a party! Get your groove on under the canopies as Attention Bébé plays an energy educed set of big-band covers of 90s tunes — think big-band rave. If you missed them at Electric Picnic this year, or last year, or the year before, or the year before that (you get where I’m going with this) then this is your chance to see what all the fuss is about. The night doesn’t end there: if you’re in need of an energy boost to get you through the remaining hours of darkness, stick around for Drag Aerobics with a special appearance from a Dublin Drag Queen who will be leading a training session that’s bound to be a shit-load of fun even if you just wanna dig into a big bag a crisps and watch.
The Clockwork Door
Enter Ireland’s only ‘Timehouse’ where on a regular day visitors pay for time spent in the cozy house-like setting and everything else — biscuits, tea, coffee, — is free. A sanctuary along the quays hidden in plain sight where Dubliners with time to kill can dip in for an afternoon board game sesh. The evening will include live music, a film screening, storytelling and old fashioned good times.
Agitate, Agitate, Agitate: Walking Tour For 200th Anniversary of Frederick Douglass
There are walking, biking, jogging, and bus tours happening throughout the night, but amongst them all this one is a must. Frederick Douglass was an American abolitionist who came to Ireland on a lecture tour where he encountered the “Liberator” Daniel O’Connell and others that would leave a lasting impression on him. Blindboy recently interviewed American director Spike Lee and blew him away upon telling him about Frederick Douglass’ Irish connection. Join author Christine Kinealy along with other writers, artists and historians who will provide tales of Douglass’ time on the Emerald Isle.
If you feel a bit adventurous and want to mission beyond the city centre, tucked away in Fingal the pace slows down at this elegant Georgian Villa as visitors are transported back in time and taken on a journey through 300 years of the Cobbe family history. Known for its grandeur, experience a late-night talk and tour of the home and its many contents, including paintings from the Cobbe Collection, family portraits, original Irish furniture, and opulent art housed in the “Cabinet of Curiosities”.
Start the night off early with four themed podcasts that will be released on the morning of Friday 21st, and available for listening or download from the Culture Night website and wherever you cool kids get your daily pod-dose. Produced in association with Headstuff Podcast Network, the featured episodes are Music, Cultural Spaces, Cities as Playgrounds, and The Spirit of Irish, where you can hear guest Ciara Ní É perform spoken word in both English and Gaeilge — beautiful to listen to no matter what language you speak.
Words: Rose Ugoalah