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Culture Night 2023 at DCU St. Patrick's Campus

For the 12th year running, DCU joins this national celebration of arts, culture and creativity with a family focused programme on St. Patrick's campus. Expect a fun-packed, thrill-filled circus cabaret  with aerial and circus performance, art workshops and music. To celebrate the Children’s Books Ireland Collection at DCU library,  there is a specially curated exhibition and drop-in book clinics for young readers. As always, we welcome the public to join the selection of guided tours on offer, to visit Seomra Caidrimh for 'ceol, comhrá agus comhluadar' and to enjoy the light installation along the lime tree walkway.

Click on the tiles below for further information on each event. 

Performance Area
Aerial Show - Doris & Mabel’s Book Club
Aerial Show - Doris & Mabel’s Book Club

Aerial Show: Doris & Mabel's Book Club

Quirky book lovers Doris and Mabel invite the audience to take an extremely
privileged peek inside their very exclusive book club! Join them as they get lost in imagination while books burst to life and enjoy a thrill ride full of fun and mayhem. Expect acrobatics, aerial rope, silks, silliness and trapeze, in a spectacular aerial circus show for all the family.

Times: 5pm & 6:45pm
All Ages

Man on Unicycle
Circus Show with Jitterbug Jackson

Circus Show: Jitterbug Jackson - I Used to Dream of Rocket Ships

Jitterbug's show I Used to Dream of Rocket ships is an exhilarating blend of circus, music, dance, song and comedy. An absurd and inventive one-man cabaret that explodes with energy from the get go allowing Jitterbug - with a healthy dollop of quirk and charm - to skilfully lead the audience to a thrilling and a celebratory interactive finale.

Times: 5:45pm
All Ages

Child spinning a plate on a stick
Circus Skills Workshop with Jitterbug Jackson

Circus Skills Workshop with Jitterbug Jackson

Circus legend Jitterbug Jackson will lead a workshop in circus skills where children and parents will discover the secrets to juggling, hula hoop, diablo, flower sticks, plate spinning and more, in a fun, interactive workshop for all the family.

Times: 7:30pm
Age Group: 4+


Brass band playing on stage
Live Music: TBL8 Brass

Live Music: TBL8 Brass

TBL8 Brass (pronounced "Table 8 Brass") are a big-band inspired brass and stage ensemble based in Dublin. Established in June 2017, TBL8 combines over 50 years’ worth of playing experience among its members from varied musical backgrounds. They pride themselves in performing both original compositions as well as original arrangements based on modern pop songs. 

With a suite of classic disco, pop, rave, and even slow-dance music in their repertoire, expect their deep notes to reverberate across St. Patrick's campus campus igniting TGI Friday vibes! 

Times: 7.30pm - 9pm

DJ & Dance
DJ Gigi smiling at the camera
Dance Party with DJ Gigi 

Circus Dance Party: With DJ Gigi 

DJ Gigi Dorgere will play a selection of family favourite tunes to get adults and children on their feet in a Circus Dance Party. 

Times: 5pm - 7pm
All Ages

Donking Rongavilla - dancer standing in front of a green bush (Photographer: Bernie McAllister)
Dance Workshop with Donking Rongavilla

Dance Workshop with Donking Rongavilla

Hip-hop dancer, choreographer and acrobat Donking Rongavilla will lead a childrens' dance workshop. Donking's dance sessions are unique, engaging, fresh and always bring a party vibe!

Time: 7pm
All Ages 

Drop in Activities
Artist Susan Leen stands in front of brick wall
Carnival Superheroes with Susan Leen

Carnival Superheroes with Susan Leen

Susan Leen will show children how to create circus superstar characters. Children will create a colourful accessory to transform into circus superstars!

Times: 5pm - 8pm 
Age Group: 3+


Animator Fiona Ryan sitting in front of a computer displaying her artwork
Brown Bag Films Storyboard Workshop

Brown Bag Films Storyboard Workshop

Join Fiona Ryan, storyboard artist at Brown Bag Films for a fun and interactive workshop on creating a storyboard for animation.

