Galway Arts Festival, founded in 1978, is Ireland’s largest international arts festival. In 2011, there were 162,000 attendances at 176 performances, talks and exhibitions in 27 venues over 14 days.
The Festival showcases a wide variety of international artists alongside the best of Irish talent and includes music (popular, contemporary, jazz, world, classical and traditional), theatre (indoor and outdoor), visual arts, dance, talks, discussions, family events and comedy in its programme.
The Festival has consolidated its reputation nationally and internationally and continues to develop attracting 27% of its audience from abroad. It has developed a profile within the ‘festival world’ and now operates with an enviable reputation on an international circuit.
The Festival has contributed hugely to placing Galway firmly as both a key cultural centre for the arts and as a cultural tourism destination. In addition the Festival has founded and acted as a seedbed for a number of well-known and established arts organisations in Galway.Runners up: