Culture Night 2021 - what are you going to see?

Music, visual arts, guided tours, online radios, classes and workshops, poetry, and theatre in the city and county

Youth Ballet West will be taking part in Culture Night. Photo:- Darachphotography

Youth Ballet West will be taking part in Culture Night. Photo:- Darachphotography

FOR 18 months the arts were in lockdown, but the autumn saw them return, and this weekend there will be events all over the city and county with Culture Night 2021, under the theme of ‘Come Together Again’.

Culture Night - Friday September 17 - is about free events with the aim of encouraging everyone to take part in, enjoy, and experience the arts. In Galway city alone, there will be more than 40 events, involving more than 200 artists, while the county will boast an array of happenings including music, art classes, and exhibitions.

Live events in the city

Galway City Culture Night is curated by Jane Hanberry and the flagship event will be ‘Give Us The Night’, with Galway Light Festival presenting ‘NIGHTVISION’, an atmospheric, audio-visual experience - ambient, electronic and experimental sounds playing alongside a special light installation from Brendan Savage - in the grounds of St Nicholas Collegiate Church from 8.30pm.

Earlier at 2.30pm, the latest plaque on the Galway Poetry Trail will be unveiled - ‘Vortex’ by Gerard Reidy - a homage to Galway in which the poet describes his coming to Galway for the first time as a UCG student. The event is in association with Kenny’s Bookshop and Cuirt International Festival of Literature.

Morgan Creative will present two songs from their original musical, Immortal outside Galway City Museum at 7pm; The Harmonica Fixer premiers online, a short film profiling musician Cathal Johnson’s work as a harmonica technician. Cathal Johnson and musicians involved in the film will perform outside at The Crane from 6pm.

Galway Community Circus will host Circus SWAP: the battle of all battles, featuring circus tricks, at 6pm from St Joseph’s Community Centre.

Forge Clay Studios will open its doors at 4pm for a botanical press workshop and wheel throwing demonstrations from forge members and professionals Aoife Natsumi Frehan, Anne Rumph, and Rory Clark. Meanwhile, Galway hookers and gleóiteogs will be at quayside from 8.30pm.

Livefeed is a Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture project for young people (aged 13 - 18 ) and at 7pm in The Cornstore arcade, there will be a showcase of original music from some of its many talented participants.

Rounding out the evening is ‘The Craic is Back’ at Carroll’s Caravan Club from 6pm until late, a variety show curated by Gerry Hanberry featuring music, poetry, story, and comedy, with Paraic Breathnach, Tracey Bruen, Darra MaGuire, Fergal MacDonnagh, Vibe Tribe, James Colohan, and Tom Mathews.

Walking tours

Karen O Leary Culture Night 2021

Join Karen O’Leary [pictured above] at 1pm to explore what could be called Galway’s open air art gallery, and see work by Finbar 247, Sutek_west, Danleo, and Shane O’Malley.

The 14th Galway Scouts are inviting the public to attend a series of campfire performances from 5pm where youth members will host improv storytelling and campfire songs.

Galway City Museum presents this year’s 'History Blitz' from 5.30pm, a walkabout visiting memorial sites relating to the 1916-23 period; a bilingual demonstration/exhibition of traditional crafts will be held at Westside Community Resource Centre from 6pm to 8pm; Brendan J Hynes will present his 'Famous People, Theatre and Literature Tour of Galway' tour at 6.30pm; and there will be a self-guided walking tour, with audio commentary, of the Drowned Galway exhibition.

Live events in the county

Live music is back and the county will be able to enjoy a concert for Culture Night. ‘Let's go outside - art, culture, music at The Quiet Man Station’ at Ballyglunin Station Culture Night will feature one of Ireland's most vibrant young bands, the Barcelo Brothers, who will perform R’n’B, reggae, soul, and funk.

The final concert series of Bouncing Off The Walls features a special performance by Little John Nee at Athenry Heritage Centre, which will also host live comedy with ‘Retreat! Meet the characters’, from the play Retreat by Aoibheann McCann.

