8 Reasons to visit the Galway International Arts Festival this summer

Galway International Arts Festival

The Galway Arts Festival (13-26 July) turns the City of Tribes into a festival party with literature, drama, theatrics and pop-up surprises. Here are eight reasons you MUST go this summer

Relaxing at Ti Neachtain
Relaxing at Ti Neachtain

3. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Bang on the Wild Atlantic Way, away from the urban buzz are sleepy seaside villages, hidden coves and rugged landscapes. Take a beachside canter on a Connemara pony in Clifden or go-island hopping around the Aran Islands. Skip over to County Clare for a gander at the giant Cliffs of Moher and the lunar-like landscape of the Burren.

4. VENUES & VARIETY: This festival packs in over 200 shows in 25+ locations over 14 days. As for the venues, no space is left untouched: buzzing galleries, intimate theatres, outdoor performances and, of course, the blue and beautiful Big Top tent.

Enjoying the view
Enjoying the view

5. THE ARTISTS: Expect an eclectic mix of artists – from Amy Conroy to Patricia Piccinini and Hofesh Shechter – coming together to put on a show of the traditional, the contemporary and the controversial. Think surprising sculptures, science fiction and ‘meta-perceptual helmets’.

Macnas street parade
Macnas street parade

7. DRAMATIC TALES: Powerful plays from Brett Bailey, Frank McGuinness, and Enda Walsh's 'A girl's bedroom'. Humorous but haunting work by Amy Conroy, and Olwen Fouéré’s take on Samuel Beckett’s ‘Lessness’. Galway goes all in for drama.

8. THE PEOPLE: Fact: people make the place. Galway is a lively, buzzing city all year round – and so are its people. Friendly, laid-back and charming, pull up a stool at any local bar and in no time you’ll be chatting with locals over a pint.

Juuuust in case you need more reasons than that to visit, here’s a big one: the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Galway International Arts Festival runs from 13-26 July 2015. Get your tickets here.

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