2,020 people wanted for opening ceremony of Galway 2020

The spectacular scenes at the Galway2020 programme launch in September. 
Photo by Declan Colohan.

The spectacular scenes at the Galway2020 programme launch in September. Photo by Declan Colohan.

Galway 2020 has issued an open call for up to 2,020 people from communities across Galway city, county and beyond to be part of Galway’s European Capital of Culture opening ceremony celebrations. Percussionists and chanters are just some of the roles being cast in the seven day-long opening celebrations. All abilities are welcome. If you can clap your hands, stamp your feet or bang a pot and pan together, then you are exactly the sort of person needed.

The celebrations will start with a symbolic turf cutting ceremony on St Brigid’s day and fiery festivals will erupt in towns across the county over seven consecutive nights from Sunday February 2. Moving ever closer to the city through the first week of Imbolc, with events in Clifden, Spiddal, Tuam, Ballinasloe, Portumna and Athenry, a huge cast drawn from across the community will invade the streets and squares of Galway city on the evening of Saturday February 8 for the spectacular open-air finale.

Imbolc is the ancient Irish festival marking the passing of winter and beginning of a new year. It will also mark the start of our Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. The week-long opening ceremony is being produced by Wonder Works, whose talented team has worked on Olympic opening ceremonies in Athens, London and PyeongChang amongst other world-class events.

This opening event will be like no other and will draw on local themes and traditions from across the county. Participation is open to anyone over the age of 18 and organisers are calling on families, friends, neighbours, teammates and community groups to sign up to take their place in what will be a week to remember marking the beginning of an extraordinary year.


Rehearsals will take place in advance of the opening ceremony and the volunteer performers will be working with world-class creative talent. Everyone taking part in one of the towns across Galway will also perform in the final element of the opening ceremony, a breath-taking open-air event in the city. Registration is online at galway2020.ie Piers Sheppard, Director of Wonder Works said this will be an event that is truly unique to Galway, bringing everyone together to mark the beginning of the European Capital of Culture in an opening week like no other.

“We are looking for anyone over the age of 18 who loves having fun while learning something new and wants to celebrate the creative energy of their community, county and city.

“All abilities are welcome. If you hum along to your favourite song and can bang a pot and pan together you’re ready for this show. In exchange for your time and energy you’ll be working with the best in the industry, world class directors and producers with proven track records in making a community cast sound amazing. We promise the results will be worth it”.

Galway 2020 Creative Director Helen Marriage said this the moment where everyone in Galway gets to own the European Capital of Culture.

“Starting on St Bridget’s Day, this week-long celebration will be an opening ceremony like no other. Telling the stories of this place and its people to the world, it will draw on local themes and traditions from across the county and involve the whole audience in the action. Everyone must come. I can’t wait,” she added.

Galway 2020 is the largest and most complex cultural event ever undertaken on the island of Ireland comprising over 1,900 events across 154 projects, 170 partnerships and collaborations with local, national, European and international artists and cultural organisations from over 30 different countries.

To find out more or to register to be a part of the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture Opening Ceremony log on to www.galway2020.ie


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