Culture Night offers cash-strapped Stockholmers a free night out

Culture Night offers cash-strapped Stockholmers a free night out
Nearly 70 museums and cultural institutions across Stockholm will open their doors to the public for free on Saturday in a bid to bring the city's cultural offerings to a wider audience, contributor Anita Badejo discovers.

In order to reach out to Stockholmers who may not put a museum visit on the top of their list of weekend activities—or who find themselves on tight budgets–the city has arranged a Culture Night for the second year in a row.

Set to take place on Saturday, April 9th from 8pm to midnight, this year’s Culture Night will feature around 180 different programs and activities, ranging from poetry readings in six different languages at the Jewish Museum to board games at a Kungsholmen game shop.

“We would like to show people who are not used to going to these types of locations– cultural institutions and stuff like that–how rich the cultural life in Stockholm is,” the Culture Administration’s Per Björkland explains.

Culture Night was first initiated last year by Culture Administration Chairwoman Madeleine Sjöstedt, who decided to bring the event to Stockholm after noticing its presence in several other major European cities, according to Björkland.

The event’s premiere year in Stockholm drew nearly 6,000 visitors, who paid 150 kronor ($24) for unlimited participation in the night’s activities.

However, this year Culture Night will be free of charge in an attempt to draw even more visitors and expose Stockholm’s many cultural institutions to new cross-sections of the city’s population.

“If you take away the fee, it’s easier to reach new people,” says Björkland, adding that over 10,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event.

In addition to participation in all of the night’s various programs, other freebies will include rides on a boat departing twice an hour from Nybrokajen to transport Culture Night attendees to various locations included in the event.

While the boat rides will feature dancing and live music, those looking to boogie through to the early hours will can attend an after-party at Regeringsgatan concert venue Nalen, where the only thing people will need to pay for are their drinks.

The after-party will last until 2am.

Björkland emphasises that the various institutions and organisations that have agreed to take part in Culture Night are enthusiastic about being involved.

“I think they’re positive to it…I think they’re glad to open their doors and to reach out to new people,” he explains.

“This event is really thanks to these organisations, so the Stockholm people should say thank you to all the institutions that are in the Culture Night and not to the Culture Administration.”

By Anita Badejo

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