A ‘vintage year’ for Galway Arts Festival

With the final curtain getting ready to come down on the Galway Arts Festival this weekend organisers are already describing the two weeks of top-class music, theatre, art, and comedy as a success, with managing director John Crumlish describing the 2011 festival as a “vintage year”.

They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and if ticket sales are anything to go by then this year’s festival - which began on July 11 and draws to a close this Sunday - certainly has managed to draw in the crowds with many events selling out.

Speaking to the Advertiser yesterday ahead of Blondie in the Big Top, Mr Crumlish confirmed that the gig was close to selling out, with only 100 tickets left to go, making it well on its way to being yet another sell-out concert; the Bell X1 gig, with Duke Special and Liam Finn, last Saturday also proved a sell-out success. With audience research not yet available Mr Crumlish said that initial indications show “we’re doing well”.

He added: “Ticket sales are up as are the audience figures and the festival seems to be bringing in a lot of visitors. The key thing is that the programme has been very well received with a lot of the main shows and acts selling out. Our production of Misterman, with Landmark Productions, was a huge success, and the Absolut Festival Gallery, in particular Hughie O’Donoghue, was well attended. Overall it’s looking like the same numbers as last year. It’s been a vintage year. There’s been a great reaction to the theatre, music, and the parade in terms of audience numbers.”

This year’s Macnas Festival Parade, This Fierce Beauty, was certainly a roaring success with Gardai giving initial estimates of more than 30,000 people in attendance last Sunday evening. Year after year the parade proves to be one of the highlights of the festival, never failing to attract the appreciation of the crowds for the hard work and imagination that goes into making such an event a reality and for providing wonderful family entertainment.

A spokesperson for Galway Garda Station confirmed that it was a fun night for all, with no difficulties with regards public order incidents or traffic management. According to the spokesperson: “Events such as this inevitably cause disruption for some people but we kept it to a miniumum as much as possible, and we are happy to say the event was such a great success due to the co-operation of the public and organisers alike.”



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