Culture Night is a spectacular evening that showcases the very best of what Dublin has to offer. It is a chance to explore, all the artistic and musical talent,which is rarely seen or too expensive for the vast majority of us to view. It is a coming together of people from all walks of life; families, the unemployed, those living on the streets, rich bankers, creatives and budding student journalists. All of this is mixed together in a collection of free events.
However, for most of the events and exhibitions are on at the same time. So you ended up dashing furtively throughout the city, getting there too late. The Irish school of Burlesque ran a workshop, only a half an hour before there was a tour at U2’s old recording studio. This gave you a choice between whether you wanted to learn ‘a sexy shimmy’ or nosy around the starting place of Ireland’s mega band. Le Galaxie also played NCAD for free at the same time. It left you unsatisfied, believing there was something cooler just around the corner.
The dash around the city was definitely worth it in the end, to enjoy a pint of Guinness or a shot of whisky on the house. Masterclass brewers, Guinness and Teeling Whiskey Distillery, were giving free tours about their history and production. Dublin used to boast 37 distilleries in the centre, but now it is rare to have any Irish alcohol brands made here anymore. It was a pleasure to see the hand crafted Telling’s through the distilling process and learn how this 125 year old Dublin favourite was made.
If you were around earlier in the day at UCD, you could also view a wonderful exhibition of the collaboration between scientist and artists. One of the artist of UCD Parity Studios; Maria McKinley fused together old and new ideas of fertility. As you can see in the above picture, she made a wearable harvest maiden out of semen straws, which are used to inseminate cows. Do not worry, veterinary scientists were consulted, no animal was harmed by wearing these fertility devices. Other exhibitors looked at how light passes and moves in a space by threading fish hooks around the science building.
Culture Night definitely had everything this year; free live music, alcohol, artistic expression, scientific exploration and the people of Dublin to make it worthwhile. Waiting for next year will be an ordeal.