Galway 2020 issues call for 2,020 opening celebrations volunteers

Galway daily news Call for further transparency on Galway 2020 finances

Galway 2020 is counting down the days until the opening celebrations in February, and has this week issued an open call for 2,020 people to help make them something to remember.

Galway 2020 is seeking people from communities in the city, county and beyond to help them set the standard of spectacle to expect for the European Capital of Culture year.

Percussionists and chanters are just some of the roles being cast in the seven day-long opening celebrations, put people of any and all abilities are welcome to take part.

The celebrations will start with a symbolic turf cutting ceremony on St Brigid’s day and fiery festivals will erupt in towns across the county over seven consecutive nights from Sunday, February 2 during the first week of Imbolc.

From there the celebrations will spiral inwards from the outskirts of the county, with events along the way in Clifden, Spiddal, Tuam, Ballinasloe, Portumna and Athenry.

At the end of the road its hoped that a huge number of people from communities around Galway will flood the streets of the city for the spectacular open-air finale on February 8.

Imbolc is the ancient Irish festival marking the passing of winter and beginning of a new year. It’s revival in 2020 will also mark the opening of the European Capital of Culture.

Galway 2020 Creative Director Helen Marriage said, “This is the moment where everyone in Galway gets to own the European Capital of Culture.

“Starting on St Brigid’s Day, this week-long celebration will be an opening ceremony like no other,” she added.

“Telling the stories of this place and its people to the world, it will draw on local themes and traditions from across the county and involve the whole audience in the action.” 

The week long opening ceremony is being produced by Wonder Workswhose talented team has worked on Olympic opening ceremonies in Athens, London and PyeongChang amongst other world-class events. 

Piers Sheppard, Director of Wonder Works said they intend to put on an event that is truly unique to Galway.

“We are looking for anyone over the age of 18 who loves having fun while learning something new and wants to celebrate the creative energy of their community, county and city.”  

“All abilities are welcome If you hum along to your favourite song and can bang a pot and pan together you’re ready for this show. 

“In exchange for your time and energy you’ll be working with the best in the industry, world class directors and producers with proven track records in making a community cast sound amazing. We promise the results will be worth it.  

Participation is open to anyone over the age of 18 and organisers are calling on families, friends, neighbours, teammates and community groups to sign up to take their place in what will be week to remember marking the beginning of an extraordinary year. 

Rehearsals will take place in advance of the opening ceremony and the volunteer performers will be working with world-class creative talent.

Everyone taking part in one of the towns across Galway will also perform in the final element of the opening ceremony, a breath-taking open-air event in the city.