Big Names Coming to Galway as part of the GIAF Heineken Big Top Lineup
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Big Names Coming to Galway as part of the GIAF Heineken Big Top Lineup

Galway International Arts Festival 2024’s live music programme is its largest to date. With performances from The Saw Doctors, Annie Mac, Passenger, Leftfield, Stewart Copeland, Gavin James, Jess Glynne, KETTAMA, Kneecap and Block Rockin Beats all scheduled for the Heineken® Big Top, there’s so much to look forward to, so secure your tickets asap!

Every year, the Galway International Arts Festival goes the extra mile to ensure that their festival-goers enjoy a programme that is jam packed with the best of music, theatre, art, talks, spectacle and so much more. And this year is no exception! The Róisín Dubh and Galway International Arts Festival’s iconic live music venue; Heineken® Big Top on the banks of the River Corrib, is presenting to all 2024 festival goers, their largest live music programme to date. We’re super excited to see these performers arrive in Galway this July so let’s talk about who’s performing at the Heineken® Big Top this summer and where to get tickets for the shows;

Opening night: Passenger

Monday 15th July / get your tickets here
Multi-award winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter, Passenger made the journey from street corner to stadium with ‘Let Her Go,’ which reached No.1 in 19 countries and has now notched more than six billion streams globally and is the 2nd most Shazamed song of all time! Yet ‘Let Her Go’ is just one song from a catalogue that extends across 13 albums in 13 years that has won Passenger a global fanbase as he continues to tour the world headlining some of its most famous stages, and now is your chance to see him live in Galway.

Supporting Passenger on the opening night of this year’s festival are Amistat, whose musical identity finds resonance in their contemporary soundscapes creating a distinctive synergy that is best experienced live.

Stewart Copeland – Police Deranged for Orchestra

Wednesday 17th July / get your tickets here
Conducted by Eimear Noone, Police Deranged for Orchestra celebrates the music of The Police and of its founder Stewart Copeland. It focuses on the epic rise of Copeland’s career that has spanned over four decades. This show as part of Galway International Arts Festival features many of The Police’s biggest hits including Roxanne, Don’t Stand So Close To Me, Walking on the Moon, Every Breath You Take, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic and Message in a Bottle. This unique concert will see Stewart Copeland on drums, with guest vocalists and band alongside a 28-piece orchestra.

Support acts for Stewart Copeland, Police Deranged for Orchestra, conducted by Eimear Noone on Wednesday 17th July will be announced in the coming weeks.


Thursday 18th July / get your tickets here
Since they emerged from West Belfast, Kneecap have become a cultural phenomenon. Their three members, Móglaí Bap, Mo Chara, and DJ Provaí, have created their own genre of Irish punk rap, blending the Irish and English language with electrifying energy, selling out tours across the US, UK, and Ireland. Kneecap is a movement, one about upending preconceptions of language and place, and reimagining how rap and raving act as creative and cultural forces, rooted in community, craic, and defiance. This one is definitely going to sell out so you best act fast to ensure you are there!

Their support act, the high-energy Irish guitar quintet Gurriers, are firing on all cylinders at the moment and confronting the ills of the modern world on their debut album, Come and See, a thrilling collection of razor-sharp progressive punk songs.


Friday 19th July / get your tickets here
Arriving to the Galway stage this July, UK’s most revered dance acts Leftfield are playing the Heineken® Big Top and it’s going to be a night to remember. Leftfield’s legendary live-performances paired with seminal albums, 1995s Leftism and 1999s Rhythm & Stealth (both Mercury Music Prize nominees), solidified their position as true pioneers. At the end of last year, Leftfield released their album This Is What We Do, following the earlier release of the direct and dancefloor driven track, “Accumulator.” Want to hear it live? Get those tickets via the link above and secure your spot in the Big Top!

Support acts for Leftfield is HousePlants, the exciting full-fledged creative vision of two of Ireland’s most respected artists – Bell X1 frontman Paul Noonan, and innovative atmospheric producer Daithí.

Block Rockin Beats

Saturday 20th July / TICKETS SOLD OUT
Block Rockin Beats will play the Heineken® Big Top for what promises to be an unmissable performance during this year’s Galway International Arts Festival and in case that wasn’t obvious enough, it was actually one of the first gigs to sell out for GIAF24! Dec Pierce’s Block Rockin Beats is a performance of the world’s biggest dance anthems, where rave meets rock, featuring a DJ set with a full live band.

A superstar DJ and producer in the making, Welshy’s profile has skyrocketed since signing to Sony's Insanity Records. Welshy plays support for Block Rockin Beats in addition to DJ and producer Jen Payne, who has been breaking down boundaries in the Irish music scene. Her track Pon De Replay soared up the charts on Beatport, making her the first female artist in the UK & Ireland to deliver a solo Tech-House Top 10 track on the platform.

