Big turnout hoped for Culture Night
A record number of visitors are expected to fill 34 towns, cities and regions across the island next month for a free evening of music, dance, theatre and art.
Museums, galleries, theatres, churches, historic houses, artists' studios and cultural institutions throw open their doors for Culture Night on Friday, September 20.
The eclectic mix of cultural and art will include a live performance by the RTE Concert Orchestra in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar.
Last year a record 300,000 people took to hundreds of venues and streets across the cities and towns of Ireland for events.
Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan said the extraordinary night of cultural festivities has grown each year since its inception in 2006, with inspiring commitment from local authorities, cultural organisations and participants throughout the country.
"There is a diverse programme of performances, events and exhibitions available to the public," he said.
"Figures show increased tourist numbers for the nationwide event, and in this the year of the Gathering even greater numbers can be expected to participate."
Details of the eighth annual Culture Night were unveiled at a colourful launch in Dublin's city centre and are available on www.culturenight.ie
New highlights include an art exhibition featuring work from seminal visual trailblazer Maser at Butler Gallery's Red Square in Kilkenny, learning to play orchestral instruments made from food with the Fruit & Veg Orchestra in Belfast and a fashion show on the old walls of Derry.
Other cross border events will be held in Armagh, and the districts of Newry, Omagh and Strabane.
The gates of Leinster House will also be opened to welcome 1,650 members of the public for an evening of culture and entertainment.
As well as providing free bus routes across the capital, Dublin Bus will schedule a programme of performances on their services including music and spoken word.
Ray Yeates, of Temple Bar Cultural Trust, said: "When we witness the incredible number of people that descend on the streets on Culture Night, we can be in no doubt that the cultural and creative industries in Ireland are thriving. Ireland consistently punches above its weight across all facets of cultural endeavour and enterprise and Culture Night is an annual celebration of this.
"We encourage both discerning culture fans and newcomers alike to get out on the streets."