The Museums at Night festival is facing an uncertain future as the arts charity Culture24, which runs the biannual event, explores alternative options for museum and gallery lates.
Although the October UK-wide festival will go ahead as planned this year, the May leg of the event in London will be replaced by a new festival next year. The new event has the working title Latesfest and will take place in the English capital on the closest weekend to midsummer from 2019 onwards.
It is not clear what will happen to Museums at Night outside London at that point. Culture24’s campaigns manager Nick Stockman, said: “We are currently consulting with stakeholders about the options for the twice-yearly UK-wide Museums at Night campaigns from May 2019.”
Culture24 recently announced that the Museums at Night website will now carry after-hours events listings for museums and galleries all year round. “This is part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the development of lates in this country,” said Stockman.
The charity held a one-day conference earlier this month to examine the role of lates in the night-time economy. It has also revealed that it is working with the Night Time Industries Association on a series of initiatives to help develop “the UK’s cultural night-time ecology”, which will be unveiled over the coming months.Culture24 took over the Museums at Night festival in 2009. The festival has expanded rapidly since then and now features more than 500 venues and 700 events on its programme, attracting around 100,000 visitors each year.