Annie Mac

Sunday 21st July / get your tickets here 
Renowned Irish DJ Annie Mac will take to the stage of the Heineken® Big Top for an unforgettable night. Over her 20-year career in the arts, she has created a far-reaching cultural presence, with a strong legacy of presenting flagship music shows on BBC Radio 1; performing on the biggest stages of international music festivals, in the DJ booths of the world’s best clubs, as well as creating her own popular club night series Before Midnight. Her gig promises all the thrills of a hedonistic night out with fun, euphoria and wild abandon, so really what else do we need to tell you? Get those tickets sorted!

Opening for Annie Mac is Sally Cinnamon, who, as a live DJ, has moved people from seats to dance floors all over Ireland since 2001, with countless slots at all of Ireland's best festivals and club nights. From Afrobeat to Techno, Dancehall to dubstep, you're guaranteed a shake down!

Jess Glynne

Wednesday 24th July / get your tickets here
Jess Glynne is the first British female solo artist to have seven number one singles on the UK Singles Chart including I’ll Be There; Hold On; and Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself. She rose to prominence as a featured artist on singles such as Rather Be by Clean Bandit, My Love by Route 94 and, more recently, on Rudimental’s These Days with Macklemore. She was also considered one of the “Most Influential People Under 30” by Forbes magazine in 2019, so let yourself be influenced by us and secure your place at her show in Galway this July.

Irish R&B sensation Aby Coulibaly is the opener for Jess Glynne. Across her recent releases and through her nostalgic meld of 90’s R&B beats and buttery vocals, Aby has amassed an impressive 6.7 million Spotify listeners. Taking inspiration from her Senegalese heritage and merging this with her day-to-day experiences of Dublin life, Aby creates a sound that’s effortlessly her own.


Thursday 25th July / get your tickets here
After performing a killer set at last year’s Galway International Arts Festival, KETTAMA is returning to the Heineken® Big Top once again. Galway-born producer KETTAMA, burst onto the house and electro scene in recent years, with the release of his 2018 EP Bucklyn Bridge, which featured the track B O D Y, giving him a significant break. Having played in clubs and festivals in the US, China, Australia, Japan, mainland Europe and up and down the UK, KETTAMA returns for yet another electrifying evening at GIAF.

This year joining him on stage are special guests DJ Heartstring and Pretty Girl, and you know you want to be at it so get your tickets via the link above! Berlin based duo DJ Heartstring’s high energy sets combined with their production output place them at the forefront of a global movement of music listeners and clubbers. They support KETTAMA with Pretty Girl, the Melbourne producer and vocalist with otherworldly infusions of house, UKG and techno.

above: photo by Emilija Jefremova from KETTAMA's Heineken Big Top set in 2023

Gavin James

Friday 26th July / get your tickets here
Few singer-songwriters are able to capture the stuff of our intimate lives – love, heartache, loss, joy – like Gavin James. Honing his performing and song writing gifts as a busker and pub performer in Dublin, since being championed by the likes of Ed Sheeran and the release of his early records (including debut studio album, 2016’s Bitter Pill) James has built a community of fans that have seen his music streamed three billion times across the globe and earn diamond and platinum records in multiple countries. Now making his appearance at GIAF this July, Gavin James is not a show you are going to want to miss this summer.

Northern Ireland’s Ryan McMullan, who opens for Gavin James, has been making a name for himself over the last few years as a gifted songwriter and exceptional singer.

Final Nights: The Saw Doctors

Saturday 27th July / TICKETS SOLD OUT  
Sunday 28th July / TICKETS SOLD OUT 
The Saw Doctors return to play two sold out shows at the Galway International Arts Festival 2024 following their US Tour which included a headline show at SummerStage in Central Park, New York. The Saw Doctors are powered by Tuam song writers Davy Carton and Leo Moran with a current lineup that includes former Waterboy Anthony Thistlethwaite on saxophone, Kieran Duddy, keyboards & accordion, Rickie O’Neill, drums, Will Merrigan, bass guitar, Noelie McDonnell & Tommy Carton on backing vocals.

Opening for The Saw Doctors on Saturday is Aran Islands born Padraig Jack, a bilingual singer-songwriter whose latest single These Shores has just been released; while Galway singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and spellbinding vocalist Tracy Bruen plays support to The Saw Doctors' second Heineken Big Top show on Sunday 28th July.

In addition to this incredible music lineup, Galway International Arts Festival also features includes 7 world premieres, a new visual arts commission ‘We Travel Together’ with Patricia Piccinini, GIAF is also co-producing two new theatre shows; Reunion with their long-term partners Landmark Productions and Unspeakable Conversations with Once Off Productions. To see the full festival programme please visit their website at

Galway International Arts Festival takes place from 15-28th July with a packed programme of theatre, circus, music, visual art, street art and spectacle, comedy and talks, that look at who we are and what concerns us.

This year, Galway International Arts Festival has been working hard to create accessibility measures across the festival. For the 2024 festival they have ISL interpreted performances, open caption performances, audio described performances, a touch tour of the gallery, sensory backpacks, and other measures put in place in order to increase accessibility and enjoyment of this year’s GIAF for all audience members. For more information on these measures please check them out here.

To keep updated on all there is going on at Galway International Arts Festival this year, please visit their website here, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so you never miss out on new updates. 

All images courtesy of Galway International Arts Festival.

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