Arts festival enjoys a bumper year

The Galway Arts Festival enjoyed its most successful year with this weeks festival breaking box office records and attendance figures significantly up from last year.

The city is expected to benefit from a windfall of €25 million from the two weeks of the festival. Local businesses throughout the city experienced a significant increase in trade due to the additional 150,000 people in the city during the last two weeks of July.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the response from so many of our audiences,” said festival director Paul Fahy. “It was fantastic to see standing ovations across the city on a nightly basis and our artists were thrilled with the Galway audience response.”

The Festival Big Top at Fisheries Field came down Monday. During the festival it played host to Blondie, Circa, Omara Portuondo, Tinariwen, Mayra Andrade, KT Tunstall, Tom Baxter, The Dandy Warhols, and Ash.

Internationally renowned actor John Mahoney returned to Chicago on Monday while the Giselle cast and crew flew back to many parts of the world after their highly successful performance at the Black Box Theatre.

Druid’s cast and crew from The New Electric Ballroom are preparing to depart for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after their sell-out performances of this new play by Enda Walsh.

Max Streicher’s ‘Sleeping Giant’ inflatables and Joni Mitchell’s Green Flag Song exhibitions at the festival box office are now in cargo ready to be shipped back to Canada and New York as the 31st Galway Arts Festival comes to an end and preparations begin for the 2009 programme.

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