Galway International Arts Festival Announces Programme for 2024

Will Butler (formerly of Arcade Fire) and Sister Squares

Galway International Arts Festival Announces Programme for 2024

Kneecap, Annie Mac, Leftfield, Gruff Rhys, Niamh Regan, Susan O'Neill, The Undertones, Glasshouse, Muireann Bradley, and Will Butler and Sister Squares on the music line-up.

Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) has announced the programme for this year’s event, taking place from 15 to 28 July. The festival will present a range of concerts, from rock to traditional, as well as theatre world premieres, dance, visual art, street art and talks.

One of this year’s headlining music acts, performing at the Heineken Big Top on 18 July, is Belfast rap act Kneecap. The trio, who perform through both Irish and English, recently signed to Heavenly Records and will release their debut album Fine Art in June. The band were also the subject of a film by director Rich Peppiatt which won the Audience Award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in the US – the first Irish language film to ever win the award. 

Also performing at Heineken Big Top – the festival’s largest music venue – is Annie Mac (21 July), Jess Glynne (24 July), Passenger (15 July), Stewart Copeland with orchestra and conductor Eímear Noone (17 July), Leftfield (19 July), Dec Pierce’s Block Rockin Beats (20 July), The Saw Doctors (27–28 July), Kettama (25 July) and Gavin James (26 July). 

Róisín Dubh and Monroe’s
Muireann Bradley, the 17 year-old finger-picking guitarist and singer from Donegal who performed on
Jools’ Annual Hootenanny in December 2023, will play a concert in Róisín Dubh on 22 July. The venue will present an extensive series of concerts during the festival, including singer-songwriter Niamh Regan (16 July); The Undertones (19 July); Dublin ensemble Glasshouse performing the music of Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (27 July); singer-songwriter Susan O’Neill (18 July); Trad Rave (19 July); indie band Telebox (15 July); Will Butler – multi-instrumentalist and former member of Arcade Fire – and Sister Squares (23 July); and alt-folk artist Simple Kid (26 July). 

Performing at the Monroe’s venue is funk-rock band Fun Lovin’ Criminals (17 July), singer-songwriter Róisín O (24 July), Teddy Thompson (25 July), traditional band George Murphy and the Rising Sons (27 July), piper and singer-songwriter Tara Howley (28 July), singer-songwriter Oisín Leech with special guests Lemoncello (20 July), Lumiere – the duo of Éilís Kennedy and Pauline Scanlon (21 July), songwriter Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals) (26 July) and folk-pop singer Darren Kiely (23 July). 

Traditional concerts, ConTempo Quartet
The festival’s annual series of lunchtime traditional music concerts takes place again this year featuring Josephine Marsh, Eileen O’Brien and Geraldine Moloney (18 July), Conor Connolly and Padraig Ó Dubhghaill (19 July), Cormac Breathnach and Martin Dunlea (20 July), Emer Mayock and Donal Siggins (25 July), Galvian Way – comprising Ger Clancy, Seosamh Ó Fátharta, Maidhc Ó hÉanaigh, Declan Corey, Paul McClure and Mick Clancy – with dancer Ailbhe Davoren (26 July) and Catherine McHugh and Áine McHugh (27 July). 

St Nicholas’ Church will host two concerts. On 16 July, the ConTempo Quartet will perform with musician/composer Bianca Gannon and the In Flow Gamelan Group – a percussion ensemble of performers with intellectual disabilities; and on 18 July, the festival will feature Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo. The Vinyl Hours series of talks, which presents musicians and artists in conversation about their favourite songs, will include Mickey Bradley from The Undertones and Gavin James, with more guests to be announced. 

Theatre, talks
The theatre programme will include seven world premieres, including Reunion by Mark O’Rowe – a co-production between Landmark Productions and GIAF; The Map of Argentina by Marina Carr – a work directed by Andrew Flynn that focuses on complicated family dynamics, love and desire; and a new immersive theatre installation, Dining Room – part of an ongoing series at the festival created by Enda Walsh and Artistic Director Paul Fahy.

Topics such as the climate crisis, the rise of AI, modern Irish history, US politics and a united Ireland will be discussed as part of the First Thought Talks series with guests including include journalists Marion McKeone and Fintan O’Toole; novelists Colm Tóibín, Andrew O’Hagan, Mike McCormack and Elaine Feeney; historian Diarmaid Ferriter; actor and activist Liz Carr; and climate change adviser Marie Donnelly.

Commenting on this year’s programme, Artistic Director Paul Fahy said:

We are thrilled to work with such an extraordinary number of artists and colleagues from Galway, Ireland and around the world to deliver this programme. It is very exciting to produce and host such exciting world, Irish and European premieres as part of one our most ambitious festival programmes to date. There is simply nowhere quite like Galway during the festival, the city offers a special magical atmosphere every summer. We look forward to welcoming our audiences to Galway this July to share and enjoy two wonderful weeks of great art and performance.

See the full programme below or at

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Published on 14 May 2024

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