1 September 2020
By Tom Collins
There are less than three weeks to go until multiple Leeside venues, streets, virtual and public spaces come alive with the sights and sounds of music, dance, theatre, art and much more for Culture Night Cork City 2020.
Preparations are in full swing to ensure that this year’s event, although it will be a Culture Night different to what has gone before, it will still very much reflect the richness of Cork City’s arts and culture scene.
Launched yesterday by Culture Night Cork City Ambassador and novelist Cónal Creedon, this year’s event boasts a programme of events that offers people the chance to ‘Connect through Culture’ across a variety of media.
There will be an increased focus on virtual and online events this year. While some physical events will be taking place, the numbers allowed to attend will be restricted, so those planning to show up are advised to book in advance.
Cork City’s Culture Night celebrations in 2020 have been redefined and reconceptualised to take into consideration the current public health climate, with venue organisers using their creativity and skills to ensure all physical events will adhere to public health guidelines. While restrictions will be in place on the number of people that can be facilitated, Culture Night Cork City organisers and event venues have come together to produce a comprehensive online and virtual experience for those who love and enjoy one of Cork’s biggest and most celebrated events.
One event of note for this year’s Culture Night Cork City celebrations is ‘Ball Hopping’ by Ballincollig Youthreach students. Cork slang rap presented by this group of students which will include slang from times both pre-Covid and now, the “new normal”, and will include relevant images. This event is particularly appropriate given the times we’re in as it will be pre-recorded and then will be shown on Ballincollig Youthreach’s Facebook Page on Culture Night itself.
Another event which is certain to spike interest is a tour of the Lord Mayor’s Chambers in City Hall, which will be shown on www.corkcity.ie. This online tour will give people an insight into the Lord Mayor’s Chambers which display artifacts, gifts and art works, which form part of the life and traditions of the First Citizen of Cork.
Not forgetting the younger culture enthusiasts, there will be a selection of virtual and in person events to choose from – one such event will be between 5 and 6pm at the Cork City Library. Here, they will be invited to join ‘The Grand Play-aid on the Grand Parade’, a family play date with games, art and fun for all ages.
Full listings are available on www.culturenightcork.ie and new events are continuously being added in the lead up to the night itself, so it is advisable to check the website in the days before Friday September 18th.
As this year’s Culture Night Cork City was officially launched at the Everyman Theatre, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Joe Kavanagh commented:
“I’m delighted to be able to launch Culture Night Cork City 2020. Although we can’t celebrate this wonderful evening in the traditional format this year, organisers and venues have shown their resilience and commitment to making this the best event it can be, taking all the appropriate safety measures into account. The virtual and online offerings give us a chance to give people a different experience, and one we feel can broaden the scope of the event in the years to follow.
“Cork plays a huge role in maintaining Ireland’s reputation for the vast cultural heritage and sheer volume of talent that exists here, across all facets of the Arts. Culture Night in particular offers us a unique opportunity to showcase the many wonderful strings to this city’s bow, in terms of drama, music, literature, art and much more. I would encourage the people of Cork to make a point of circling Friday 18th September in their calendars, to have a look at the full offering of events, online, in-person and outdoors. This will be the perfect opportunity to soak up the many free cross platform events on offer and tour the city in a different way.
“This year, more than ever, it is so important that we embrace and support events like this which remind us of our strengths, our talents and our heritage. It truly is a chance for us all to lose ourselves in a little magic for one night only.”
In a city that celebrates the arts in many ways all year round, what is it that sets Culture Night apart from any other day of the week? There are two key criteria that distinguish a Culture Night event or venue:
- It must be a free event
- It must be open and accessible to the public after 4pm
Cork author and playwright Cónal Creedon was quick to share his enthusiasm over his status as Ambassador of Culture Night Cork City for 2020.
“I am honoured to be appointed 2020 Culture Night Ambassador for Cork City. For one night only, a magical atmosphere envelops the city as Corkonians of all ages take to the streets to entertain and be entertained. It is a feast for our senses: sights, sounds and scents – a festival of colour, theatre, music and food – a celebration of Cork itself.
“Culture is a reflection of who we are; it is how we express ourselves and how others perceive us. Ours is a culture to be treasured and savoured at every view and vista, every step, steeple and steep hill, every bridge that spans the River Lee, every twist and turn of winding streets. Ours is a culture where change is embraced, a city that reaches out the hand of friendship, extends the hand of welcome – as our motto proudly declares – Cork is a ‘safe harbour for all ships’.
“Culture Night Cork City offers an opportunity for us to take stock of who we are, who we were and where we are going. The restrictions of COVID-19 will certainly present challenges in how we express ourselves, how we socially interact and engage, but the challenges of the present are the building blocks from which our culture of the future will be built.
“I look forward to Culture Night Cork City 2020 when the doors of the city will be thrown open, and we the citizens are invited to experience the beating heart of our city. It is an invitation not to be missed”.
For more information on Culture Night Cork City 2020, visit www.culturenightcork.ie or keep up to date with the programme by following the conversation online #CorkCultureNight and #ConnectThroughCulture. Check out Facebookcorkcityarts or Twitter @corkcityarts. Culture Night is brought to you by the Arts Council in partnership with Cork City Council.