Galway International Arts Festival 2022 promises an unforgettable experience for audiences this July

Galway International Arts Festival invites audiences to experience great art once again as the programme for 2022 festival has been announced. The festival will take place from July 11 to 24, and tickets go on sale this Friday, May 13.

On Tuesday, May 10, chief executive John Crumlish and artistic director Paul Fahy announced the programme for Galway International Arts Festival 2022. The festival welcomes back audiences in person, inviting them to explore streets, galleries, and venues in Galway, celebrating art in all its forms again.

GIAF 2022 is proud to once again lay the stage for international artists including the likes of Geoff Sobelle, Sam Shepard, and Ana Maria Pacheco. The festival offers a diverse array of artistic experiences, from theatrical performances to thrilling highwire spectacles.

Chief executive John Crumlish said it is great to be back to full size.

"With this exciting programme. It's a privilege to be presenting all this great art and we hope you can join us in Galway for what promises to be a great festival."

Artistic director Paul Fahy added, “There is nowhere quite like Galway during Festival time in July. It is such a thrill to return to our usual summer dates for the first time since 2019 with what we think is a really wonderful Festival. We are very grateful to all our fantastic artists and companies for their amazing work and look forward to welcoming our audiences back to our stages, galleries and the streets of Galway for two wonderful weeks of great art and performance.”

Orla Carrol, head of product development at Fáilte Ireland said, “With a spectacular programme planned celebrating our culture, people and places, the Festival will give visitors the opportunity to experience the very best of Galway. Festivals and events play a key role in delivering brilliant visitor experiences, providing a unique reason for visitors to choose a destination and increasing footfall for local businesses, supporting jobs and revenue generation. Festivals such as the Galway International Arts Festival play an important role in the recovery of the tourism sector for Galway and its surrounding areas.”

Theatre, Opera, Dance and Spectacle

One of the world’s most celebrated theatre ensembles, Steppenwolf, make their much-anticipated return to Galway after 15 years with a new production of Sam Shepard’s world-renowned play, True West, at the Town Hall Theatre.

Also from the States comes actor and illusionist Geoff Sobelle’s latest creation, Home, a breathtaking spectacle of illusion, choreography, music, and storytelling that explores the everyday phenomenon of what makes a house a home.

Druid presents a new play by acclaimed playwright Sonya Kelly, The Last Return. This piece, directed by Sara Joyce, is a thrilling comedy about conflict, peace, and the relentless pursuit of territory.

The First Child, the third in a trilogy of operas, is rooted in contemporary suburban life from composer Donnacha Dennehy and writer and director Enda Walsh.

From the Gate Theatre and Theatre Lovett comes The Tin Soldier by Louis Lovett and Nico Brown. This play, directed by Muireann Ahern and composed by Conor Linehan, transforms the complex, moving story of Hans Christian Anderson from a simple story into an unforgettable theatrical experience.

Australian choreographer and director Lewis Major brings a double feature of Satori and Unfolding, which envision a world of impermanence and shifting atmospheres among different patterns of sound, light, and movement.

Audiences are also invited to explore a new room, Middle Bedroom, the ninth in a unique series of immersive theatre installations by Enda Walsh known as Rooms, which he has created with Paul Fahy for GIAF.

Other invigorating theatre projects include the world premiere of Decadent Theatre and Galway Arts Centre’s From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan, directed by Andrew Flynn. Also directed by Flynn is Our Teacher’s a Troll by Dennis Kelly.

Muc Rí, written and directed by Philip Doherty from Fíbín sa Taibhdhearc, will also show at GIAF 2022, along with the return of the ever-popular Druid Debuts series. Also making a return is Australian David Naylor (Guru Dudu ) with his Silent Disco Walking Tours.

In Galway Community Circus’ LifeLine, a community cast of 150 people from all walks of life will perform Europe’s largest highwire spectacle over the River Corrib in the heart of Galway city. This thrilling experience draws on the transformative power of circus arts to deliver well-being impact and encourage discourse on mental health. It also features the world premiere of BassAlto, a visual and poetic circus show by an all-female company of professional wirewalkers.

Street Art

The team at GIAF are delighted to be able to bring visually stimulating work to the streets of Galway once again.

Mars is the latest artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram. The artwork features detailed NASA images of the Martian surface. Viewers of this artwork can observe Mars from the air, as though they are a satellite studying the surface in precise detail, accompanied with surround sound composition created by award-winning composer Dan Jones.

A herd of monumental and curious giraffes are set to wander through the streets as Les Girafes An Animal Operetta from Compagnie Off descends on Galway.


July marks the much-awaited return of the Heineken® Big Top, with a stellar line up presented by GIAF and Róisín Dubh. Filling Fisheries Field with live music again will be Pixies, The Stunning, The Flaming Lips, The Academic, Kaiser Chiefs, Sinéad O’Connor, and Jon Hopkins.

Experience invigorating live music at Róisín Dubh from Joan as Police Woman, Anna Mullarkey, Orla Gartland, Tuutelar, Niamh Regan, HousePlants, Daithí, Glasshouse, Malaki, Mary Coughan, Gemma Hayes, Ye Vagabonds, and Junior Brother.

The line-up at Monroe’s includes Soda Blonde, Moxie, Hollie McNish, The Lost Brothers, and David Keenan. The Pálás cinema will play the ConTempo Quartet and CelloVision Travelling, while the annual Traditional Music Showcases will take place in St. Nicholas’ Church along with Coid Cladaigh and Crash Ensemble’s [Reactions].

