Culture Night has been in existence for the last 8 years and has been growing in reputation, talent and numbers since then. This year as a member of Cavan County Museum, I was not technically getting to take part in the drama and activities but I was actually working at them. The line up for County Cavan was quite impressive this year, it seems that the culture night vibe has caught on and everyone wanted a piece of the action.
Our line up in the museum was quite diverse. Cavan County Museum often suffers from its location, being a 20 minute drive from Cavan town in the small and tranquil location of Ballyjamesduff, we sometimes find it difficult to encourage visitors to make the trek out. On Friday the 20th we did not have that problem!! Our first event was a Horrible Histories Magic Show, this event had been run in the museum before and was a huge success then but the streams of people that flooded through the doors on Friday was a shock to everyone.
Approximately 130 people attended the event, young and old. Laughter was heard throughout the museum with children being placed in the stocks and a bunny rabbit appearing out of thin air. I have to say as a worker and not just a member of staff, this event was slightly stressful. Watching as children shouted and screeched with excitement and fear at the tricks that were unfolding before their eyes was uneventful. Never knowing whether a joke would be deemed inappropriate or a trick too scary makes the event less enjoyable for the staff. Although that seems appropriate, I wasn’t there to be entertained I was there to work.
And work I did, well my feet anyway. Even in sensible shoes my feet still burned when I got home. After the magic show, our visitors were treated to the unexpected performance of a modern band! In the confines of a former convent where nuns once lived in solitude and servitude the halls were now filled with guitar riffs and trumpet sounds. The band were not what the visitors expected which made it all the more rewarding when everyone left the building with smiles on their faces.
Overall culture night was extremely enjoyable and entertaining. Much of my pleasure was expressed through my continuous twitter updates throughout the night. The joys of running social media outlets is that you get to share with others, events as they unfold. Although not present at the event, the museum’s loyal followers had the opportunity to get a taster of the action from whatever location they happened to be in.
I hope to next year be able to take part in some Culture Night events, the quantity of activities across the country is superb and the standard keeps getting higher and higher. One thing I did take away from Cavan County Museum’s events was to never go for the obvious thing. The band were so unexpected and yet were all anyone could talk about leaving the building. As a young modern band, you would expect some of the older generation to be put off but that was not the case. The fact that they got to see something different in an unusual setting was exciting for them. I would recommend culture night to everyone. It is a rare opportunity to see something different and exciting and it is all for free!!!