One of the most enjoyable  nights I every spent in my native city was on Belfast’s first Culture Night, a balmy evening filled with wonderment and magic and smiles. 

The Cathedral Quarter was like the bit of The Wizard of Oz which goes from monochrome to technicolor.

On September 21st this year, Culture Night will return spreading its magic out across the city in what promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Here’s most of the official press release. It this doesn’t whet your appetite, hold your wrist and check for a pulse.

The countdown clock has begun ticking on Belfast’s biggest, most colourful and inclusive cultural celebration.

On Friday 21 September 2012, Culture Night Belfast will once more radically transform the streets of Belfast, indoors and out, upstairs and downstairs, in a magical evening of exploration and adventure.

Last year, over 180 organisations and individuals performed, presented, curated, cultivated, illuminated, showed, screened, told and generally opened up to over 20,000 people across the city centre and beyond.

Culture Night Belfast Manager Adam Turkington said CNB 2012 would deliver an evening of free family-friendly fun, which would build on the success of last year: “During last year’s festivities, it was wonderful to witness the evening unfold as the city centre became a vast, colourful canvas for families and individuals, locals and tourists, artists and audiences to participate and contribute to. There was a real sense of ‘Belfast at its very best’. But this year, the gloves really are off!”

Culture Night Belfast 2012 will be the boldest yet, with a vast array of venues, galleries, artists, artists’ studios, performers, historic buildings, cultural organisations, churches, restaurants and many more already signed up to offer free performances, events, talks and tours.

Revealed early tasters include Transatlantic Diner (a one-off live link-up between local dining legends Blinkers and a New York diner) and the Belfast Film Festival’s screening of the crowd-sourced Star Wars Uncut. Forum for Alternative Belfast and NI Opera will transform the beautiful Tivoli Barber Shop once more with cacophonously cutthroat excerpts from Sweeney Todd.

Elsewhere there’s a Meditation Flash Mob on the loose, a mysterious Street of Magic, a perplexing Perspex Pyramid, and of course Belfast vs the Flying Saucers.

These are just a few of the awe-inspiring range of activities and events taking place across the city centre and beyond that will make the fourth Culture Night Belfast an incomparable interactive extravaganza for all.

Organisers won’t give much more away until the Culture Night programme launch on 30 August, but have disclosed plans for a centrepiece, sixties-inspired, ‘Love and Peace Parade’ which will take place on Donegall Street throughout the evening to mark World Peace Day (which also just happens to falls on 21 September). Big, shiny, non-contentious parades aside, CNB 2012 promises something exciting around every corner, suitable for all ages, tastes and shoe sizes.

All Culture Night events are absolutely free and open to everyone in Belfast’s “big night out”. If you have an idea or suggestion or want to find out more, you can interact with Culture Night Belfast on Facebook, Twitter (@CultureNightBel) or


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