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Five ways to make the most of Culture Night

Getting out and about on Culture Night? Here’s how to make sure it’s a great one.

IT’S CULTURE NIGHT tonight, and no matter where you are around the country there is going to be some event for you to take part in.

With so much on offer, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

Where to go? What’s the best thing to choose? How will you plan your night?

Relax. We have five ways for you to make the most of Culture Night, wherever you are.

1. Plan ahead

If you have a smartphone, download the Culture Night app. Here’s the link for Android users, and the link for iPhone users.

You can use the app to browse the programme and build your own Culture Night trail – handy, eh?

Don’t have a smartphone? Head straight to the Culture Night site and have a look at the programme for your specific area.

If you need an accessible building, some of the programmes have that information – if in doubt, it’s best to ring ahead.

image(LtoR) artist Roisin O’Farrell, Millie (5) and Lila Elliott (9) with Dublin Bus driver Kieran Kavanagh and cabaret dancer Azaria Starfire. Pic: Sasko Lazarov

2. Go off the beaten track

Think outside of the box and don’t just go for the most obvious attractions.

Here are some of our picks for the more unusual events, but a trawl through the programme for your area will reveal even more.

Carlow:

  • A moveable feast: Transport yourself back to the Jazz Age with with period-specific food, drink, costumes and parlour games at Cafe Formenti.

South Tipperary

  • Archaeology dig for children: Bring your children to a mocked-up archaeological ‘dig’ at the Tipperary County Arts Service and County Museum in Clonmel, between 1 and 4pm. You’ll wish you could take part.

Belfast

  • Fruit and veg orchestra: Yes, music made using fruit and vegetables – and you can take part in creating some tasty sounds, from 6 – 8pm at Wheelworks ArtCart on Donegall St.

Kerry

  • Secret cinema: Kerry Film Festival’s Secret Cine Club sounds like a treat – the venue and the film both remain a secret until the day. It’s also free in.

Roscommon

  • African culture showcase: If you want to know about the diverse African culture in countries like Kenya, Nigeria, the Gambia, Zimbabwe and more, you can enjoy music and dance as well as a fashion show of traditional costumes at INVOLVE in the Monksland Business Park.

Sligo

  • RESOUND music: Some of Ireland’s most talented young musicians will come together to make music while poet Billy Ramsell imparts his words of wisdom. Sure to be thrilling – and it’s on at The Model.

Dublin

  • Choral speaking: Choral speaking was very popular in the 1950s, but is not practiced much now. However, it has been revived at Alexandra College in Milltown, and the Senior Voice Speaking Choir will perform a short piece based on James Joyce’s story ‘The Dead’, amongst other performances.

Kilkenny

  • National Craft Gallery: Don’t just wander around; take part in their children’s workshop, or crochet circle… or why not bring in your favourite pair of shoes and tell their story, or try revamping an old item of clothing. There are lots of things on in the gallery that might surprise you.

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3. Get there early

Some events are bound to get very busy, so try to get there on time if you really want to see them. Other events have to be booked in advance.

  • This fireside reading with Donal Ryan – the Booker Prize longlisted author of The Spinning Heart – in Askeaton in Co Limerick is bound to get full quickly.
  • The Everyman Palace Theatre in Cork City is giving behind-the-scenes tours (and Cork Operatic Society will give a sneak peek of their latest opera Orpheus) on the night, but you also have to pre-book this.

imageMinister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD and dancers Gerry Murray and Joan Mulhern with members of the RTE Concert Orchestra. Pic: Sasko Lazarov

4. Don’t stress about the queues

Will there be queues? Yes, but you’d be surprised at how quickly they move.

But in case you don’t get to everything:

  • Pick your top 5 favourites and go to them first
  • Allow time for queueing
  • Plan your route so the venues are near each other
  • Enjoy the trip between venues – and keep an eye out for ones you might have missed

5. Soak up the atmosphere

Let’s be honest – you might not get to see everything that’s on offer, and if you live in Dublin you most definitely won’t. But that doesn’t mean you should be downhearted.

The night is a special one, so make the most of your time in the queue, chatting to other revelers; take time to wander about soaking up the atmosphere.

Wear comfortable shoes, bring a brolly, and leave some time for chats in between each location – you’ll bump into people you haven’t seen in years, guaranteed.

Plus, build in time to enjoy the gigs, performances and locations you’ll stumble across as you wander around. Sometimes, the unexpected parts are the best parts.

Read: Visit a former seminary as part of Culture Night>

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