Culture Nights for Belfast and Derry

After a successful first year, Culture Night returns to Belfast - and Derry will be next. Watch a video from Culture Night Belfast 2009 below

Following the huge success of last year’s inaugural event, organisers have announced that Culture Night Belfast will return for 2010. Culture Night 2009 attracted over 15,000 people to Belfast's Cathedral Quarter as dozens of public areas, venues and buildings were swamped with performers and performances for one night only.

Hundreds of local artists, organisations and businesses took part, offering free theatre, music gigs, exhibits, events, talks and tours throughout the evening for members of the public to enjoy in what proved to be an exhilarating celebration of the cultural life of the city. Read what our cultural commentators had to say about Culture Night 2009 here.

And with Culture Night Belfast 2010 sure to take place on Friday, September 24, Derry - the first UK City of Culture - is set to follow suit with a Culture Night of its own. Derry City Council is currently working in partnership with the Temple Bar Cultural Trust - and other organisations in Derry - to develop a Culture Night 2010 program that would work for artists, venues and businesses in the city.

Speaking on behalf of the Culture Night Belfast committee, Patricia Freedman said she was delighted at the public reaction to Culture Night Belfast 2009 and looked forward to another brilliant event this year.

'We’re absolutely thrilled at the success of last year’s Culture Night, which took a lot of good will and determination from all of those involved and developed into something really enjoyable. Many people took a chance on the idea of a Culture Night in Belfast based on similar evenings held in cities like Reykjavik, Copenhagen and Dublin. It puts us up there with other European capitals. We want to take Culture Night Belfast even further this year with an expanded programme of events in the Cathedral Quarter and in partner communities across the city.'

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Pat Convery said: 'We see culture and arts as the 'essence' of Belfast - and vital to improving quality of life for local people. As well as encouraging people of all ages to participate in the arts, Culture Night is providing yet another great visitor attraction and boosting our evening economy.'

While planning for Culture Night 2010 is still at an early stage, programme and production manager Kresanna Aigner promised that visitors to this year’s event would be in for a memorable evening. 'Last year was a huge learning curve for the team and this year we have a wonderful opportunity to take that positive experience and really establish Culture Night in the Belfast social calendar. We don’t know just yet exactly what weird and wonderful things will be happening, but people can look forward to another magical evening of discovery, art, entertainment and fun.'

Culture Night Belfast is supported by Belfast City Council, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Department for Social Development and the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure. Details for the programme launch for Culture Night 2010 will be announced shortly. Go to www.culturenightbelfast.com to check for details. All Culture Night activities will be free and open to everyone.