Galway International Arts Festival smashed attendance records with over 400,000 visitors

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Galway Daily arts Galway International Arts Festival smashed attendance records with over 400,000 visitors
Photo:Andrew Downes, xposure.

Galway International Arts Festival smashed all attendance records this year with more than 400,000 people coming to the two week sensation.

The curtains came down on the 2023 GIAF last Sunday, after a fortnight of spectacle from Dragons in the street, music on the stage, and acrobats dancing in the air.

From the new 1,150 capacity Festival Theatre to the Heineken® Big Top and the Festival Galleries to the Festival Garden, GIAF transformed, designed and created many of its cultural spaces for its most ambitious Festival to date.

GIAF Chief Executive John Crumlish said, “On behalf of us all, I would like to thank our audiences who came in such numbers to the festival.”

“This was our biggest festival to date, so we are very thankful to everyone who came, those that support us, the volunteers and especially the artists whose work made it all possible. We now look to next year.”

More than 500 volunteers from dozens of countries around the globe were essential for making this arts festival run smoothly, joining through the Festival’s Volunteer and participation programmes Selected and Visual Arts Invigilation Programmes.

GIAF Artistic Director Paul Fahy said, “We are thrilled with the response from our audiences for what has been our most ambitious festival yet.”

“From The Pulse to Bedbound and David Mach to DruidO’Casey, the reaction has been extraordinary. We are hugely grateful to all our artists and production teams for delivering such amazing work this year.”

Highlights of this year’s Galway International Arts Festival included:

  • The Pulse from Gravity & Other Myths, featuring a company of over 60 performers, including a choir of 30 female voices
  • Colm Meaney performing alongside his daughter Brenda Meaney in Bedbound from Landmark Productions and GIAF, which moves to the Olympia from August 8 – 12
  • An enormous 30ft Dragon wandering the streets of Galway City in The Forgotten World, courtesy of Planète Vapeur.

An those are just some of the hits over two weeks that also saw a stellar lineup of music at the Heineken Big Top; the epic DruidO’Casey in a country wracked by war and rebellion from Galway’s own Druid Theatre; and the thought provoking First Thought Talks.