Prepare for a creative collusion at the 42nd Galway International Arts Festival!

Gorgeous Galway becomes a truly magical place for two weeks every July with the arrival of the festival as some of the most brilliant artists from Ireland and all over the world arrive on our shores for a thrilling fortnight where great art, ideas and good fun are available in equal measure.

The Heineken Big Top is your music festival experience smack bang in the middle of Galway city at the height of the Galway International Arts Festival. Get ready to turn up the volume on your Summer with 21 music acts alone taking to the stage in Big Top including Orbital, Two Door Cinema Club, Macy Gray, The Academic, BellX1, The Coronas, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear Burt Bacharach sing over 50 years of hits, a fantastic double-bill with Villagers; John Grant, world-music from Tinariwen, the Soul rebels from the desert, and many more.

Macy Gray
Macy Gray

There are also brilliant music gigs taking place around the city including Kojaque, Mick Flannery, Ezra Furman, Pillow Queens, and Joan as Police Woman to name but a few. They will take to the stage in some of Galway’s best music venues; Róisín Dubh, Monroes, Electric and even in the stunning surrounds of St. Nicholas’ Church. From trad to trance, GIAF has it covered!


Theatre-goers can look forward to a little something of everything. With anywhere between five and ten different plays and shows to be performed on any given day, Galway audiences will be spoiled for choice throughout the two-week festival. Highlights include a major new opera based on the life of Rosemary Kennedy, sister of JFK, from Irish National Opera – Least Like the Other; Kneehigh, the company behind GIAF17 hit Tristan Yseult, returns with a new fiery, full-throttle musical – Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), new plays from Druid – Epiphany, The Abbey Theatre – Citysong, Rough Magic – Cleft and Moonfish – Redemption Falls – plus great international drama and spectacular physical theatre. There’s also jaw-dropping feats of physical prowess from Australia’s Gravity; Other Myths who will present the European Premiere of their new show Out of Chaos following on from Backbone, which was seen at last year’s festival.

Dead Dog in a Suitcase
Dead Dog in a Suitcase

This year sees the introduction of a new Festival Gallery, which will be home to the centerpiece of the visual arts programme, an enthralling exhibition by one of Australia’s most important sculptors Sam Jinks, In the Flesh, which draws on our fascination with the human figure. GIAF has a long history of transforming spaces and for this exhibition has designed and built temporary new gallery space in the heart of Galway city, just off William Street.

Sam Jinks
Sam Jinks

A myriad of visual arts experiences can be explored at other venues across the city: a sound and image fantasia from Alice Maher & Aideen Barry 6SKIN; imPRESSions printmaking exhibition; an exhibition of new work which interrogates astronomical research from Chloe Brenan, Jane Cassidy, Louise Manifold & Teresa O’Brien; a duo exhibition from acclaimed artist Diana Cooperwhite and emerging artist Ciara Barker Reforming; Gathered from the Earth sculptural baskets from master craftsman Joe Hogan and The Paralleled Mind where Annlin Chao explores three different mindsets querying which is real and which is surreal.

The Festival Box Office is located in The Cornstore, Middle St., Galway. Phone bookings can be made on 091 566577 or online on



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