Culture Night is one of the most hotly anticipated cultural celebrations in Belfast every September when the streets fill with excited people enjoying everything the Arts have to offer. 

Whilst the event cannot be presented in the same way for 2020, due to the challenges of the pandemic, the team at Culture Night has designed a fantastic, jam-packed programme of music, debates, exhibitions and films to be enjoyed online on Friday 18th September, supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and Belfast Harbour.

Streaming across a number of virtual platforms, this year’s programme will see venues such as St Anne’s Cathedral, Black Box, the Oh Yeah Centre and The MAC act as the backdrop to what is set to be an exciting evening of entertainment.  Among the performers taking part this year are, Ulster Orchestra, Lyric Theatre, The MAC, Cherrie On Top, Susie Blue, Sinead O’Donnell, tenx9, Charles Hurts, Becha, Stephen Beggs, Paul Currie, George Quinn, Rachael McCabe, Bounce Culture, Belfast Community Circus School, The Swing Gals and many more. 

The programme will also include a specially commissioned piece by filmmaker, Will McConnell, called, We’re Still Here, two documentaries from Trocaire and the premiere of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission film, It Seems, along with a discussion chaired by NIHRC Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby.

Culture Night Online 2020 is one of 150 arts organisations in Northern Ireland who recently received funding from the Department for Communities through the Arts Council’s Organisations Emergency Programme.  This programme aims to offer a much-needed financial lifeline to arts organisations to enable them to continue producing creative work, assist with operational costs and to help plan for recovery. 

The programme is part of the wider £5.5m funding package announced by Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín, Department for Communities, to support the arts, creative industries and cultural sector during the current pandemic.

Susan Picken, Director, Cathedral Quarter Trust, said: “This year’s online programme is very different from what you may be used to but we hope it captures the varied and eclectic mix of arts and culture you have come to know and love about Culture Night. 

“There are three main strands for you to enjoy, Core, Showcase, and Gallery. Core is a special programme of performances from iconic venues across the Cathedral Quarter, Showcase is an opportunity to highlight a wide selection of artists, performers, creatives and cultural organisations and Gallery will shine a light on the work of visual artists from the region.” 

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “Despite the enormous challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, Culture Night is back with an impressive digital programme thoughtfully designed against a backdrop of iconic locations in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and featuring a wealth of Northern Irish talent from across the artistic spectrum. 

“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is hugely proud to support Culture Night through the Organisations Emergency Fund, supported by the Department for Communities, and I would encourage everyone to get online on 18th September and show your support for our tremendous arts community which contributes so much to our health and wellbeing and to our night-time economy. So, until we can all fill the streets of Belfast safely, in celebration of culture once again, please do log-on and enjoy Culture Night.” 

For more information on this year’s programme go to culturenightbelfast.com or follow #CNB20 #CNBonline on social media.