With the delayed Galway International Arts Festival coming to a conclusion this weekend, it's like there’s a perfect creative storm for the 2021 staging of Culture Night in the city.

As well as a range of activities under the umbrella of the official Arts Festival, there are lots of other online and in person events lined up over the course of the evening.

Following last year's online event - the theme for this year's Culture Night is 'Come Together Again' as audiences return to live performances.

The proceedings got under way this afternoon, with the unveiling of a new plaque for the city’s Poetry Trail. This involves the placing of works by local poets at locations around Galway; each referencing the geographical place influencing the words engraved on limestone carvings.

'Vortex’ by Gerard Reidy is the 25th such poem to form part of the ever expanding trail. Detailing the poet’s arrival in Galway to study at the local university, it will be formally unveiled by author Mike McCormack.

Later today, a surge in reading during the pandemic will be discussed and considered by authors and poets in an online event from Ballybane Library.

There will be a bilingual demonstration and exhibition of traditional crafts at Westside Community Resource Centre from 6pm to 8pm.

Soon afterwards, an atmospheric audio-visual experience is in store on the grounds of St Nicholas’ Church, as DJs collaborate with light artists to project beams and beats into the night sky.

Elsewhere in Co Galway, Ballinasloe-based artist collective Group 8 will open its annual exhibition, UNBOUND, which will run today and tomorrow, featuring writing, paintings, wood turning, textiles, photography, ceramics, mixed media, and sculpture inspired by pandemic experiences.


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Young musicians from the Athenry Music School Sinfonietta will debut a performance of Raymond Deane's A Baroque Session at 7pm, just one of a myriad of activities taking place in the town tonight.

In Ballinderreen, artist Róisín Curé will host a sketching class, where she will talk about and demonstrate works from her book on life in the region: 'An Urban Sketcher’s Galway’.

There’s plenty to whet the appetite of people in Mayo too.

In Ballina, ‘Beginnings’ will feature some of the town’s musical talent strutting their stuff on stage in Tom Ruane park, from 6.30pm. The event is billed as the launch of Ballina 2023, a planned year-long celebration to mark the 300th Anniversary of the town.

There’s a Mayo twist on the Galway poetry trail at Ballycroy National Park, where guided tours will feature poems inspired by the surrounding area, on a 2km trail around the stunning landscape. The walk concludes with a musical session as the sun sets over the west coast.

Elsewhere, the multicultural riches of Ballyhaunis will be celebrated in ‘Pushing an Open Door’. Local artists have painted greetings in the home languages of the town’s inhabitants to showcase the tapestry of life in the east Mayo area.

The Castlebar Concert Band will give an open air recital on the Mall, with what’s described as an "uplifting repertoire" from 7pm. A few hundred metres away, Mayo musicians will also be tuning up for performances on Castle Street through the evening.

After dark, there will be jazz vibes in Westport as a two hour concert takes place for a small outdoor audience, with the proceedings also being streamed online.

The National Museum of Country Life will open late to welcome locals and visitors alike to the range of exhibitions and activities available there.