Art, Culture, Events and Festivals

In a quick review of the available literature, we would find that most of the social sciences studies, related to the night, have focused on nightlife. These seem to have focused on outings, associated with music consumption in party places, substance use or youth sociability. But what about the other artistic and cultural forms?

We can find a large number of events, both traditional and post-traditional, that take place after the sunset. We could recover the processions with candles in public space, the celebrations in honour of Saint Lucia or the Diwali. On the other hand, nights tend to light up differently during Christmas time or during the carnival. These periods are of great interest for the study of the night, as well as for the study of sociabilities and feelings of belonging.

Many municipalities have adopted light festivals and new media festivals as tools for their city branding and to attract many visitors, activating night-time economies. Other cultural practices take place mainly in post-work hours, such as the great philharmonic concerts, opera, theatres or the ballet, being interesting the study of their frequenters, actors and other stakeholders.

However, not all of these artistic or cultural practices are institutional, social or legal accepted. We can appreciate that the night is the stage in which some artistic-cultural forms develop, because of the anonymity and protection of the lack of visibility. Many street arts, such as graffiti, take advantage of the darkness to occupy urban space.

This working group aims to bring together researchers, activists, and policy analysts interested in critical approaches to the relations between culture, art, events and festivals and night-time, including but not limited to:

Some themes

  • Religious and secular events
  • Cultural festivals and urban celebrations
  • Light festivals, new media, street art…
  • Festive and recreational lighting
  • Culture and entertainment
  • Cultural and artistic events
    • Frequentation and publics at night
    • Citybrandification, Disneyfication of urban space
    • Conventional and unconventional night economies
  • Non-institutional cultural and artistic practices at night (graffiti, street art, light bombing, …)
  • Night tourism

Leader: Manuel Garcia-Ruiz



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