Times: 5pm - 8pm
Age Group: 5+

Woman dressed as doctor holds up childrens book
Children's Books Ireland Book Clinics

Children's Books Ireland Book Clinics

Are you a young reader looking for a new book to delve into? The drop into the Children's Books Ireland Book Clinic!

Celebrating the Children's Books Ireland Collection at DCU library, young readers are invited to meet a friendly Book Doctor. After a short chat about books, movies, TV shows and video games the young reader enjoys, the Book Doctor writes a book prescription, a recommended list of books personalised for the individual patient that they can take to their local library or bookshop.

Times: 5pm - 9pm
Age Group: 5+

Duration: 10-15 minutes


Library with colourful windows
DCU Library Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunt

Get to know Cregan Library with our self-led family scavenger hunt, with questions designed to suit all ages. Pick up the scavenger hunt questions from the library desk on the ground floor and answer them in your own time. Once you've filled in the answers, return to the library desk and claim your prize.

Times: 5pm - 9pm
Age Group: All Ages

Colouring pencils and colouring sheet
Chill Out Room for Reading and Colouring

Chill out room

Our chill out room is the perfect place to relax, read or get creative. Take a break from the excitement and lose yourself in titles from our Children's Books Ireland collection, or get doodling and colouring! You'll find the room on the first floor of the library - just make a left turn once you're there or ask our friendly staff for directions.

Times: 5pm - 9pm
Age Group: All Ages

white room with students gathered and talking
Seomra Caidrimh agus Oifig na Gaeilge DCU

Seomra Caidrimh agus Oifig na Gaeilge DCU
Buail isteach ag an Seomra Caidrimh, Campas Phádraig OCBÁC do sheisiún Trad - Beidh ceol, comhrá agus comhluadar ann. Cupán tae / Caife ar fáil 5 - 8pm. 

Spéis agat páirt a ghlacadh – tabhair leat d’uirlisí ceoil nó bróga damhsa! Oscailte do gach duine idir óg agus aosta.  Lean @DCUGaeilge ar na meáin shóisialta.

Join us for a lively trad session in the Seomra Caidrimh on the DCU St. Patrick's Campus. Music, conversation and great company. Cuppa from 5 - 8pm. 

Interaction and crowd participation encouraged, so bring your instruments, singing voice and dancing feet along. Open to all ages and levels. Follow @DCUGaeilge on your socials.

Am | Time: 5 - 8pm
Age Group: All Ages
Láthair | Location: Seomra Caidrimh, SPD.D110 


Exhibition & Tours
People standing outside Belvedere House
Guided Tours of Belvedere House & St. Patrick’s

Guided tours of Belvedere House & St. Patrick’s campus

This Culture Night, join Dr Ruth McManus, School of History and Geography, for a special guided tour that explores the historical, architectural and social fabric of St. Patrick's campus dating back to the 1600s. The tour will feature the notable Georgian Belvedere House, the Gothic Revival (former) chapel and attached cloister, and the modernist Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel by architect Andy Devane.

Expect to hear some fascinating anecdotes along the way!

Tour Times: 5.15pm, 6:30pm
Meeting Point: The steps of Belvedere House. Please arrive 5 minutes before the tour is due to start.

image of stain glass in cregan library
Guided Tours of the Cregan Library

Guided tours of the Cregan Library

DCU’s Cregan Library has become a landmark building in north Dublin since it opened its doors in 2015. The library was designed to form a visual link between the campus and the community, with a three-storey glass lantern overlooking the village of Drumcondra. This tour will give you an insight into this extraordinary piece of modern architecture, designed by Taylor Architects. Along the tour, expect to enjoy some interesting exhibits of rare books on display from DCU Special Collections as well as artworks from the Arts Council and AIB Collection. It also offers a chance to experience the breathtaking views of Dublin bay and the city skyline from the library’s reading balcony.

