The Good Times are Back! The Comeback Story of Electric Galway
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The Good Times are Back! The Comeback Story of Electric Galway

In one of the most anticipated comebacks in Galway, the doors to Electric are officially back open. Motivated by a genuine desire to forge cultural spaces for young people to express themselves and socialise, owner James Finan and his team have poured an incredible amount of time, love, and perseverance into reopening the nightclub, resurrecting a haven for 'party throwers and go-ers’, in ways both familiar and unexpected.

Having worked as Electric’s general manager from 2013 to 2019, James along with former members of staff undertook the task of reopening Electric, after the club closed its doors in 2020 due to the pandemic. “It’s about giving a place back to Galway to go out and socialise. In a way, that’s becoming harder and harder to do.” James also notes that everyone shares an immense admiration for the previous owners, who succeeded in keeping the property on Abbeygate Street a cultural landmark for over 30 years. Committed to retaining the nightclub true to this renowned image, James says that, “we’ve reopened Electric, rather than reinvented Electric. [We] had a really good identity before, so we’ve reopened that with 2024s twist on it.”

The team’s passion and drive are evident in every element of the club. Community and attentiveness are two things at the forefront of Electric’s ethos. “Something very important in our mindset here is safety. That doesn't just come from being physically safe, but being considered, and feeling comfortable,” says James. “We are really considerate about that. If you feel safe and it’s a cool place, then you’re ready to have a good time.” Bringing together local and international creatives, Electric aims to give to the community a safe place to perform and share in something universal.

“It doesn't feel like work,” something James underlines that “kind of gives the identity of a club, where everyone has a little stake in it.” Electric along with other venues across the country are working with ‘Give us the Night’, a campaign to modernise Ireland’s nightlife. James says that, “it’s about having a stage that’s opened for artists to perform longer. So more artists can perform, and people can see more entertainment.” James and the Electric team hope that with improved rulings around their sectors, they would be able to have enough hours in the night to put on more shows and events.

Electric’s unique ability to encompass multitudes within one building is what creates its inviting and elusive atmosphere. James adds that people should anticipate unique spaces; from their main club area to their rooftop garden to their cocktail bar. The three different levels are host to three different DJs with different sets playing. This is a maximalist space totally flooded with the best talent found locally and abroad. There is truly something here for everybody.

For many, this signals the renewal of nightlife and club culture across Galwy. James envisions that this space is a hub for creatives, artists, DJs, and most especially for people in Galway who want to gather and dance. “We were joking the other day about [putting in] the new dance floor, like when was the last time anyone put down a dance floor?”

“It’s just a basic human urge to move to a beat, it’s probably almost tribal... I think that experience is one that’s quite universal.”

By creating a space for people to safely express themselves, Electric’s team is giving Galway a new life, one that has emerged from cultural standstill into a spectacular harbour saturated with late night dancing and disco balls. So turn it up and get your groove on Galway. Good times are back.

All photos by Ciarán MacChoncarraige.

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