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 http://www.galwayartsfestival.com/, our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/galwayartsfestival and our Twitter feed https://twitter.com/galwayartsfest/ 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.

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  http://www.galwayartsfestival.com/ 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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