Poet Bernie Crawford will read a selection of poems from her newly published book Living Water at Middlethird Farm, Oranmore. In Interface Inagh there will be an artist’s talk on Broken Vessels, a site specific, international collaborative arts project curated by South African artist Brent Meistre.

Emma O'Sullivan 2021

Ballinderreen Community Centre will host a bilingual art class with artist Róisín Curé. The Bualadh Bos Oranmore Drama Group will perform the first scene of the I Do Not Like Thee Dr. Fell; dancer Emma O’Sullivan [pictured above] will give an introduction to the world of sean-nós dance; and Inishbofin Community Services will present an all-ages drumming and music workshop.

The Mall Theatre, Tuam, will present a screening of Frank – the Man with the Camera, featuring the film archives of Frank Glynn, local filmmaker documenting life in the area in the 1960s and 1970s. Solstice Arts Group will present an event at Campbell's Tavern. Bring a song, poem, story or dance and professional musicians will be on hand as your own backing band.

Visual arts

Opening at 11am at the quadrangle, NUI Galway, will be a display of 21 bespoke painted currach sculptures commissioned to celebrate 21 years of Áras Éanna, the Inis Óirr Arts Centre.

This event will also be a classical concert as there will be live music from the great ConTempo Quartet, who will perform music by Roth, Debussy, and Baker. Tickets, which are free but extremely limited and can be booked via

From 3pm, the GMIT hosts Plan C: Whereabouts?, the showcase for the Masters in Creative Practice for the 2020 and 2021 graduates, curated by Ruby Wallis and Michaële Cutaya, and featuring painting, sculpture, textile, installation, and film.

Art In Mind with Michael D Higgins Julia Dunin

Photo:- Julia Dunin

Musical guests will accompany a group exhibition from 4pm at Art in Mind, Liosbán, showcasing works from residents' studios and guest artists featuring sculpture, painting, ceramics, and photography.

The Claddagh Art Collective will host an exhibition by Joe Westcott and Jarlath Tourish, involving tattoos, painting, sculpture,and photography. Galway Arts Centre will be holding a retrospective of the work of Ger Sweeney, while Margaret Nolan will display 'Iconic', an exhibition of drawings and collage in the windows of Tigh Neachtain and 2 Wild Geese.

Marqu VR will display architectural projection mappings to create 3D illusions on the Town Hall Theatre. In The Latin Quarter, Dolores Lyne has curated a showcase of eight Galway city art collectives which will be displayed on the television screens at The Dáil Bar and The Front Door.

Tommy Campbell Group 8 Culture Night 2021

UNBOUND – Group 8 Exhibition will happen all day at Ballinasloe Town Hall Theatre, featuring writing, paintings, wood turning, textiles, ceramics, mixed media, and sculpture [including the work pictured above by Tommy Campbell] inspired by pandemic experience. See

The public will also be able to visit the Athenry studio of award winning Galway artist Aideen Monaghan, and experience her artistic process, and view her paintings, drawings, greeting cards, and limited edition prints.

Skylark Centre will present Just Keep Swimming, with the centre’s windows transformed into an aquarium with artwork showing a range of underwater sea life.

Limelight Creative Arts, Oranmore, will present Creating Biodiversity, featuring artwork and Limelight’s process of investigating and documenting wildlife in the Oranmore and Rinville, in collaboration with artist Amy Ní Bhranagáin.

Online events

The young musicians of Athenry Music School Sinfonietta will debut their performance of Raymond Deane’s ‘A Baroque Session (with Carolan and Friends )’ joined by violinists Séamus McGuire and Niamh Crowley, violist Kenneth Rice, and cellist Adrian Mantu. The conductor is Sinead Hayes.

Listen to a 15-minute documentary by Mary Cunningham features interviews with people who swam at Salthill in the 1960s; Eva’s Echo presents a rehearsed reading of Dose, exploring toxic family dynamics, mental healt, and struggles unique to Queer relationships. Moth and Butterfly will present storytelling and improvisation on the Culture Night theme of ‘Come Together Again’.

