Music, food, art, life and boxing... The best Culture Night offerings across Ireland

3,000 free events taking place across the country in more than 1,500 venues

Culture Night comes to over 1,500 venues around the country on Friday - pictured are Jenni Barkley, Communications and Corporate Responsibility Manager, and Soup Dejour in Belfast. Photograph: Press Eye

Culture Night comes to over 1,500 venues around the country on Friday - pictured are Jenni Barkley, Communications and Corporate Responsibility Manager, and Soup Dejour in Belfast. Photograph: Press Eye


On Friday, Culture Night celebrates a decade of open doors and colourful evenings, with more than 3,000 free events taking place across the country.

The event has signed up more than 1,500 venues in 41 areas, with an expected audience of 350,000 people across the country.

In Belfast, author Glenn Patterson is hosting Belfast’s Big Fat Gay Wedding and will preside over the nuptials of one happy couple. In Cork, the Ignite project will transform the College of Commerce with 3D projections, art and music devised by Simon Mckeown with local artists and disability agencies. Triskel Arts Centre is showing a selection from the 2014 Cork Film Festival Shorts, and screening The Salt of the Earth, Wim Wenders’s documentary about the acclaimed photographer Sebastião Salgado.

In Kildare, Castletown House in Celbridge is hosting Shackleton’s Endurance, which tells the story of the explorer’s Antarctic adventures, with words by John Mac Kenna and music by Brian Hughes and the County Kildare Orchestra. In Tullamore, street artist Joe Caslin and a team of second-level students will be creating a portrait for the facade of Tullamore’s Municipal District Office.

In Mayo, Scoil Ácla is holding a Cultural Crawl of Achill Island, and in Galway, 13 historians will be celebrating the stories of Galway women and their impact on the wider world, at an event in Galway City Museum.

More than 250 venues are taking part in Culture Night in Dublin. The National Gallery will be keeping its doors open until 9.30pm, with guided tours, workshops, and a performance of Cotaí Dearga by the Ciotóg Dance Company. Young art fans can also have their pictures taken in life-size replicas of some of the gallery’s master paintings.

One of the gallery’s most popular works, The Meeting on the Turret Stairs by Frederic Burton, will be on display at the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art. Admission is by free timed ticket, available from the information desk.

For something more competitive, keep an eye on the river Liffey at 5.30pm for a currach race between the Jeanie Johnston on Custom House Quay to the Ha’penny Bridge and back again.

Anne Enright, Donal Ryan and Ham Sandwich’s Niamh Farrell will be at Lilliput Press in Stoneybatter. One of Ireland’s most celebrated artists Robert Ballagh is giving a public interview in the atmospheric Merrion Mews of the Irish Landmark Trust.

The Freemason Hall on Molesworth Street will also be opening its doors, for the conspiracy theorists among you. Crime author Alex Barclay will be giving a reading at the Irish Landmark Trust’s Georgian townhouse on Eustace Street in Temple Bar. And playwright Fiona Looney will be giving a reading at the National Library on Kildare Street.

Those looking for a fashionable option could head to the Grafton Academy on Herbert Place. Recent graduates will showcase their collections, along with demonstrations of pattern cutting, sewing and millinery, as well as drawing and collage workshops. Designer Joanne Hynes and fashion historian Ruth Griffin will also be hosting horse and carriage tours around the city.

Merrion Square will be one of the busiest Culture Night hubs, thanks to Downstairs Dublin, which is organised by The Irish Times, and takes over the basement spaces around the historic square. Punters can change their life in four easy basements, with a quick basement rave, a short, sharp boxing lesson, a recovery massage, and a bit of poetic therapy.

The Irish Architectural Archive will present Chats with Hacks, featuring Irish Times journalists, and performances by ESB Feis Ceoil winners.

Soundbites is a food experience where, along with a free snack and an unknown dining companion, volunteers will be fed conversation starters. There is also a feast of food events to choose from. For a comprehensive menu of options, click here to see Rachel Collins’ take.

There are hundreds of concerts to choose from. Le Galaxie are ripping it up in the National College of Art and Design, while singer-songwriter Gavin James is performing in Imro’s Copyright House. Singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill is at the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire. Mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught and the RTE Concert Orchestra will be part of Arena’s live broadcast in Meeting House Square in Temple Bar, while Celine Byrne will be performing up the road in Christ Church Cathedral. Choral ensemble Moving Voices will be performing as Gaeilge at the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre on Grand Canal Quay in Ringsend. And Hard Working Class Heroes artists will be taking over a Downstairs Dublin basement.

For full culture night listings, see or download the official app.