Culture is coming. Did you get the memo? Kulturnatten—the annual celebration of Copenhagen’s art institutions—will descend upon the capital on October 14th bringing with it over 550 different events and exhibitions.
To ensure you’re prepped and ready for the onslaught, we spoke with Project Manager of Kulturnatten, Marie Myschetzky, about the festival and how to survive if you’re a culture night newb:
How did Kulturnatten (Culture Night) originate and what is it all about?
It began 24 years ago in 1993 when all the museums in Copenhagen decided to join forces and highlight all of the exciting things that take place during the autumn holidays!
Again this year lots of cultural institutions—including museums, libraries, theatres and lots more that represent art and culture—will open their doors to the public from 6pm until midnight. And many of the venues will feature really special events and exhibitions that you can only experience as one-offs that evening.
Kulturnatten aims to offer something for everyone, no matter how old your are, what your gender is, who you are with and where you are from—you should be able to find something that suits your taste.
How does it contribute to the Danish arts and culture scene? Why is it so important?
We donate approximately 2.5 million kroner every year to museums and other cultural institutions that participate in the evening. So all our profits go directly back into the arts and culture scene here in Denmark; Kulturnatten provides a jam-packed evening filled with events, exhibitions and illuminations throughout the city.
It is an opportunity to see Copenhagen in a completely different light and experience all of its hidden spots and secret little alleyways! You get to nosy around the places you might not have access to normally. Plus it’s affordable and is a great chance to discover the city you’re in.
The evening can be a little overwhelming; what tips do you have for first-timers?
It can be really tough to choose from the wealth of events on offer, so we really recommend being organised and planning ahead! You can create a personalised list of your favourite events on our website or app, where you can search geographically or by specific area of interest.
I think the key is to be realistic—you probably won’t be able to visit more than 6 venues. It’s also a good idea to visit adjacent neighbourhoods; you don’t want to spend all of your night just getting from one point to another! Although, the Kulturnatten pass allows you free use of public transportation. On that note, don’t forget to buy your pass, that’s essential obviously!
What makes this Kulturnatten—now in its 24th year—so special?
This year we have placed a lot of emphasis on themes of light and illumination. We want the city to really come alive in amongst the dark autumn evening in October. We are busy preparing magic light shows around Copenhagen; the idea behind many of the installations is that they won’t just be placed at specific events, but they will also be situated on the routes to and from these events.
What are your top picks for this year?
There are so many! Here’s a few I’m excited about:
- You can climb the Church of Our Saviour—usually you can only climb the famous stairs during the day—and view the illuminated city at night from high above!
- The National Museum is being transformed into a jazz salon from the roaring 1920’s; visitors can swing by and practise their charleston.
- The sculptures of the stunning Thorvaldsen Museum will be thrown into an entirely new light with illuminated ceilings and atmospheric choir music. It looks like it’s going to be really spectacular!
- There will also be more than 310 events in English or partly in English, and there’s more to be announced.
Download the Culture Night app here.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
What are you going to be doing for Kulturnatten? Let us know about it in the comments!