Planet Science will also give a digital workshop to children to explore different topics in chemistry, physics, biology, and geology.

Ballybane Public Library will stream Galway city librarians discussing reading through the pandemic, joined by poet Rita Ann Higgins [pictured above]. Galway City Library hosts Storyteller Rab Fulton for a folklore and fairy tale session.

Youth Ballet West will present an online film, A Twist of Claddagh Swans and Dance, navigating the challenge of keeping artistic dance alive during the pandemic. Fontanella Dance company shares its solo dance film commission Plurabelle, inspired by the South Galway landscape.

Skehana and District Heritage Group will launch its own online radio station. This very first broadcast will feature live events and recordings made over the past 50 years. Loughrea Community Radio presents an evening of on air entertainment and banter with local groups and individuals.

Why not learn what Irish people mean when they say “Grand”, “I will yeah!” and “What’s the craic?” with Comedian and English teacher Steve Bennett in the online workshop,‘Culture Through Comedy’.

Children take to the airwaves

CURAM Children on the airwaves

The first episode of Science Waves, a new podcast series led by primary school children as part of a public engagement project at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway, airs tomorrow at 11am on 101.3FM, Flirt FM.

Science Waves is made by children for children, in partnership with Foróige and NUIG alternative radio station, FLIRT FM,and with input from researchers at CÚRAM and NUIG.

“The themes chosen for the podcasts include the brain, heart health, diabetes and sugar and the immune system,” said project lead, Andrea Fitzpatrick. “There is a big emphasis on creating questions and explanations using ‘everyday’ and accessible language and we are excited for the first of a series of these podcasts to air this week.”

There are more events taking place for Culture Night, For full details on what is happening in your area, see Many of the events have been made possible by funding by the Galway City Council.

Science Night Time Darkness Ireland Galway City teacher St Josephs Community Centre artist Entertainment_Culture Little John Nee Tracey Bruen Town Hall Theatre comedian poet conductor Galway Arts Centre NUIG Steve Bennett ConTempo Quartet Galway City Museum Galway artist St Nicholas Collegiate Church Tom Mathews Frank Glynn musician dancer Kennys Bookshop Forige Gerry Hanberry Westside Community Resource Centre Solstice Arts Group Ballinderreen Community Centre Flirt FM Shane Finbar cellist Brendan Savage Andrea Fitzpatrick Dil Bar Amy CRAM Crane Adrian Mantu Rinville mixed media Margaret Nolan Ruby Wallis Karen Emma Rita Ann Higgins Raymond Deane Risn Cur Julia Dunin Private Equity Athenry Heritage Centre Commercial Food Services Dolores Lyne Aoibheann McCann District Heritage Group Aideen Monaghan Debussy CAMPBELL'S TAVERN Mary Cunningham Bernie Crawford Skylark SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices Mall Theatre Galway Poetry Trail online film Cathal Johnson Jane Hanberry Paraic Breathnach James Colohan Ballybane Public Library Tommy Campbell Kenny online workshop online events Baker Quiet Man Station Loughrea Community Radio Sinead Hayes Carolan Government Administration Activities Software (NEC) Industrial Machinery & Equipment (NEC) Cur IT Services & Consulting (NEC) Ger Sweeney Samus McGuire Kenneth Rice Niamh Crowley Time in astronomy Aoife Natsumi Frehan Skylark Centre Eva Echo Fergal MacDonnagh Athenry studio Gerard Reidy Cornstore arcade harmonica technician Anne Rumph Carrolls Caravan Club Jarlath Tourish Darra MaGuire Roth Fontanella Dance company Storyteller Rab Fulton Brent Meistre online radio station Frank The Man Bualadh Bos Oranmore Drama Group Joe Westcott Rory Clark A Twist of Claddagh Swans and Dance Inis irr Arts Centre Brendan J Hynes Camera Amy N Bhranagin

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