Described by The Guardian as “One of the Top 5 Summer Festivals in Europe”, The Galway International Arts Festival was also voted as the Best Irish Festival of 2018 in the Irish Hospitality Awards.

This year’s Galway International Arts Festival will take place right on our doorsteps from the 15th to the 28th of July 2019 bringing the best artists, musicians, and theatre to the city. 600 artists from Ireland and around the globe, from Australia to Africa and from Europe to the Middle East, will converge in Galway for two weeks of theatre, dance, opera, music, circus, street spectacle, visual arts, and talks.

The ever-popular First Thought Talks series returns and discusses some of our big challenges and burning issues. Hear from over 50 speakers including Mary Robinson, Joe Brolly, Lydia Foy, Una Mullally, Marion McKeone, Fintan O’Toole, Kate Mulgrew, and Eamonn Ryan. This year’s talks series features an expanded programme of 22 talks including a talk on possibly the single most important issue facing humanity, ‘What Can We Do About Climate Change?’ by former President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson. Other talks include ‘Trump’s Wall’ with Marion McKeone and Larry Donnelly, ‘How to Forget: A Daughter’s Memoir’ with actress Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black, Star Trek), ‘Where is Brexit Now?’ with Fintan O’Toole, and ‘What Does Being Transgender Mean?’ with Lydia Foy.

Kate Mulgrew

There are also lots of free events and plenty to keep the kids entertained with the return of the hugely popular People Build and heart-stopping acrobatics from Les P’Tits Bras. Enjoy a free concert at Galway’s docks with French sailor, pianist and songwriter Marieke Huysmans who sails from port to port around the world giving free concerts everywhere she goes. Not to mention all the free exhibitions. For some good old fashioned fun (and some great exercise!), gather friends and family together and weave your way through the streets of Galway grooving to Guru Dudu’s hand-selected mixtape of 70s, 80s, and 90s hits. A ‘silent disco’ power walk through Galway like you never imagined. Warning: your cheeks may hurt from smiling. This is serious fun! Comedy includes Andrew Maxwell and the much-loved Laughter Loft with MC Gerry Mallon whose guests include Foil Arms and Hog and Deirdre O’Kane.

Guru Dudu
Guru Dudu


In 2018, 145,000 flocked to the inaugural Festival Garden on Eyre Square which proved to be a huge hit with visitors who enjoyed al-fresco dining as well as occasional pop-up performances with guest artists. The Festival Garden will return to Eyre Square and is the perfect place to soak up the arty party atmosphere. This year there is an extra special guest located in the garden, let us know if you spot it! Whatever you are into, this vibrant and varied lineup is sure to have the perfect slice of entertainment for you. Open daily from Wednesday, 17th July 2019.

GIAF Festival Garden

Mark 15-28 July in your diaries and book your show tickets today! The Festival Box Office is located in The Cornstore, Middle St, Galway. For tickets and more phone 091 566577 or go to


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