SEPTEMBER FESTIVAL GUIDE: GALWAY

September is often thought of as the month when the kids go back to school, the students go back to college and life returns back to normal after a hectic summer. We often forget that Earth, Wind & Fire made the month of September cool way back in the ‘70s, and that there’s always plenty of antics to get up to throughout the month. Whether it’s arts festivals, oyster festivals or walking festivals, there’s plenty to choose from…

CLARENBRIDGE OYSTER FESTIVAL

Since 1954, the Clarenbridge Oyster Festival has been growing from strength to strength and has become an integral aspect of life in the idyllic village. This year will mark the festival’s 65th anniversary and the beginning of the new oyster season, and this year’s festivities will not disappoint. The programme of events include a market day, golf tournaments, yacht races, art and photographic exhibitions, a fine wine and gourmet evening, talks and lectures and even a best dressed lady competition. With over 100,000 of the world’s best oysters to be eaten, you’re sure to enjoy every minute.

SEPTEMBER 9-15 // Clarenbridge // More

GALWAY TATTOO SHOW

The 7th annual Galway Tattoo Show is set to bring together some of the finest international tattoo artists from around the globe, along with some serious homegrown talent showing off their expertise. More than just a celebration of tattoo art, the show will include plenty of entertainment, live music and a stunning art gallery, a free tattoo cinema, a photo booth, market stalls and traders galore. There’ll even be an appearance from renowned supernatural performer Jyoti, which is guaranteed to be mind-blowingly amazing.

SEPTEMBER 14&15 // The Galmont Hotel // More

AUTUMN GALWAY RACES

The Galway Races are known far and wide as one of the city’s most exciting and beloved events in the social calendar, and this Autumn’s festivities are set to be no different. The relaxed setting, electric atmosphere and stunning style enhance the action packed national hunt card, of which there will be seven races on offer. Live music, great food and bar facilities and big screens galore, September’s race meeting will get your blood pumping for sure.

SEPTEMBER 16 & 17 // Ballybrit // More

Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture – Programme Launch

Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture will launch the cultural programme for next year with a largescale public event in Eyre Square on Wednesday 18 September. As one of the largest cultural events in Europe and the world, all eyes will be on Galway in 2020. The programme launch will be the first formal unveiling of the exciting programme of events for next year, giving a taste of what to expect over the 12 months of Galway 2020 and details of the Opening Ceremony in February 2020.

SEPTEMBER 18 // Eyre Square // More

CLIFDEN COMMUNITY ARTS WEEK

Now in its 41st year, Clifden Community Arts Week is Ireland’s longest running community arts festival and this year’s programme has something to excite everyone, from a high quality artistic programme to sensational literary, musical and visual art content. The focus will be on the community arts of Clifden and the surrounding areas, with creative writing, music, theatre, graphic design and film workshops and performances taking place in local schools throughout the week. An ideal outlet for self-expression and a great way to develop artistic and social skills, Clifden Arts Week is a vibrant hub of creativity.

SEPTEMBER 18-29 // Clifden // More

PORTUMNA SHORELINES ARTS FESTIVAL

Showcasing the creative arts of Portumna’s community arts groups, and those of the surrounding areas of Lough Derg and the Slieve Aughties, the Portumna Shorelines Arts Festival is a celebration of the arts through a variety of mediums in order to encourage and support local talent. Paying particular attention to literature, visual arts, drama and music, the festival will feature art and sculptures from local and guest artists, a vintage machinery display, art talks and a variety of other events, exhibitions and workshops

SEPTEMBER 19-22 // Portumna // More

CULTURE NIGHT

All across the country, venues and public spaces are opening their doors to host free late-night events in celebration of arts, heritage and culture. Returning for its 14th year, Culture Night promotes tours, talks and performances that are vast and varied, and Galway’s schedule is absolutely brimming with activity. Throughout the county a whole host of free events will be taking place, from foodie, storytelling, dance and heritage events to photography, arts and crafts and audio visual events and each is set to be more intriguing than the last.

SEPTEMBER 20 // Various locations // More

CARNA WALKING FESTIVAL

If you’ve been looking for the perfect excuse to explore the rugged coastline of southern Connemara, you’re in luck. Carna Walking Festival will celebrate its third year with organised walks to the sacred Saint MacDara’s Island, the deserted Feenish Island, a climb up Cashel Hill and a bog walk to Loch Scannive and its historic crannóg. You’ll be getting out into the fresh air and getting some unreal exercise in while you take in the insanely beautiful scenes, all while your have the ultimate craic! Nice.

SEPTEMBER 27-29 // Carna // More

BALLINASLOE INTERNATIONAL OCTOBER FAIR & FESTIVAL

An equestrian extravaganza, Ballinasloe International October Fair & Festival brings quality entertainment, music and family fun together for a week of top notch trotting. With 176 years of experience under their saddle, the fair and festival attract roughly 85,000 visitors a year through the unique sense of community the festivities offer. Equestrian days are Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with the Fairgreen drawing a crowd on Sunday and Monday with every breed of horse and pony on display. There’ll even be street stalls, fireworks, tug-o-war, kids’ events, arts and crafts and a whole lot more.

SEPTEMBER 29 – OCTOBER 6 // Ballinasloe // More