Culture Night is one of my favourite night of the year in Ireland. It’s a night where the streets of Dublin often got closed to celebrate performances of different kinds. In this COVID-19 world, Culture Night’s date kind of snuck up on me and it was only the other day I saw a sign for it saying it was going ahead. This piqued my interest. How could culture night go ahead?
What is Culture Night?
Culture Night has been a national event for 15 years. It’s all about celebrating culture, creativity and the arts. It’s a night where many venues open their doors and welcome the public in free of charge. I’ve enjoyed whiskey tastings, wax sculptures, poetry and people dangling from a height on Dame Street over the past few Culture Nights.
Your first thought might be how can something like this go ahead in 2020. The truth is, it might be easier than ever to soak up culture from around Ireland and not just your own locality.
Two things are certain about this year’s event.
- It’s going ahead
- It’ll be like no other.
How Is Culture Night 2020 Going Ahead?
Culture Night 2020 has been totally reimagined so it can go ahead in a world being blasted by a pandemic. I’d like to think that this night is one of those shots of normal that your mind needs as we all live in isolation and often away from loved ones. The organisers will be paying artists involved in events and I hope that others volunteering can either receive some public donations or get their talents seen by others.
This year’s Culture Night will be split into two programmes:
On both of these webpages you’ll be able to dig down into events happening online from around the country along with real-life events that will be taking place in your locality. Offline events include things like tours of the Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol and event the Bretzel Bakery.
Online events include a massive range of things for you to enjoy, from live music to virtual tours.
With the year set to be like no other, here are a few of the events which stand out to me. I do advise you get on over to the Culture Night website and check out what’s going on offline in your area along with either national or online events. With over 700 events taking place, this really is just a taster.
Kilkenny Arts Office Poetry Trail
The Welcoming Project
This online dance performance by Catherine Young Dance brings the stories of migrants and refugees to life. These people have made Kerry their home and this event is a fantastic example of how inclusion breeds new-age creativity.
The Bretzel Bakery
Not quite sure why this one is speaking to me so much. I do love food though. The Brezel Bakery in Dublin will be handing out sourdough starter culture for free from their shop on Lennox Street in Dublin. There’ll also be a video you can watch from a safe distance.
The City Speaks Podcast Tour
A good chance I’ll end up doing this one. This walking tour will bring you through Smithfield and is a 1.6km walk taking about one hour to complete. The walk will bring you around to see local street art.
There’s quite a few podcasts being launched tomorrow night so take a quick look to see if anything takes your fancy.
Virtual Tour Of Leinster House
Where are all these decisions about COVID-19 being made? You’ll be able to take a virtual tour of Leinster House and explore the chambers of Ireland’s Dáil and Seanad.
Like I said, this is a very small selection of things, largely, in my own area. I recommend heading over to the Culture Night 2020 website and making a plan for yourself. If ever there’s been a year we need to take a few minutes and appreciate creativity and the arts along with each other, it’s this year.