Tour Times: 5pm, 6:15pm & 7pm & *7:30pm (*Tour will be ‘as Gaeilge’ at 7:30pm)
Meeting Point: Cregan Library Reception

Female Choir members standing wearing blue and navy dresses
Choral Music Tour - VIA MUSICA

Choral Music Tour - VIA MUSICA

Tour Time: 6:30pm & 7:30pm 
Meeting Point: 6.30pm - Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel, St Patrick’s Campus // 7.30pm - All Hallows College Chapel 

Tour description:

VIA MUSICA: A Stroll with Schola Hyberniae takes us on a reflective walk with music and chant. The first tour (18:30) begins in Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel, DCU St. Patrick's Campus, where participants can enjoy a feast of music celebrating the feminine voice. We then take a leisurely stroll (c. 800 m) through Drumcondra’s Victorian streets, to the sound of ancient pilgrim bells, to All Hallows Chapel DCU. Here, we will experience music celebrating the heritage of the Irish saints, in conjunction with the Amra Project.

This musical tour will feature well-known songs and some rare musical treasures including the oldest known three part vocal harmony piece in the world.

Consisting of between 6 - 8 voices, Schola Hyberniae is a female early music ensemble, founded and directed by Giovanna Feeley.


The second tour (19:30) tour runs in reverse, starting in All Hallows Chapel at 19.30 and concluding in St Pat's. 

Childrens Books Ireland Collection poster
Children's Books Ireland Collection at DCU Library

Children’s Books Ireland at DCU Library Exhibition

A new exhibition from DCU Special Collections & Archives showcasing the Children’s Books Ireland Collection. Children’s Books Ireland are a national charity and arts organisation that champions every child’s right to develop a love of reading. DCU Library’s partnership with Children’s Books Ireland has seen the transfer of 3,750+ children’s books written, published or illustrated by Irish people here or abroad, and people who have made Ireland their home. Each year the collection continues to grow, as we add books submitted to Children’s Books Ireland’s annual awards. This exhibition showcases some of the winners of those awards since its inception. 

Times: 5pm - 9pm 

At a Glance

Performance Area

5:00-5.30pm: Aerial show - Doris & Mabel’s Book Club

5.45-6.30pm: Jitterbug Jackson Circus Show - I Used to Dream of Rocket Ships

6.45-7.15pm: Aerial show - Doris & Mabel’s Book Club

7.30-8.30pm: Jitterbug Jackson Family Circus Workshop  

7:30-9:00pm: TBL8 Brass


DJ & Dance 

5:00-7:00pm: DJ Gigi

7:00-7.30pm: Family Dance Workshop with Donking Rongavilla


Drop in Activities 

5:00-8:00pm: Art Workshop - Carnival Superheroes with Susan Leen, DCU Artist in Residence

5:00-8:00pm: Art Workshop - Brown Bag Workshop  

5:00-9:00pm: Children's Books Ireland Book Clinic

5:00-9:00pm: Scavenger Hunt

5:00-9:00pm: Chill out Room for Reading and Colouring

5:00-8:00pm: Seomra Caidrimh agus Oifig na Gaeilge DCU


Exhibition and Tours

5:00-9:00pm: Children's Books Ireland Collection at DCU Library

5:00pm, 6:15pm, 7:00pm & *7:30pm: Guided tours of Cregan Library *(Tour will be ‘as Gaeilge’ at 7:30pm)

5:15pm & 6:30pm: Guided historical tours of Belvedere House and St. Patrick’s campus

6:30pm & 7:30pm: Choral Music Tour - Via Musica


Please note that photography and videography will be captured at this event. If you have any objections to this, please let us know.


Terms and Conditions

DCU reserves the right to refuse admission.

Some of this event take place outdoors, which means that the grass and walkway may be slippery when wet.

Every effort will be made to stay to the scheduled times, however these may vary.

DCU reserves the right to add, withdraw, cancel or substitute artists and to vary the advertised programme as necessary.

Attendees assume all risk of injury and all responsibility for property loss, destruction or theft and release the promoters, performers and sponsors from any liability thereafter.

DCU asks that all minors Under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. DCU can not accept any parental or supervisory duty of care or liability for any Under 16s on site.

We ask all attendees to support us to keep the campus clean and bring your refuse home with you or use the waste bins provided on site. Glass bottles are not permitted.