Galway Arts Festival 2013: Exclusive Images of Fabulous Beast.

fabulous beast7

To celebrate tickets going on sale today for The Rite of Spring /Petrushka double bill in the Black Box Theatre on July 15th, here on the Galway Arts Festival blog we’re sharing exclusive and beautifully evocative images of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre hard at work for what promises to be not just a major international co-production but one of the theatrical highlights of the year. Huge thanks must go to our Festival photographer Colm Hogan whose stunning images always capture the magic and creative force of Galway Arts Festival.

As you can see below, under the gifted stewardship of Michael Keegan-Dolan Fabulous Beast are in the process of creating an unforgettable re-imagining of Stravinsky’s classic The Rite of Spring. The addition of Stravinsky’s Petrushka and that fact that both will be getting their Irish premier at this year’s Festival makes this double bill very special indeed.

Tickets for The Rite of Spring /Petrushka double bill in the Black Box Theatre on July 15th are available now. To secure yours and avoid disappointment, simply click here.


GAF’s Take Three: Josh Ritter

Josh Final 2012 Laura Wilson-7

With so many fantastic national and international acts set to light up the Festival Big Top stage for 2013, here at GAF we think you’ll enjoy taking a moment to savour some of their best live performances. Roll on July!

We’ve decided to kick off with three live videos from the great Josh Ritter, starting with his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman on Tuesday night, performing the first single from his new album The Beast in its Tracks called Joy to You Baby. We’re as fond of this beautiful performance as David is:

In 2002, Josh went to St James’ Church in Dingle to perform for the esteemed Other Voices series. The result was very special indeed. Taken from that performance, this video is of Josh performing one of his most popular songs, the gorgeous Kathleen:

Everyone loves a good pop song and Right Moves is surely that. Here’s Josh and his band thoroughly enjoying themselves performing on Later… with Jools Holland in 2007:

Tickets for Josh Ritter and special guests at the Festival Big Top on July 20th are on sale now from or simply click here to secure yours.

Take a Bow, Galway Arts Festival 2012

Oh, what a brilliant few weeks it has been. On behalf of all the GAF 2012 team, thank you so very much for your enduring support. Not only has it been another incredibly successful year, we have broken records for attendance across the board. A staggering 30,000 people turned out to see the fantastic Absolut Festival Gallery and a truly phenomenal 160,000 people attended the festival over two weeks. What can we say only a huge and heartfelt thanks. What an inspiration it is to see that despite everything – or perhaps because of it – a real love of the arts still exists in this country.

Over the course of the festival, various teams have been working away to ensure that events and experiences were captured for everyone to enjoy, now and always. GAF TV have been working especially hard, the fruits of which you can check out on their YouTube channel here, where you can enjoy highlights from this year’s festival, like this wonderful look at Macnas’s This Thunderous Heart:

While the two weeks in July when the festival takes place are GAF’s primary focus, work on the festival takes place all year round. For breaking news, exclusive content and to keep in the loop about next year’s preparations, not to mention enjoying the fruits of festivals past including this year’s, be sure to check out our website, our Facebook page and our Twitter feed Over the next few days, we’ll be posting highlights of 2012, which you won’t want to miss.

All that remains is for us to say one final word of thanks to the people of Galway, all our sponsors, our fantastic performers, our volunteers and all of you who supported GAF 2012 in your thousands. Here’s to a record breaking 2013. We’ll leave you with a few exclusive images from this year’s magnificent festival, taken by Colm Hogan. Until next time.

Macnas turn the streets of Galway into a wonderland with This Thunderous Heart.

Artistic Director Paul Fahy basks in the fantastic setting of the Absolut Festival Gallery, which welcomed an amazing 30,000 people through its doors during the 2 weeks of the festival.

Spain’s Kamchatka perform their unique brand of street theatre for delighted on-lookers during GAF 2012.

Watch It: GAF TV

A GAF TV screenshot of the Misterman set.

With so much packed into the two weeks of Galway Arts Festival every single year, keeping track and preserving all those special moments is a mammoth task. Thankfully, GAF TV have been doing a stellar job of capturing the magic on film and now, for your viewing pleasure, the GAF archive is available online.

If there’s anything you’ve missed or a favourite festival memory you’d like to relive, then spend some quality time flicking through the gems on For this year’s latest GAF TV reports, including an exclusive interview with Chic’s legendary Nile Rodgers, check out or click on the clips below, featuring comedian and star of RTÉ’s the Savage Eye Dave McSavage, artist David Mach whose exhibition Precious Light is taking the festival by storm and Michael Kaeshammer, one of Canada’s brightest musical exports.

For more of GAF TV and all things festival related, check out

Let’s Hear It for Silent Night!

Nights out with a twist are hard to come by, especially in Ireland where the old ‘pub then club then chipper then home’ format seems harder to break than concrete. Thankfully, GAF  has a whole host of nights out with a difference for you to enjoy over the two weeks of the festival (don’t believe us? Then check out this minute) but if the traditional club experience with a twist is what you’re after, then we’ve just the thing for you.

Silent Night, our headphone disco, will see two DJs battle it out for the grá of the crowd, who will be listening to their tunes on their headphones. Which DJ will emerge victorious? Well dear listeners, that is entirely up to you. Silent Night will take place in the fantastic festival Big Top on July 21st, along with spectacular effects and a few top secret surprises. Headphone discos have become hugely popular in recent years (we’ve come along way since 1969 were an early silent disco featured in a Finnish sci-fi flick of all things!)  so expect a great night and lotsa music to dance your booty off to. Silent Night is brought to you by Galway Arts Festival and the Róisín Dubh. For tickets and to avoid disappointment check out

The Magic of Macnas

Galway may sit on the western seaboard of a little island nation but culturally its reach and significance traverse the planet. Names like the Beauty Queen of Leenane, Misterman, Galway Arts Festival and Druid have not just local recognition but global recognition on a glittering scale that other cities of a similar size can only dream of.

Galway is different. Artistically, magical things happen here and then take flight. In recent years there has been perhaps no greater Galway success story than the rise and rise of the ground breaking, truly awe-inspiring Macnas, who, since their inception in 1986 have transformed street performance and parades into part fairytale, part mystical events whose visual delights and stunning artistry, make wide-eyed children of us all.

This year’s Macnas parade takes place on Saturday, July 22nd. This Thunderous Heart, directed by Noeline Kavanagh is sure to turn the streets of Galway into a world class spectacle. If you haven’t experienced a Macnas performance before, well what are you waiting for? Last year’s This Fierce Beauty garnered rave reviews and 2012 is sure to delight on the same scale. Macnas is something all the family can enjoy but be warned: get there in plenty of time as the streets will be thronged. For more info and to check out everything GAF-related, go to and enjoy.

For your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures taken by the blog team at last year’s Macnas parade, entitled This Fierce Beauty:

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