Our Top 5 Highlights from Galway International Arts Festival 2023

Our Top 5 Highlights from Galway International Arts Festival 2023

Well folks, that’s a wrap on another amazing year at the Galway International Arts Festival. Since we can’t bear to let it go yet, we wanted to share with you some of our highlights from this year’s festivities. Check them out right here!

KETTAMA at the Heineken Big Top

Local Lad Did Good! Galway was buzzing all night long thanks to the incredible energy of KETTAMA’s sold out show at The Heineken Big Top on Sunday 23rd. Having played in clubs and festivals in the US, China, Australia, Japan, mainland Europe and up and down the UK, KETTAMA returned for his first hometown gig since 2019 and he certainly made it a homecoming that we will never forget. Special shout out also to the amazing performers he shared a stage with that night..  The whopping G-Town Records lineup included IMOGEN, Efa O’Neill and Shampain.

photo by Ciarán MacChoncarraige

The Pulse

When we say our jaw hit the floor while watching the pulse we are not kidding! The Pulse was an exhilarating performance of mind-blowing acrobatics in a new festival theatre in the Kingfisher University of Galway which was specifically built for this phenomenal production. It is the biggest indoor temporary venue GIAF has ever created. The Pulse featured the all-female Orfeó Catalá Choir who’s incredible vocals made it a truly mesmerising experience. This was the second time the world-renowned acrobatics and physical theatre company Gravity & Other Myths performed at Galway International Arts Festival and they certainly have left their mark.

photo courtesy of Galway International Arts Festival

The Saw Doctors

Bringing the amazing two weeks of arts, performance and craic to an end, The Saw Doctors closed out the festival with a bang. They absolutely rocked the stage at The Heineken Big Top during both their sold out shows and even the bad weather couldn’t hold back the crowds of people coming out to see these Galway legends do their thing!

photo by Andrew Downes Xposure


Comprising Sean O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy - The Plough and the Stars, The Shadow of a Gunman and Juno and the Paycock. Under the leadership of director Garry Hynes this is understandably ‘one of the greatest Irish stories ever told’. Druid Theatre masterfully weaved O’Casey’s three plays into an epic theatrical event of conflict, national identity and the human toll of war. DruidO’Casey is the most ambitious production in Druid’s history and it was a thrilling performance to see in this year’s Galway International Arts Festival.

Photo by Ros Kavanagh. Photo of Aaron Monaghan as Fluther Good in DruidO'Casey: The Plough and the Stars.


Galway International Arts Festival’s reputation really is out of this world. I mean, did you see the dragon that came to Galway for the arts festival? The 30ft high dragon wandered through the streets three times as one of the biggest structures Galway International Arts Festival has ever put on the streets. Despite the bad weather, Galway really did turn up to welcome the mythical beast to the City of Tribes and helped to make this street spectacular a truly epic experience.

photo by Up in the Éire

Honourable Mentions

The atmosphere throughout the entire festival this year was electric! From the Silent Disco Walking Tours that wouldn’t let the bad weather rain on their parade and the surreal installation ‘Far Away & Close to Home’ by Enda Burke in Outset Gallery to visiting the brilliant array of Galway businesses operating out of this year’s Festival Garden alongside the Heineken Bar, such as; Prataí, Grá Chocolates, Murphy’s Ice Cream and Álainn. This year really brought loads of excitement and craic to the streets of Galway once again.

Feature photo by Declan Colohan

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