Galway is known as Ireland's Festival City and is currently bidding for European Capital of Culture 2020. The wealth of spectacle and magical events is embroidered in the very fabric of Galway. From toddlers to centenarians, everyone who lives in Galway has been involved, participated in and experienced at least one of our many festivals. Some of our favourites include:
The Galway Sessions which takes place over a week in June and showcases taditional Irish music with visiting celtic friends from Scotland and the rest of Ireland. Enjoy toe tapping music with talented musicians in great Irish pubs.
Currach Racing - row, row, row your boat along the Wild Atlantic Way! There are a host of traditional rowing boat races around Galway in the summer months from The Spiddal Currach & Hooker Regatta (Feile Curachai agus Báid Seoil an Spideal) over June Bank Holiday weekend to the Roundstone Regatta in July. The Roundstone Regatta is one that dates back to the 1890s and incorporates both currach racing and traditional sailing vessels of the West Coast (Galway hookers, leath bháid and gleoiteógs) as well as family entertainment.
The Galway Film Fleadh is one of Ireland's longest running film festivals and was instrumental in the city becoming one of only five UNESCO Cities of Film in the world. The festival takes place during the second week in July and has welcomed many hollywood stars, successful movie and TV stars as well as budding writers, actors and producers. We love the Pop-Up Cinemobile!
Now in its 38th Year, the imaginative and magical Galway International Arts Festival delivers extraordinary experiences throughout the cobbled streets of Galway! Past performances have included multi award–winning theatre companies such as Druid, Northlight Theatre, The Royal National Theatre, Propeller and the Bristol Old Vic. Captivating dance has inspired audiences from the Fabulous Beast Dance Company and the Hofesh Shechter Dance Company amongst others. Big Top festival fun and intimate gigs abound including artists such as Primal Scream, David Gray, Brad Mehldau, Blondie, Kronos Quartet, Bon Iver, Joni Mitchell and St Vincent. Whether you are looking for blisteringly funny comedy or world premieres of theatre, join the thousands of people that descend on Galway for a whirlwind two weeks of theatre, music, comedy, street performers and a few surprises.
At the end of August, the annual celebration of our traditional sailing vessels 'Galway Hookers' takes place in Kinvara, 30 minutes south of Galway City. The 'Cruinniú na mBád' festival remembers a time before electricity - when the majestic Galway Hookers sailed between Connemara and Kinvara laden with turf for the locals to use as fuel. Each August at this festival in Kinvara, you will see some vessels that are over 150 years old, others newly built. Many of the families who sail the hookers have been doing so for generations.
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