What is Museums at Night?

Museums at Night, which will explode into life from Thursday 14 – Saturday 16 May 2015, is an annual UK-wide festival which seeks to encourage visitors into museums, galleries and heritage sites by throwing their doors open after hours and putting on special evening events.

Museums at Night Ambassador Lauren Laverne says:

A blonde woman in an orange top“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 night-time, 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.”

The campaign is core funded by Arts Council England, with extra funding from  Grants for the Arts to support the Connect10 competition.

Co-ordinated by non-profit cultural publishing organisation Culture24, Museums at Night is an opportunity for the cultural and heritage sector to come together around a single, simple campaign that is attractive to venues, audiences and the media.

Museums at Night ties in with the European campaign, La Nuit Des Musées, and takes place on the weekend nearest to 18 May, International Museums Day.

The festival has grown rapidly since Culture24 took it over in 2009, largely because of our many partnerships with the likes of Future Shorts, the Faber Archive, Sky Arts, Love Art London, Time Out, the National Trust and many more.  

Museums at Night 2014 festival bill

For the latest information on the run-up campaign and the festival weekend, read this blog! You can get a feed of these blog posts delivered immediately to you the moment they’re published by clicking here, and copying and pasting the URL into your RSS reader.

If you’re a member of the public, to learn more about what’ll be happening and plan which events you’d like to go to, simply visit www.museumsatnight.org.uk – or sign up here for our monthly public newsletter, tipping you off about exciting upcoming events and cultural competitions.

If you work in the arts and heritage sector and are interested in taking part in Museums at Night, sign up here for our monthly sector e-newsletter, bringing you updates about festival partnerships and promotional opportunities you may like to take advantage of. Here’s how to register your events so we can include them in our national PR campaign!

Key achievements from Museums at Night 2013

  • 411 arts and heritage venues opened their doors at night
  • 583 events took place
  • 200 UK towns hosted events
  • 145,841 visits were made to events
  • 30,000 public votes were cast in the Connect10 competition for venues to win artists
  • 4,375 visits (3% of all visits) were made by people who had never been to an arts or heritage venue prior to Museums at Night
  • 42,294 visits (29% of all visits) were made by people new to the venue they visited
  • 97% of visitors rated their experience as 7, 8, 9 or 10 out of 10
  • 97% of visitors were inspired to visit other heritage and arts venues
  • 908 pieces of media coverage (excluding TV & radio) with an audited value of £1.7 million
  • £1.65m spent by visitors on secondary items such as food, drink and travel
  • 94% of venues say they will take part again in 2014

Read the Evaluation Reports about previous Museums at Night festivals:

This slide deck comes from Rosie Clarke and Nick Stockman, the team at Culture24 who coordinate the annual Museums at Night festival. The images depict the diverse range of projects and strands of work that non-profit online cultural publisher Culture24 produces; the growth of Museums at Night over the last few years, along with pictures of some of the successful events; and an outline of how the Connect10 competition enables UK museums and galleries to win a top artist and £2000 for their Museums at Night event.

For more background, you can explore the online photo archives from the last few years:

Museums at Night 2009

Museums at Night 2010

Museums at Night 2011

Museums at Night 2012

If you have any questions, please email rosie@culture24.org.uk or call 01273 623336.

Museums at Night

Battleship Boogie on HMS Belfast

Museums at Night

Museums at Night at the Horniman Museum

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