Wires Crossed tightrope walking marathon postponed to 2021

Galway Daily arts & culture Wires Crossed tightrope walk marathon postponed to 2021

The much anticipated Wires Crossed event which would have seen hundreds of people tightrope walk across the Corrib this August has been called off, for this year at least.

Galway Community Circus, which has been organising Wires Crossed, said this weekend that the tightrope walk will not go ahead due to the restrictions on event licences and public health considerations.

Ulla Hokkanen, Creative Director of Galway Community Circus, said that they hope to bring this “celebration of circus and all that it represents” back to the public in 2021.

The 24-hour marathon of funambulism promises not only to be an incredible spectacle, but is also meant to highlight mental health in the community.

The decision not to proceed this year was made in consultation with Galway 2020 as it was a cornerstone of the programme of events for the European Capital of Culture.

The entire Capital of Culture project is in the process of being severely pared back, but the government has committed funding to bringing forward as many events as possible later this year and into 2021.

There had already been speculation earlier this year that Wires Crossed could fall afoul of insurance issues plaguing the Community Circus.

With over 400 participants from multiple countries meant to tightrope walk across the Corrib over 24 hours, Irish acrobats could have been startling in their absence.

Galway Community Circus has seen the cost of its insurance balloon from €4,500 to €23,890 since 2016, and the only quote the have gotten would not cover any aerial acrobatics or any activity more than 1.5m off the ground.

This would have meant that 150 Irish people meant to take part in August would not have been able to carry out the necessary training this summer.

Hopefully the extra time allowed by this postponement will enable this other crisis to be resolved as well, so when Wires Crossed does go ahead, it can do so in all its intended glory.

The full statement from Galway Community Circus reads:

The Wires Crossed team and partners have been working hard behind the scenes to continue our journey with the art of funambulism (tightwire walking). Like all organisations, we will need to re-build after the COVID-19 crisis. The passion, commitment and resilience of our community is a huge asset in this task.

In consultation with Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture and our other European partners, we have reached the decision to postpone the Wires Crossed festival and river crossing planned for August 2020. The restriction on event licences and matters of public health were the key factors in this decision.

Along with our budding funambulists, our artists, and our team, we will continue our journey together to bring you a celebration of circus and all that it represents in 2021. We are in discussions with our partners and funders about the exact timing of this and as soon as we have any news, we will share it with you all.

We would like to thank our supporters and funding bodies; Galway 2020, The Arts Council of Ireland, Erasmus+, Creative Europe, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, Finnish Institute London, Embassy of Finland Dublin, Science Foundation Ireland and our valuable sponsors for your continued support.

In the true nature of overcoming, facing our fears and accepting where we are, we will re-emerge for training on the wires, and step by step we will continue our journey, as the vibrant and resilient community that we are.

We can’t wait to see you all soon.

Ulla Hokkanen

Executive Creative Director,
Galway Community Circus


image credit: Galway Community Circus