Tips to Have the Best Nocturne Ever!

Posted on October 15th, 2019
by Nocturne

Have you ever found yourself at an event and realize you forgot an umbrella and rain is in the forecast? Or you don’t have your phone charger and your phone is at 12%? Well, we feel your pain and we heard your feedback - you want to know more about how to plan to have the best Nocturne you’ve ever had! We’ve pulled together the low-down on everything from what’s happening at The Hub, how to catch the Nocturne shuttle bus, and even how to get the most out of The Nocturne Guide!

Table of Contents:

  • Be Prepared
  • Be Environmentally Friendly
  • Attend Our Opening Night
  • Plan Your Transportation
  • Accessibility & Safety
  • See You at The Hub
  • The Nocturne Guide
  • Volunteers
  • Share Your Experience

Let’s jump right in -

First off, for those of you new to Nocturne, let us introduce ourselves! Nocturne: Art at Night is an annual celebration of contemporary professional art in K’jipuktuk/Halifax and this is the 12th annual festival. One night a year for six hours only, we bring art to the streets of K’jipuktuk/Halifax. To plan your best night at Nocturne yet, you’ll first want to...

Be Prepared

Make Frankie MacDonald proud and be prepared for any weather that might come our way on the night of Nocturne. We’re all familiar with the forecast changing hourly and we suggest being prepared for everything from a warm, balmy evening to a rainy, foggy night.

Pack Your Bag full of:

  • Extra Socks
  • Hat
  • Mittens
  • Rain Jacket
  • Reusable Travel Mug
  • Snacks
  • Refillable Water Bottle

Be Environmentally Friendly

Speaking of reusable travel mugs and refillable water bottles, we’re making strides in encouraging environmentally friendly practices during the festival, but we need your help! Nothing lasts forever during Nocturne - except plastic bottles & to-go cups. Since our main event is an ephemeral 6 hours, we want to make sure our impact on the environment doesn’t last longer than that. Our favourite environmentally friendly items to bring to Nocturne are:

  • Reusable Travel Mug - get a refill at local coffee shops (so many offer discounts!)
  • Snacks - we love refilling ours jars with awesome snacks like dried mango and chocolate-covered peanuts from The Tare Shop
  • Refillable Water Bottle - check out the TAP app to find refill stations all over the city
  • Handkerchief - you never know when you’ll need to dry your hands, blow your nose, wipe up a spill, or wrap up a treat.
  • An extra reusable Tote Bag - souvenirs are plentiful at projects hosted by Inkwell and Letterpress Gang, and you’ll want to have extra room to take these home with you!

Okay, so you’re all prepared and ready to see some art - now what? Well, before Saturday we’d love to see you at our…

Kick Off Party

Join us on Thursday, October 17th at Seven Bays Bouldering for the opening night of the festival at our Kick Off party. Starting at 7pm, there will be drinks, free snacks, musical performances, and more! If beer is your thing, we’ll be sipping on the exclusive Nocturne BLACK IPA brewed by Propeller Brewing Company. Raise a glass with this year’s Board of Directors and meet the 2019 Nocturne curator, Tori Fleming, to chat about this year’s theme: Scaffold - you’ll even get a sneak peek of one of our Anchor artists!

If you’re like us, you’ll want to plan every part of your night right down to the teensiest detail - even how you’re going to get around! We’ve got you covered with with our next section on…

Plan Your Transportation

There are so many ways to get around during Nocturne: walking, cycling, driving, and transit. Did you know that more than 2/3rds of the Nocturne audience from 2018 preferred walking as their mode of transportation? If that’s not your cup of tea, we’ve got the low-down on the best places to park:


  • Scotia Square - located at 5201 Albemarle Street, the Scotia Square parkade has over 1,700 parking spaces and ample accessible parking. Weekend rates are a maximum of $8 after 5pm. Plus, you’ll be steps away from one of our Anchor artist installations, located on the Barrington Street side of Scotia Square.
  • The Doyle - reduced rates will be offered at their parking garage just off Spring Garden Road.
  • Develop NS - there are 5 parking lots operated by Develop NS located on the waterfront (look for the signs with a blue P) and rates are $6 after 6pm and can easily be paid through the HotSpot Parking App.
  • Plus, there are over 700 parking meters downtown and parking at meters is FREE on weekends.

After you’ve parked, you still have a few options to get around the city to the different zones, including:

Nocturne Shuttle Bus

The Nocturne shuttle bus is a pair of free chartered Halifax Transit buses that will take you along a route mapped specifically to stop close to this year’s Nocturne project on the K’jipuktuk/Halifax side of the harbour. No need to worry about parking! The bus is wheelchair accessible and runs approximately every 20 minutes. Check out the route in this year's copy of The Nocturne Guide (available October 17th).


