Find out more about beautiful Galway!

Festivals

Galway is known as the cultural capital of Ireland. Our students love the annual Galway International Arts Festival and the Film Festival, both of which are held in summer. And the Halloween Parate is spectacular! In 2018, Galway was named the European Region of Gastronomy, and it’s not hard to see why when you try the fantastic seafood!

Galway International Arts Festival

Founded in 1978, the Festival collaborates with artists and companies throughout the world to produce and present an international programme of theatre, spectacle, dance, visual arts, music, literature & comedy involving hundreds of artists and performers. Galway International Arts Festival is at the heart of all aspects of life in Galway City contributing immeasurably to the economic, social and cultural life of the west of Ireland. Over its 40-year history, the Festival has become a vital showcase for Irish arts internationally and international arts in Ireland and is now firmly established as Ireland’s leading arts festival. Under the direction of Artistic Director Paul Fahy, Galway International Arts Festival will feature over 500 writers, artists, performers and musicians from America, Asia, Australia and Europe and of course Ireland. The Festival will highlight dance, physical theatre and spectacle from America and Europe illustrating the Festival’s continuing commitment to staging extraordinary, ambitious and innovative projects, the world premiere of new Irish theatre, site-specific visual arts commissions and the introduction of the new, specially commissioned Festival Big Top in the spectacular setting by the banks of Galway’s River Corrib to add to the magic and diversity of Galway in July.

Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival

The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival is an annual four-day event held each year on the last weekend of September in the centre of Galway city. A highlight in the west of Ireland’s festival calendar, it is the world’s longest running Oyster Festival and one of the most internationally recognised Irish events. During this popular food festival, you can expect to experience a wide variety of tantalising events to enjoy from seafood trails, oyster hot spots, oyster opening (shucking) championships including the Oyster ‘Olympics’ or World Oyster Opening Championship, foodie talks & tasting events in some of Galway’s finest restaurants, food provenance tours, sample delights at the intimate food village at The Festival Marquee, a Mardi Gras style Gala Event through the streets of Galway, Best Dressed Lady competition, the Tribal Oyster Feast Off oyster eating competition along with family activities, live music, cooking demonstrations, ‘Hot Oyster Awards’ cooking challenge and more. Over the three days, the festival hosts the World Oyster Opening Championship, an annual beauty contest to select the Festival Pearl, a Mardi Gras Party with Champagne, Guinness and Oyster reception and an electrifying line up of top-class artists, an afternoon Marquee Reception (with more Guinness and Oysters) and the grand finale, the Gala Ball. Running annually since 1954, The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival has welcomed over half a million visitors, consumed more than 3 million oysters and all washed down with champagne and stout whilst listening to some of the best musicians in Ireland. A Seafood Trail is a new addition to the festival which includes a selection of Galway’s best restaurants serving locally sourced ingredients & seafood; each restaurant will have Galway Oysters available from Thursday to Sunday during the festival so all visitors can try the famed delicacy.

The Halloween Festival

Something spooktacular is taking place in Galway this Halloween Weekend. On Saturday and Sunday of the October bank holiday weekend, the city’s medieval streets will host the country’s biggest Halloween Festival with many fun and free events planned for the weekend with high-spirits guaranteed. The highlight of the festival is expected to be the fiendishly creative Macnas Halloween Paradethat will wind its way through Galway city centre on Sunday of the bank holiday weekend from approximately 5.30pm and spectators are encouraged to dress up too!

Halloween Highlights

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