Visual Arts

Brazilian-born artist Ana Maria Pacheco returns to the festival with a solo exhibition featuring a multi–figure polychrome wood installation, Remember. This exhibition, which will be on display at the Festival Gallery William Street, has been created especially for GIAF, and will include earlier works including Shadows of the Wanderer and Some Exercise of Power.

Following on from Mirror Pavillion, John Gerard will unveil a new work titled Flare [Oceania] 2022 on the Galway Docks. This artwork centres on a simulated generative form which hovers between a gas flare and national flag, set within a seascape based on photographs taken by activist and artist Uili Lousi. Gerrard’s work represents an ecology in hyper distress and a world faced with the threat of rising seas.

Entanglement by ANNEX aims to re-frame the way we understand data production while exploring its impact on everyday life. ANNEX is a collaboration of artists, architects, and urban researchers who came together to curate the Irish Pavilion in Venice in 2021, including Sven Anderson, Alan Butler, David Capener, Donal Lally, Clare Lyster and Fiona McDermott.

The visual arts programme also includes an exhibition from Sean Lynch at Galway Arts Centre. Works created by Ben Geoghegan and Aisling Phelan will be featured at 126 Artist-Run Gallery. A Remix of Change curated by Sona Smedkova and a site-specific, international exhibition at Interface, Falling in Love Outword curated by Alannah Robiins will also be featured at the festival. A set of portraits by Tamara Eckhardt, The Children of Carrowbrowne, will be on display at Galway City Museum. Lastly, Wingform, an installation of music and light commissioned by Crash Ensemble from Barry O’Halpin and Jack Phelan will also be exhibited.

First Thought Talks

An eclectic series of interviews, conversations and discussions exploring weighty issues and challenges of the day will feature leading Irish and international voices from around the world - academics, activists, artists, theatre-makers, journalists and authors.

The topics include, the Middle Ground in Northern Ireland, in conversation with film and videogame composer and conductor Eímear Noone, exploring Climate Again with Kevin O’Sullivan, debating the topic of Cheap Houses in Ireland? and Empathy and Homelessness with Conn Holohan.

Additionally, Donnacha O’Beachain will examine the origins of the conflict behind the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Kevin Rafter will discuss the Arts in Ireland and more. This year’s Vinyl Hours – a series of talks with music enthusiasts in conversation with Tiernan Henry - will include conductor and composer Eimear Noone, playwright Sonya Kelly, composer Donnacha Dennehy, and Galwegian singer-songwriter Anna Mullarkey.

Festival Garden

Enjoyed by thousands of people, Festival Garden returns to the heart of Galway with great food, cocktails and drinks, DJs and live sets from guest artists.


Enjoy the comedy styling of top acts including Foil Arms and Hog, Deirdre O’Kane, Neil Delamere, Emma Doran, Colm O’Regan, Martin ‘Beanz’ Warde, Sinéad Quinlan, Shrinidhi Kalwad and many more.


Elevate is GIAF’s new commissioning strand to support Irish artists working across all platforms as they create original, contemporary and captivating ideas to engage both live and digital audiences. Elevate aims to foster new and innovative projects that may not otherwise be realised. 2021 recipients included Andrew Flynn, Donal Ryan, and Niamh Regan who feature as part of this year’s festival. Elevate 2022 call for submissions closes on June 20 with recipients announced in July. The team behind GIAF would like to thank all the artists, funders, sponsors, donors and friends, without whom it all would not be possible.

Galway International Arts Festival acknowledges the support of its principal funding agencies, The Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland, Galway City Council, its Education Partner NUI Galway, its Energy Partner Flogas, and Drinks Partner Heineken®.

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Geography of Ireland Galway Geography of Europe Connacht Administrative divisions Ireland food United Kingdom Europe teacher Martin Galway City Council National Aeronautics and Space Administration Colm artist Entertainment_Culture Andrew Flynn Arts Council Town Hall Theatre the Galway International Arts Festival Galway Arts Centre Composer Filte Ireland Chief executive ConTempo Quartet Galway City Museum River Corrib Northern Ireland Conor Linehan Ukraine Anna Mullarkey Run Gallery artistic director Sonya Kelly Donal Ryan Louis Lovett Crash Ensemble Venice Neil Delamere Niamh Regan St. Nicholas St. Nicholas Church Deirdre Heineken Barry Sport in Galway Enda Walsh Emma Doran Galway Film Fleadh Conn Holohan Paul Fahy David Keenan John Crumlish Jack Phelan Writer and director Philip Doherty Ana Maria Pacheco Donnacha Dennehy Sam Shepard Joan Lewis choreographer and director Pls Cinema Jon Hopkins Joan As Police Woman Luke Jerram The Flaming Lips The Heineken Kaiser Chiefs Eimear Noone conductor and composer Hans Christian Anderson Dennis Kelly David Naylor Oceania Dan Jones Warde Muireann Ahern Gemma Hayes Sinad Quinlan Aisling Phelan Tiernan Henry Emear Noone Sara Joyce Computer Programming Brewers (NEC) John Gerard Malaki Orla Gartland Kevin Rafter Shrinidhi Kalwad Ben Geoghegan Geoff Sobelle actor and illusionist Tamara Eckhardt Silent Disco Walking Tours Orla Carrol Irish Pavilion David Capener Clare Lyster Mary Coughan activist and artist Coid Cladaigh and Crash Ensemble gas flare Alan Butler Alannah Robiins Sona Smedkova Fiona McDermott Sven Anderson Hollie McNish Sean Lynch Nico Brown head of product development Uili Lousi Galwegian singer-songwriter film and videogame composer and conductor Donal Lally Gerrard Lewis Major

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