The second Friday of October, Copenhagen hosts its annual Kulturnatten, or Culture Night. For the event, museums and cultural facilities, as well as many government and private venues normally not accessible to the public, remain open until midnight.
Participants are required to purchase a culture kit, available at most public facilities and S train stations, for 90DKK ($15CAD/USD). The kit provides access to each venues as well as a program listing special events being held throughout the evening. As there is not enough time to see the hundreds of events (+500) and lines can be long at popular venues, the kit also provides a free pass to one additional venue which can be used after Kulturnatten. Free travel on public transit is also included should you not want to find parking downtown or plan on imbibing a little to much (a frequent occurence among Danes…)
Food and music are a central theme of the evening with most venues providing simple yet hearty fare (ie, soups, stews, chili) and live music. Live entertainment and cultural events are also available in many public squares, including a host of children’s activities. While downtown hosts the highest percentage of events, all of the city’s boroughs participate, including the independent city of Frederiksberg.
2012 was the 20th anniversary of Kulturnatten; judging by the number of participants, I suspect there will be many more in the years to come. This year is the third year I have participated with the opportunity to visit venues that are normally either inaccessible or closed after dark. Highlights include visits to Børsen (Old Stock Exchange), Copenhagen Blood Collection Agency and the Odd Fellow Palæet.