Not May Day, But May Nights

Building90NODATEMuseums at Night, the annual late night festival of art, culture and heritage will take place this year over three nights in May, from Thursday May 16th – Saturday May 18th. Hundreds of museums, art galleries and heritage spaces all over the country will be opening up late and putting on a fantastic mix of events. Tying in with the European event La Nuit des Musées, hundreds of museums, art galleries and heritage spaces all over the country will be opening up late and putting on a fantastic mix of events: expect bands playing in art galleries, artist happenings, unique literary events, sleepovers in palaces, family-friendly astronomy and beautiful historic houses lit by candlelight.

 Ten of the UK’s leading contemporary artists, including Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gavin Turk, Mat Collishaw and sculptor and installation artist Richard Wentworth have already confirmed they will be putting on unique Museums at Night events.

Lauren Laverne is the Ambassador for Museums at Night. She says, “I am honoured and delighted to be Ambassador for Museums at Night. We all know British culture is rich and diverse. But how exciting to experience this in a new way – at nighttime, when lights go down and our imaginations are in charge! Museums at Night weekend is a fantastic opportunity for museums and galleries to get together to put on events that allow us to celebrate our heritage in new and exciting ways – perhaps discovering a cultural gem on our doorstep that we didn’t even know existed.

Click MORE to see museums participating:

Music: Brighton Museum and The Great Escape Festival, Europe’s leading festival for New Music, will be partnering for the first time for a really special night of live music in this iconic space. The museum’s gallery spaces will be transformed by a series of exclusive unplugged performances round every corner from a whole host of Great Escape artists. Names to be announced shortly.

Storytelling: London: An Evening with Simon Mayo and Itch. The Royal Institute. Join BBC broadcaster and author Simon Mayo for an effervescent talk with live experiments and find out what led him to write books about a science mad element hunting hero called Itch. Suitable for 7 – 13 year olds.
Fashion: London, Fashion and Textile Museum. Sue Timney and Kaffe Fassett. An evening tour of the forthcoming Kaffe Fassett exhibition, A Life In Colour, which celebrates the work of one of the great practitioners of contemporary craft. There will also be a special Museums at Night talk from textile and interior designer Sue Timney. Timney, famous for her monochrome designs, will be discussing the design of the museum’s exhibition and her relationship with colour.

Historic Houses: Port Eliot House at Night: Experience over 1000 years of history by candlelight. Explore the treasures of the Eliot family. Gaze at the exquisite collection of furniture and masterpieces by Reynolds, Van Dyck and Lenkiewicz.

Contemporary Art: The Chapman Brothers at The Jerwood Gallery, Hastings. A homecoming participatory event with the Chapman Brothers which will take the form of a “Meet the Artists” daytime session for families, followed by a masked evening event for adults.

Contemporary Art: Turner-Prize winning artist Martin Creed at The Freud Museum, London for a talk providing a fascinating insight into his artistic practice, interspersed with live musical performances.

Contemporary Art: Mat Collishaw at Backlit, Nottingham The photographer and video innovator will return to his home town where he will prepare and produce his work in the main gallery with public participation.

Contemporary Art: Gavin Turk at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. A participatory “Magic Carpet” experience including storytelling and conversation that links the ancient and modern Egyptian worlds.

Contemporary Art: rAndom International at The Horniman Museum, London. Following their recent immersive installation Rain Room at the Barbican, rAndom International will be putting on a live art event with installation, music and storytelling inspired by the museum and its natural history collection.

Egyptian History: Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. A chance to see the British Museum’s major touring exhibition, Pharaoh: King of Egypt, after hours, along with Egyptian makeovers, Arabic music and dance and real scarab beetles!

Culture Crawl: Newcastle, The Late Shows. Late night culture crawl, The Late Shows, takes place on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May. Cultural venues across Newcastle and Gateshead will open their doors from 7pm to 11pm, offering a range of free events, exhibitions and performances. Highlights will include an evening tea party, a peek behind the scenes at a dinosaur exhibition, the chance to contribute to an ever-growing artwork and live science demonstrations in an indoor tropical rainforest.
Sleepovers: London: Kensington Palace Sleepover. What happens in a Royal Palace after the doors are locked? Join Princess Victoria and Dash the Dog at Kensington Palace to find out. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a Prince or Princess and enjoy an exclusive slumber party in a Royal Palace.

Sleepovers: Surrey: Hampton Court Sleepover, Sleep Like A King. Lodgings at court are never easy to obtain, but this year to celebrate ‘Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber’ you can spend the night at Hampton Court.

History: Pennine Lancashire: Festival of Wonders. Across six districts of Lancashire, there will be a “Festival of Wonders”, with 20 events telling the story of the development of the Pennine Lancashire area from medieval times to its peak at the Industrial Revolution. Highlight include “Joseph Briggs The Musical” at the Haworth Art Gallery, telling the story of Accrington born and bred Briggs, who went on to become art director of Tiffany glassware and a Victorian Lantern Show at Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley.

Culture Crawl: Liverpool, Light Night takes place on Friday 17 May 2013 with free events across the city.

Foodie Event & Music Event: London: Cockles and Mussels at Museum of London. From oysters and scallops to roll-mops and jellied eels – join urban sociologist Dr Alex Rhys-Taylor for a mouthwatering journey through the history of British seafood. Plus pop up fish restaurants and contributions from the Billingsgate and Tubby Isaacs and live music curated by Mercury Music Prize nominated artist Sam Lee and the Nest Collective.

Photography & Music: London: William Morris Gallery: Explore David Bailey’s East End Faces exhibition by night time in a 60’s themed evening with music, art and fashion and dancing.
Cocktails and Chaos at Coleton Fishacre, Kingswear Devon: a 1920s themed evening of glamour and intrigue with a murder mystery, vintage cocktails and canapés, in the Art Deco surroundings of a home once owned by the D’Oyle Carte family.

Local History and Storytelling:Windermere Steamboat Museum. Currently undergoing a £10m development, the museum will be open for a unique Museums at Night event. Expect discussions about life on the Lake where the museum will be alive with Windermere vessels and stories from people who shaped the lake.Film: Bradford 1 Gallery, Bradford, W.Yorks. The opening night of Bollywood and Bradford: 100 Years of Indian Cinema exhibition for Museums at Night. From the 70s to the 90s Bradford was the centre for the screening of Bollywood classics. The exhibition draws on Bradford’s collection of Indian Cinema Posters, photography and film from the archives.Culture Crawls: Many other cities and towns across the UK will be putting on multiple events across their cities. Towns already taking part include Norwich, Bath, Dorchester, Oxford and Grimsby.


Events are being added on a daily basis but full listings for Museums at Night can be found at

Monique Chambers

Monique started indulge in 2011 and has since created Indulge Me GIFT and Indulge Me FOOD and volume 1 of The Artists Directory - Malta. A marketing professional by trade, Monique's passion is to promote local talent and Malta in general. Free time is her biggest indulgence, when she can tinker in her craft room or the kitchen, or be selfish with a book, the sofa and good glass of wine (of course, wearing something beautiful and with freshly coiffed hair!)

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