Culture Night comes back with a bang

Caroline Costello talks through this year’s main events for Culture Night 2022

Culture Night (Oíche Chultúir) ‘22 is taking place this year on Friday the 23rd of September. Culture Night offers a national moment for not only visitors to the country but also natives to become tourists in their own home, with the goal of celebrating Irish arts and creativity, ensuring that our culture is alive and well. In Dublin more than 300 free events will be held, from tours to workshops to exhibitions and performances. This is a great opportunity for students to explore the city, be it new to them or the very place they grew up in. Culture Night allows us to discover the city’s museums, galleries, studios, parks, government buildings, theatres and more, as well as Dublin’s very own vibrant culture. Dublin Bus will even be providing free buses on the night as transport partner of Culture Night, and apparently you can expect some performances en route from live music to spoken word poetry on board.

In 2021, over 1.1 million people engaged with Culture Night. This year, the Arts Council has worked hard so that this number will be at the very least maintained if not increased, as events will now run later into the night. This being different from previous years is in response to public interest and the Report of the Late Night Economy Taskforce. One such late night event being held is Night Moves, a show featuring performances from the Irish electronic community’s DJs while firstly exploring the future of clubbing in the city through a series of early evening panel discussions hosted at the historic Fruit & Veg Market in Smithfield. Mind the Step cafe is hosting free one-hour dance classes from tango, belly dancing and LGBTQ+ ballet to even a TwerkFit workout, keeping you fit for dancing all the way until midnight!

“Another late event is Night Shift, a nighttime tour through the grounds of IMMA until 2am aiming to challenge our circadian rhythm and how we experience exhibitions.”

Another late event is Night Shift, a nighttime tour through the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) until 2am, aiming to challenge our circadian rhythm and how we experience exhibitions. However, if you’re not much of a night owl, IMMA is also hosting plenty of other activities throughout the day, such as their Drypoint Workshop which offers an introduction to printmaking. Continue to live out that NCAD-printmaking-student dream of yours at the printmakers Damn Fine Print in Stoneybatter who will be allowing visitors to create their own limited edition screenprint, or become DUPA’s ideal candidate for Darkroom Officer by visiting the photographic print workshops hosted at the Darkroom on Brunswick Street North.

Why not also push down every instinct in your body and become one of the Temple Bar tourists that you’ve always refused to succumb to by visiting the Clockwork Door which will be hosting a mixture of entertainers and performances until midnight. Or you can even pop in to Dublin Ink on Cow’s Lane to try out tattooing so you can finally move on from your stick-and-poke kit! Temple Bar Gallery + Studios will be hosting an open studio night to meet their resident artists, and it is not the only gallery to stay open late nearby with Hang Tough Contemporary, Graphic Studio Dublin and The Icon Factory keeping their doors open until 10pm. 

Later on, Meeting House Square will transform into the location of the night with a concert from the music group Pólca 4 who put their own spin on the jigs and reels of West Kerry, a performance from commissioned artist Tadhg whose multidisciplinary haute couture-inspired performance highlights “the beauty of gender fluidity,” and a closing party with Dublin Modular, an artist-run non-profit organisation who specialise in live electronic music and visual arts performances.

“One of the most important aspects of this year’s Culture Night is that it has named its theme as ‘One Night For All’ to make sure it includes all aspects of Irish culture.”

One of the most important aspects of this year’s Culture Night is that its theme is One Night For All, making sure it includes all aspects of Irish culture. In response, the LGBTQ+ community resource centre Outhouse is hosting a mixture of events showcasing Irish queer culture. Several LGBTQ+ walking tours are being held around the city such as the Ranelagh-Rathmines Queer History Walking Tour, and the Sex, Drugs, Saunas and Clubs: Queer Social Spaces in History walking tour starts at our very own Trinity College Nassau Street entrance. Transgender Equality Ireland is also hosting their first Culture Night event, with two open screenings followed by live performances showcasing “some of the best Trans culture North of the Liffey” until midnight. 

Culture Night is not only opening its doors until later this year but it is opening its doors to all, hopefully reflecting an Irish culture of both creativity and inclusivity that continues to evolve alongside its inhabitants.