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Thoughts from Cuckoo HQ
Nov 17

Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo opens with a month of sold-out nights

Last June, we won a tender to help with the planning of Wild Nights, a spectacular Winter event in Dublin Zoo. We've been involved from the outset of the build, with our staff on site for six weeks in the run-up to opening night, supervising the build of each of the hand-made sculptures. We're also there every night as the Event Controller and Safety Officers.

Photo cred: Lia Caira

The event is the first of its kind in Ireland. It opened to the public earlier this month and has been sold out each night since, with tickets for December flying out the door. 

The reaction from the press and public so far has been overwhelmingly positive. According to RTÉ, the event is in the running to be the the ultimate date night in Dublin:

 “Just imagine walking through the zoo at night surrounded by 19,000 bulbs and 5,000 metres of LED lights. Romantic or wha'?”

But if large amounts of decorative lighting don’t get you going, there are also three live shows, a marketplace with handmade gifts, and Asian cuisine on site. The event is also perfect for a festive family night out. You can watch some of the reactions here

The planning

The Zoo has never embarked on a series of events on this scale before. From a planning perspective, this presents us with a set of new and unique challenges and considerations. 

It's also particularly interesting from a crowd-psychology perspective, as each of the nights have distinct crowd profiles, moods, and ingress and egress times. The fact that it’s running for 50 nights means we get to see how things like weather and the run-up to Christmas will affect those different crowds. 

Photo cred: Lia Caira

The Bottom Line 

An event like this, running for almost 50 nights, can be all-encompassing. We’ve put a huge amount of our resources into planning and operating this event to the highest standard. So it helps that we really enjoy working on it.

You can read our case study about it in the new year on our Safe Events website.

The Press

You can see what the media are saying about Wild Lights below:

"A really special experience for anyone coming."

Meet Dublin Zoo's latest arrivals... giant festive Chinese lanterns inspired by animals - TheJournal.ie

"I don't know who enjoyed this more, us parents or the chilldren"


"A magical night-time event featuring giant colourful lanterns and illuminated sculptures..."  

Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo - The Irish Independent

"12,000 metres of silk, 19,000 bulbs, 5,000 metres of LED lights, 48,000 glass bottles and 215,000 pieces of porcelain weighing 9.5 tonnes..." 

Animal magic comes to light up night at Dublin Zoo - The UK Times 


Tickets are selling out FAST, but you can book what’s left here.

Cait Moloney at the VIP Opening Night. Photo cred: Lia Caira

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