Galway International Arts Festival came to a record breaking close last Sunday, with festival attendance figures breaking the 200,000 mark for the second year running and the box office recording its biggest takings to date.
The second week of the festival’s expanded programme included the world premiere of the Kellie Hughes and Galway International Arts Festival co-production Death at Intervals, starring Olwen Fouéré and Raymond Scannell, while the Irish premieres of the smash-hits Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour and A Simple Space received repeated standing ovations over the course of their sell-out runs.
The First Thought Talks also played to packed houses in week two, with discussions featuring the composer Peadar Ó Riada and acclaimed US author David Berreby. The festival’s visual arts programme also continued to attract large numbers in week two, as did the GIAF co-production with Landmark Productions, Enda Walsh’s Arlington [a love story], which received critical-acclaim from The Stage, The Guardian, RTÉ Arena, and the Sunday Independent.
Festival 2016 as a whole also garnered praise from noted Guardian critic Michael Billington, who described it as a "powerhouse of ideas and innovation".
“We are delighted with how the festival went this year and I would like to thank all the artists who were involved in the programme and all those who came to events," said John Crumlish, Festival CEO. “It was our biggest festival to date, with more of our own productions in the programme than ever before, so it is fantastic people came in such numbers."