Culture24 is working on the first national and international study of Lates ever undertaken. With funding from Arts Council England, in partnership with Airbnb and with support from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust this nine month project is studying the current and potential impact of Lates on the night-time economy.

The Museums at Night festival is now in its ninth year, and Lates are well-established in this country and abroad, so now is a good time to find out more about what role after-hours activity plays in the night time cultural offer.

We are consulting widely with the sector to get insights into issues affecting museums, galleries, heritage sites, visitors, tourism organisations and local and regional administrators.

Be part of the project

Are you already looking at the night time economy or the impact of Lates in your organisation or local area? Can you recommend researchers, partners or groups we should connect with? Would you be willing to help us gather visitor data by sharing a survey? If you’d like to contribute to this research we’d love to hear from you – please get in touch with Nick Stockman on 01273 523983 or email nick@culture24.org.uk


© Ruth Armstrong Photography


No consensus exists about the contribution Lates make to a venue’s offer. Lates are seen by some as nice-to-have add-ons to exhibitions, but by others as an essential part of their public engagement. With the non-performing arts cultural sector facing daunting challenges, can museums do more to engage audiences after hours?

Regular after-hours activity is concentrated in London and audiences have been characterised as well-to-do, young and middle class. Some institutions have dedicated events departments, for others after hours programming resides in Learning, Engagement or Community. Can the benefits of cultural tourism be spread more evenly?

Some venues have focussed on artist-led events and we at Culture24 have contributed to that trend with our Connect! project which created 42 artist-led events over five years, including Rankin at St Ann’s Allotments, Gillian Wearing at Backlit and Tine Bech at the Whitworth.

Lates have existed for over 15 years in this country, at the same time the night-time economy has developed into a hot topic: venue closures, licensing issues and anti-social behaviour are often cited as explanations for inertia in our city centres. What role do Lates play in ensuring the night-time cultural offer is varied and thriving?

Local audiences and cultural tourists alike are more demanding than ever, a night out involves more than an evening at the pub, and holidays are booked with culture very much in mind, as a cursory glance at TripAdvisor demonstrates. What are the opportunities and the challenges for the sector?

With this study we aim to start answering some questions about the contribution after-hours programming makes to the UK’s cultural offer, and go on to develop strategies and projects to help the sector fully utilise their extraordinary spaces.

Nick Stockman, Culture24 Campaigns Manager says,

“With the sector’s help we can start to understand more about the impact a venue opening longer into the evening has on a location’s appeal and if museums and galleries should and could be thinking more about this area as a vital part of their future development”.