All aboard! Ferry-oke hits the seas at 6pm on the Alderney ferry. Live out your dreams of rock’n’roll stardom with hosts from CBC as you belt out your favourite tune, shake a tambourine, and sway to the music - or the waves - while journeying across the harbour to experience all that Nocturne has to offer on the other side of the water. Just $2.50 for the tunes and the tides, we highly recommend scheduling this into your night!

Every year we work hard to provide a safe and accessible experience for all who attend the festival so we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the importance of accessibility and your safety at Nocturne! We’ve broken down these two topics in the next section:


Nocturne strives to highlight specific available services throughout the festival. First, we have encouraged all of our artists to use accessible spaces to host their projects. You can find accessibility markers in The Nocturne Guide, both print and mobile. As well, we ensure that gender neutral washrooms and their locations are easily identifiable for the audience. We’re always striving to make the festival more accessible, and are open to feedback at [email protected].


Our goal is for everyone to have a safe experience at Nocturne, and we’ve heard your feedback that certain intersections become very busy with vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Many of us have seen the devastating crosswalk collision statistics in K’jipuktuk/Halifax in recent years so we look to the experts to make suggestions on how to best ensure your safety while you're roaming the art-filled streets during Nocturne! The Heads Up Halifax campaign reminds everyone to:

  • Make eye contact with drivers, pedestrians, or cyclists when approaching a crosswalk to ensure you are seen and your intentions [to cross] are understood. No assumptions. No surprises.
  • Slow down as you approach a crosswalk and scanning the street when approaching crosswalks and intersections
  • Press the button to activate the overhead lights (when they exist) and not crossing the street when the flashing hand sign is present
  • Avoid all distractions when driving or walking into a crosswalk area, whether people, cars, or bikes are present or not.

Alright, we know how we’re getting around and how to do it safely - but where do you begin your night out at Nocturne? We recommend starting out at...

The Hub

You might be asking yourself, ‘what’s The Hub?’ Located at Sackville Landing on the waterfront this year, The Hub is a great place to start your Nocturne experience. Conveniently located near the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, you’ll also be moments away from accessible washrooms, water fountains, and more art!

Not planning to be near The Hub at the start of your night? Stop in anytime to rest, grab a fresh copy of The Nocturne Guide, or ask one of our awesome volunteers a question. Our partners RBC Royal Bank will also be at The Hub selling Nocturne T-shirts (printed by our pals at Fresh Prints) can be yours for just $20!

The Nocturne Guide

If you don’t know yet, The Nocturne Guide is your go-to for all the information on projects the night of Nocturne. Complete with a two-page map, you’ll also find a breakdown of the project categories (anchor, beacon, spotlight, gallery, community group), their locations, and a brief description of what you’ll experience.

The printed Nocturne Guide is available in The Coast, Halifax’s Weekly the Thursday prior to the main event (on our Opening Night!). You can find The Coast at 600 locations, including “on wire racks on every university and college campus, in high-traffic retail locations, entertainment establishments and newspaper boxes around the city." Although, the highest concentration of The Coast boxes are found on the peninsula, you’re able to find a copy of The Nocturne Guide wherever you find a copy of The Coast in your hometown in HRM.

Nowhere near a copy of The Coast? Our website contains all the programming information you need - you can access our Interactive (Mobile) Guide here or download a pdf copy here.

Have a burning question on the night-of Nocturne that you can’t find an answer to in The Guide? That’s what our volunteers are for!


Our volunteers are easily recognizable by their white reflective safety vests and their friendly smiles! Find them throughout all of our project zones on both sides of the harbour and even on the ferry and shuttle buses! Our volunteers can help you find:

  • The nearest project
  • The Hub
  • Nocturne shuttle bus
  • Closest washroom
  • A fresh copy of The Nocturne Guide
  • And more!

Some of our volunteers are newcomers to our great city and are looking to get to know it better - make sure to say ‘hi’ when you see them!

Share Your Experience

We want to hear from you! How was your experience at Nocturne? Tag us @NocturneHalifax on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share your photos, ideas, and comments.

Looking for more? The best way to get information about Nocturne it to follow us on social media and make sure your notifications are turned on! We will be sharing your content throughout the week of Nocturne and posting LIVE from art installations all over the city. We’ll also keep you informed of any changes to project locations, schedules, and more. Follow us at: @NocturneHalifax on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

And there you have it - how to prepare to have your best Nocturne yet!

Learn more about how to get the most out of The Nocturne GuideClick Here

Did we miss something? Email us at [email protected] to share!