The Galway International Arts Festival has revealed it’s full programme for this year’s event and it has plenty to whet the appetite.

They include a brand new opera world premiere, Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant playing a church, a new play from Druid Theatre Company, Joe Brolly on the Irish Border and the GAA, Burt Bacharach on stage and more.

Over a quarter of a million people attended the Festival in 2018 and this is a campaign to build on that as Galway prepares to become the European City of Culture in 2020.

This year’s Galway International Arts Festival will run from 15th to 28th July and includes work from 600 artists from Ireland and around the globe.

Performers from Australi, Africa, Europe to the Middle East will converge in Galway mixing in with major collaborations between the Festival and Irish National Opera, Druid Theatre Company and Rough Magi.

A new immersive theatre installation, Waiting Room by Enda Walsh, will also premiere in Galway as part of the action.

The ever popular First Thought Talks series of interviews, conversations and debates will this year examine the theme of Borders, whether it’s national borders, gender, political, wealth or health borders.

Bringing together leading voices from Ireland and abroad, First Thought Talks will feature an expanded programme of 22 talks including a talk on possibly the single most important issue facing humanity, What Can We Do About Climate Change? by former President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson.

Other talks include Trump’s Wall with Marion McKeone and Larry Donnelly; How to Forget: A Daughter’s Memoir with actress Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black, Star Trek); Where is Brexit Now? with Fintan O’Toole, and What Does Being Transgender Mean? with Lydia Foy.

World renowned artists will take to the stage of the Heineken Big Top including Burt Bacharach, Orbital, Macy Gray, Villagers & John Grant.

Robert Plant will play an intimate concert in St. Nicholas’ Church with his new project, Saving Grace, and The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland will play a tribute to John Williams as part of a wide and varied music programme.

‘We hope there is something for everyone in this programme,” said Festival Director John Crumlish.

“Whether you are interested in operas, orchestral work, new plays, music icons, contemporary art, a good discussion or street spectacle we are really looking forward to welcoming you to Galway this July for hopefully a very memorable two weeks.”

“We are hugely excited with this year’s Festival with so many collaborations and co-productions at the heart of the programme,” added Artistic Director Paul Fahy.

“This year also sees the introduction of a new Festival Gallery which will be a stunning new exhibition space in the centre of the city. Galway becomes a truly magical place for two weeks every July as some of the most brilliant artists from Ireland and all over the world arrive on our shores for a thrilling fortnight where great art, ideas and good fun are available in equal measure.”

Funding for the festival, apart from the revenue generated by ticket sales, comes from
principal funding agencies the Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland, Education Partner NUI Galway and Drinks Partner Heineken.

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