s we cautiously leave our lockdown trenches, this Friday offers up lots of reasons to be less fearful of actually going out.
Taking place on Friday, September 17th, Culture Night boasts free arts and cultural events all over the country, giving you the chance to turn and face the strange.
Without spending a single dime. Hurrah!
In our neck of the woods, there’s not a much to get excited and delighted about, with the Greystones library gang assuring us they’ll have a plan later today, and Lalli de Buitlear will be hosting one of her much-loved tours of Delgany’s 7th century graveyard from 12pm to 1.30pm.
Launching on Culture Night and running until Sunday 26th, noted Finnish artist Kaisa Ypya’s solo debut exhibition Into Nature will be at Signal Arts Centre in sunny Bray. For those who like their art a little on the non-mass-produced side. Details here.
Miss Ypya’s exhibition is also part of Signal’s Irish Myths & Legends programme on the big night, with outdoor children’s activities from 3pm to 5pm, Irish storytelling from 3.30pm to 4.30pm (booking essential), a guided art trail at 6.30pm, and Kaisa Ypya’s Into Nature from 7pm to 9pm, featuring live music from 8pm to 9pm courtesy of Dan Laffan. Yep, that Dan Laffan. To book a spot, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 012760239.
Kayssie K, OK…?
Elsewhere in Bray, there’s an hour-long celebration of poetry and music on the Culture Night Stage (which will be in the People’s Park, down by de Dargle), with the town’s poet laureate Kayssie K performing alongside fellow riddling rhymers Jane Clarke and Nell Regan, host Carmel Cullen and singer-songwriter Amy Barrett. Running from 6pm to 7pm, the gang will be down at the Bray Bandstand from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, when the Bray Poetry Town poem will be unveiled.
Over at the Mermaid Arts Centre, they’re extending their opening hours to 8pm for their current exhibition Glencree Valley by Joe Wilson. With free entry, you can find out more here. And while we have you there, trad band Glimpse will be performing on the Bray Bandstand from 5.45pm to 6.30pm. Earlier, Bray’s tribal dance troupe Zoryanna will be shaking their money-makers on the bandstand from 5.15pm to 5.30pm, returning after a much-needed nap for another performance from 6.45pm to 7pm.
Heading further out of town, Mary Coughlan is part of the Alchemy Music Culture Night at the Ashford Community and Heritage Centre, from 7pm to 8.30pm; Arklow Music and Arts will present an online concertat 8pm featuring piper Denis New, Noaimh Penston, John Nolan & Johnny Stafford, The Harper Family, Denise Brennan and The Decades; the Courthouse Gallery in Tinahely will play host to an evening of art, music, dance and creative wellness at 6pm to 6.45pm and 7.30pm to 8.15pm as visual artist Joan Davis launches Gallery As Garden; Kilcoole’s Julie-Rose will bring McCormick’s Puppets to Dunlavin’s Market Square Town Park for a production of Beauty & The Beast from 5.45pm to 6.15pm; also rolling into Dunalvin for Culture Night is the Mobile Music Machine Concert, with tenor Ross Scanlon (playing The Whale Sunday), violinist Lynda O’Connor, viola player Carla Vedres and cellist Gerald Peregrine taking to the same stage from 7.15pm to 8.15pm. Also at the square, The Bodhrán Buzz sees noted session player Robbie Walsh bring out the tribal diddley-aye drummer in everyone with a music workshop from 5pm to 5.30pm; award-winning songwriter and producer Mark Caplice marks the release of his debut single, Catch A Tear, with a concert at Russborough House, from 5pm to 7pm, whilst acclaimed classical pianist Fiachra Garvey will be hitting that same stage at 7.30pm to tickle the hell out of those ivories.
And that, my fat friends, would appear to be that. For now.
So, not exactly a bumper year, which is understandable, given the times that we’re living through, but there might just be something there to remind you that magic is all around us. And it’s even more magical when it’s free, baby.
You can check out the official Wicklow line-up for Culture Night right about here.
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