Galway International Arts Festival’s biggest festival ever starts next Monday

It was recently named one of the top five European Summer festivals in the Guardian newspaper and from next Monday, the 40th Galway International Arts Festival will present its biggest festival ever over 14 days, right here in Galway.

With 200 events spread across the city and out into the county, GIAF 2017 will see artists from all over the world, join together with some of Ireland’s leadings artists, to present a spectacular programme of new opera and theatre; Live at the Absolut Big Top; First Thought Talks discussing power; extraordinary visual art and street spectacle; and a special 40th Festival commission.

John Crumlish, CEO commented: “As we prepare to celebrate 40 years of the festival, we invite everyone to join the party. We’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge everyone who has played a part in making the Festival what is has become today. It has come a long way and everyone involved over the years should take great pride in what has been achieved.”

Paul Fahy, Artistic Director commented: “A big thank you to all of our artists, collaborators, funders, sponsors, friends and donors and most importantly to you, our audiences, for supporting the Festival. We hope you enjoy our 40th birthday party and that it makes for a great July in Galway.”

This year’s programme features the most substantial ever theatre programme with fourteen shows for audiences to enjoy including a major new music theatre production. In what promises to be one of the theatrical highlights in Ireland this year, Woyzeck in Winter will receive its world premiere at GIAF 2017, with previews starting this Thursday through to Sunday and opening on Monday July 17.  Presented by Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival, the production stars Patrick O’Kane and Camille O’Sullivan, and a cast of extraordinary Irish actor/singers including the legendary Rosaleen Linehan, Stephen Brennan, Barry McGovern, Rory Nolan (Druid’s Waiting for Godot), Peter Coonan (Love/Hate), Shane O Reilly and Susannah de Wrixon. Rosaleen Linehan will share the stage with her son Conor Linehan, the musical director of the piece, who will perform live at each performance.

The cast from Woyzeck in Winter. 

Previews also start this week for four Galway-based productions; Druid’s Crestfall (runs July 14 – 29), Decadent Theatre Company’s Pumpgirl (runs July 15 – 30), Galway Youth and Community Theatre’s Yellow Moon (runs July 15 – 30) and An Taibhdhearc’s Dun na mBan Trí Thine (runs July 13 – 22). Next week audiences can look forward to the critically acclaimed Tristan & Yseult, presented by Kneehigh, when it opens at the Town Hall Theatre on Tuesday July 18; the world premieres of Branar’s How to Catch a Star (runs July 18 – 29) and Bathroom, written and directed by Enda Walsh, and designed by the Festival’s Artistic Director Paul Fahy, featuring the voice of Paul Reid.

The Festival’s biggest music programme ever includes a world-class line up of acts spread across five venues. The Absolut Big Top will feature Brian Wilson and his 10-piece band who will perform the legendary album Pet Sounds in its entirety along with a string of Beach Boys hits. Gavin James, Passenger, Jenny Greene with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and The Coronas, will all take to the Absolut Big Top stage while the RTÉ Concert Orchestra with A Night at the Proms, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, are presented in two fully-seated concerts at the Absolut Big Top.

Meanwhile the festival crew is busy putting the finishing touches to the Festival Gallery at the former Connacht Tribune Print Works on Market Street. The space is being transformed for a major exhibition of spectacular sculpture by the UK-based Brazilian artist Ana Maria Pacheco. The Visual Arts Programme also includes a special 40th Festival commission Solar Pavilion / Flag from the internationally acclaimed John Gerrard which will be shown in a specially designed pavilion at NUI Galway.

GIAF’s First Thought Talks Programme features a series of conversations and discussions on power, with an extensive range of academics, activists, architects, artists and authors from around the world taking part. There’s plenty for all the family too with Driftwood from Casus Circus (July 22 – 29) while the Street Art Programme features Olivier Grossetête’s hugely impressive The People Build, and Transé Express will bring their beautiful Chariot of the Sea and breath-taking Mobile Homme to the streets of Galway.

With lots more besides to enjoy over the coming two weeks, please see for the full programme of events or contact the box office on 091 566 577.

Galway International Arts Festival would like to acknowledge the support of its principal funding agencies the Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland and Festival Partners Ulster Bank, ABSOLUT and NUI Galway.

Tickets on sale through

For full Programme details, Festival updates and previews, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter using #GIAF17

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