The countdown begins to Belfast’s firt ever weekend of Culture!
Among the main themes revealed for this year’s Culture Night (& Day) at the programme launch are Pride, Accessibility and Sustainability. Organisers also said that they wanted to refocus Culture Night’s vision for and of Belfast, celebrating and elevating local artists and their vital contribution in the city.
Culture Night Manager Claire Hall said:
“Joining Culture Night has inspired me to looked at Belfast anew; re-examine how we interact with our public spaces and places, to take fresh pride our city.
This year, I believe our programme truly reflects Pride, in ALL its senses I think it’s our most inclusive in terms of Gender and Sexual identity. We are also addressing accessibility head-on, with quiet, accessible spaces dotted throughout the city.
This is also the year Culture Night Belfast goes Green and joins the fight against Climate Change. We’re also thrilled to support there’s Trans Pride, Ginger Pride and Pride in our amazing Female DJ crews with GXRL Code and Marion Hawkes, Female fronted bands on our Power NI Stage. There’s a Pop-Up Queer performance with Harland and Poof, a first collaboration with AVA Festival. AND – hopefully – our last ever Big Fat Gay Wedding, as marriage equality finally appears on the horizon.
This year, I’d also like to pay tribute to every musician, artist, performer, organisation and venue. It’s their fearlessness, creativity and willingness to get involved that makes this city and this festival what it is. We are Belfast. We are Culture Night. And we are PROUD. See you on the 20th and 21st September!”
Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to every musician, artist, performer, organisation and venue. It’s your fearlessness, creativity and willingness to get involved that makes this city and this festival what it is. We are Belfast. We are Culture Night. And we are PROUD. See you on the 20th and 21st September!”
Highlights of Culture Night and Day 2019 include the opening up for the very first time of the Masonic Hall on Rosemary Street for two days of screenings, performances and activities. The first ever Street Feast food and drink market at St Anne’s Cathedral, the CNB Bazaar, Brilliant Trails along the city’s Riverfront and Harbour, colourful musical magic with Mix the City at Belfast City Hall, the Cathedral Gardens will be transformed into the Light Gardens for a mini-festival of great live music and more, the Metro Cabaret Bus will boast the most portable, bijou speakeasy in town.
This year, Culture Night is more green and accessible than ever before with quiet places and disability access right across the event, plus free water refills and reuseable water bottles ina ground-breaking collaboration with NI Water, and the CNB Recycle Zone at St Anne’s Cathedral from which waste will be separated and recycled for use by local businesses.
Culture Nighters are also encouraged to leave their cars at home for the weekend and instead motor their way into the city through peddle or leg power, plus there’s extra trains and late night buses laid on by partners Translink.
Culture Night also reveals its first ever “green checklist” which can be accessed from the website, app and programme.
Overall, organisers have promised two days of accessible, inclusive fun, adventure and wonder for all. And all absolutely free!
At the launch, Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor John Finucane said:
“We’ve put cultural participation at the heart of our Belfast Agenda, so I’m delighted to see Culture Night expand to become Culture Night and Day – meaning even more people from all ages and backgrounds can get involved.
“If you’ve been before, you’ll know that it’s a joyous, inspirational and inclusive event that brings out the very best of Belfast’s creativity and welcoming, fun spirit. And if you haven’t yet been – I’d encourage you to get along to see for yourself and be part of the celebrations. I can say with confidence that Culture Night and Day really will make you proud of Belfast.”
Culture Night is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery fund. Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:
“In just a few weeks’ time, Belfast will throw open its doors once again to celebrate our wonderful city and its fantastic arts and cultural scene. With events happening across two days and a particular focus this year on accessibility, we very much hope that more people than ever will come out to enjoy the creative talent, energy and excitement which makes this free annual event so special.”
Chair of the Cathedral Quarter Trust, Paul McErlean said:
“In our 11th year, we’re very excited to be able to finally make a weekend of it at Culture Night Belfast! Of course, cultural activity in our city isn’t confined to one night a year. Extending Culture Night into Culture Day reflects that, and shows just how intrinsically art, culture and community is woven into the fabric of the city we call home. Culture Night and Day also gives the organisers the space and time to include even more events over a packed two-day programme. It’s great for tourism, it’s great for business and it’s great for Belfast. Here’s to the second decade of Culture, Night and Day!”