This is Galway’s Top Picks for Galway International Arts Festival 2023
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This is Galway’s Top Picks for Galway International Arts Festival 2023

The diverse programme for the Galway International Arts Festival 2023 is celebrating on a larger scale than ever before across theatre, music, circus, dance, visual arts, comedy, street spectacle and talks over 14 exciting days and nights. Not including those performances which have already sold out (for obvious reasons) let's take a lot at our top 10 picks for Galway International Arts Festival 2023...

With over 500 writers, artists, performers and musicians from America, Asia, Australia and Europe, this year has its largest and most ambitious programme to date! This really is going to be a Galway Arts Festival to remember! Find the whole programme right here and let your experience at the GIAF 2023 commence.

The Pulse

17th - 22nd at 8pm / Festival Theatre at Kingfisher, University of Galway / €25-37.50 / Buy Tickets Here

Prepare yourself for jaw-dropping acrobatic displays brought to you by over 60 acrobats and a 30 strong all-female choir. The Pulse is a hugely ambitious and monumental work of scale that unites audience, acrobat and choir into a single mesmerising organism. It's taking place in the spectacular new Festival Theatre, at the Kingfisher at the University of Galway. Specifically built for this phenomenal production it is the biggest indoor temporary venue the Festival has ever created. So, come along and be apart of history.


21st at 9.30pm + 22nd at 2pm & 9.30pm / Eyre Square to Spanish Arch / free / More Here

A dragon in Galway?! We promise that's not the drink talking there will actually be a dragon roaming the streets of Galway across the first weekend of GIAF. This enormous street spectacular is going to be a sight to behold so make sure you have your viewing spot preplanned and your camera at the ready in time for its appearance.

Grindr, Saghdar agus Cher

17th & 18th at 8pm / Seanscoil Sailearna, Connemara / €18/20 / Buy Tickets Here
 22nd - 29th at 8pm / An Taibhdhearc / €18/20 / Buy Tickets Here

Energetic, urgent and thought provoking, Grindr, Saghdar agus Cher is three dramatic, interwoven stories showcasing three different perspectives on one fateful night; A country man takes his first step across the threshold of the city’s gaybar; A lesbian finds herself at a “Build a Willy” event at her cousin’s hen party; A scene queen gives himself an unexpected haircut that only one other man will see. Performed in Irish with English Subtitles available at an Taibhdhearc. 

Life & Times of Michael K

25th - 30th at 7pm / Black Box Theatre / €25-30 / Buy Tickets Here
Matinees 27th + 29th at 2pm / Black Box Theatre / €25-30 / Buy Tickets Here

Witness a stunning theatrical performance which combines puppetry, performance, film and evocative music bringing together some of South Africa’s most revered, multi-award-winning artists in this epic production. This tells the hauntingly beautiful story of Michael K, a simple man who embarks on a journey through South Africa, a country ravaged by civil war, to return his mother to die on the farm where she was born. During this journey, he finds strength in his own humanity, his profound connection to the earth and his unique path which, as it unfolds, reveals to him, his reason for living.


24th at 8pm / Heineken® Big Top / €49.50 / Buy Tickets Here

Widely renowned as one of the most popular and influential bands to come out of the American underground in the last three decades, Pavement at the Heineken® Big Top will be an incredible experience for all. On the night they'll be supported by Dublin indie rock band Pillow Queens so you can be sure it'll be non stop craic and class tunes all night long.

The Laughter Loft

17th - 30th at 1pm (doors at 12.30pm) / Ruby Room at The King's Head / €12.50 / Buy Tickets Here

Join MC Gerry Mallon as he introduces some of the biggest names in Irish Comedy including Ross Browne, Anna Clifford, Neil Delamere, Emma Doran, Chris Kent, Aideen McQueen, Colm O’Regan and Karl Spain plus many more performing in the smallest room they will play this year, or any year. Check out the daily lineup at the link above and let the laughter commence!

From Galway to Global: The G-Town Records' Story

23rd at 3pm / O'Donoghue Theatre, University of Galway / €10 / Buy Tickets Here

In advance of his headline show at the Heineken® Big Top KETTAMA, one of dance music’s most in-demand and prolific names, is joined by Shampain in conversation to discuss their creative process as musicians, producers and DJs. With four releases to date and sold-out shows all over Europe this duo have maintained a deep rooted connection to their hometown Galway. Come along to hear their story in person.

The Oligarch's Nightmare

17th - 30th at 11am-6pm (open 'til 8pm on Thurs - Sun) / Festival Gallery / free / More Here

In association with The Dean Galway, Galway International Arts Festival has commissioned the Turner Prize-nominated artist, David Mach, to create a new site-specific installation The Oligarch’s Nightmare. A variety of maquettes, sculptures and collages will be exhibited at the Festival Gallery at the top of Shop Street.

James Yorkston and Nina Persson

26th at 8.30pm / Monroe's Live / €35 / Buy Tickets Here

This duo have just released their beautiful album 'The Great White Sea Eagle' and they are ready to perform it live for Galway International Arts Festival 2023. Nina Persson became an international star in the 1990s fronting Swedish pop and rock sensations The Cardigans, before releasing a series of acclaimed albums under her own name and A Camp. James Yorkston, the gentleman-songwriter of the East Neuk of Fife, has released a series of albums of tenderness and melody, insight and empathy. His eye for the details in life and the richness of his brogue make a Yorkston song instantly recognisable.

Far Away & Close to Home

17th - 30th; Tues-Sat at 10am-5.30pm + Sun 12pm-5pm / Outset Gallery / free / More Here

Galway's very own Enda Burke has a multidisciplinary showcase which is a celebration of kitsch décor, bold nostalgia, and religious iconography from Ireland’s past, linked to the present through the artist’s unique voice and visual language. Burke’s work embedded with narrative and small details marvels within monotonous settings; outlined in this exhibition through colourful photographic works, immersive installations, and video collaborations with motion graphic artist Dara Greaney. This exhibition was curated by Outset Gallery's Tom McLean.

All photos courtesy of Galway International Arts Festival 

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