Minister for Arts Catherine Martin has said the numbers are moving in the right direction for a full reopening of the live entertainment sector on 22 October.

Ms Martin was speaking at the launch for this year's Culture Night, which takes place on Friday 17 September.

Over 1,000 events are planned for Culture Night, 80% of them in person, and all are adhering to current government guidelines which includes 60% capacity indoors and 75% outdoors where attendees are vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19.

Ms Martin said the night will be an opportunity to celebrate the Irish arts and culture sector, and will mark a major turning point in our road to recovery.

She also said she was aware the events industry needs crowds of over 80% to be viable, and she said she was looking forward very hopefully to the return of 100% capacity in all venues from 22 October.

Entitled 'Come Together Again', this year's Culture Night will showcase a wide range of activities including comedy, circus, dance, museum visits, musical performances and film.

The majority of events will be in person, but there will also be activities available online and broadcast on radio and television.

RTÉ has put together a special programme of events including a Culture Night edition of Arena, a Culture Night Special on Nationwide and a special opening performance on the Late Late Show.

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council said: "We are so excited that Culture Night is indeed about Coming Together Again with 80% of events for Friday being in person and with many late night openings around the country.

"I wish to extend our deep appreciation to everyone who has worked hard to make Culture Night part of a safe return to arts and culture. It provides opportunities for the public to discover and enjoy on one joyful night all the elements that contribute to our year round cultural feast.

"For those who cannot make it in person on Culture Night, there is plenty to explore online and broadcast on television and radio too for all ages and interests."