Photo by Chris Laughlin
Culture Night has proved to be one of the best nights to experience some of the best entertainment in the city for free.
I had the opportunity to head to the event for the first time this year and had tried to plan what I wanted to see.
But there was so much happening, it was really better to just go where the night took you.
When I arrived at city hall there was a samba band already warming up and the weather was even mild despite a recent wintery snap.
Walking round the Cathedral Quarter, there was a genuine buzz which was contagious as a vibrant mix of people including families descended upon the area to enjoy the night.
A wrestling ring erected at Rosemary Street was host to a battle royale, to the delight of one tiny blonde girl who was reveling in the semi-orchestrated violence.
Heading towards the Oh Yeah Centre, we came across Street Countdown. Based on an infamous episode of the IT Crowd, this version came with makeshift sign, lively host and crowds providing the countdown ‘bong’.
Then in Writer’s Square, in one area there was dancing and singing, and in another the fast and furious girls of Belfast Roller Derby who were providing an outside demonstration of the contact sport. The track was cordoned off with metal gates and they seemed like caged animals spinning round – and it was exciting to witness.
After that it was a Johnny Cash tribute at the gorgeous Dark Horse Bar, which attracted a huge crowd for the man in black.
An impressive light installation was found at the DSNT event along with some pumping techno, and upon leaving we found ourselves in, of all things, a jazz funeral complete with lead mourner in white suit with matching white hair. They were grieving for democracy.
We joined in the procession until we got to Keats & Chapman bookstore, where surrealist stand-up Paul Currie was doing a one-hour show that turned into nearly two hours for free.
We arrived in time to see a man take offence to one of his sketches, which involved trying to feed the audience milk from an ironing board. You probably had to be there, but rest assured, it was very funny.
But of course there were so many other things that I just didn’t manage to catch, but that’s probably part of the night’s magic.
Speaking to others afterwards, everyone who went had their own unique experience and tales from wherever Culture Night took them, all of which sounded like great adventures.
Photo by Chris Laughlin