Arts Festival has supporters walking on air

Artist Alice Maher and Paul Fahy, GIAF, at the launch of this year’s Galway International Arts Festival.
Artist Alice Maher and Paul Fahy, GIAF, at the launch of this year’s Galway International Arts Festival.

It is the job of the Galway International Arts Festival ‘to get everyone to walk on air against their better judgement’ – whether it works or not, declared manager John Crumlish at this year’s programme launch.

The expanded programme – building up to Galway’s turn as European City of Culture 2020 – demonstrates that the arts is a very broad church.

“If you’re into opera, into orchestra, if you like rock gods, you like good drama, dance, if you just want to bop down the street – this is the programme for you,” he exclaimed to a heaving crowd which had jammed into the newly renovated bar of the Meyrick Hotel.

He borrowed the epitaph of poet Seamus Heaney to reiterate the main goal of the 42nd festival, which has grown into one of the biggest public arts events in Europe.

“He said ‘walk on air against your better judgement’ and that’s our job – to get everyone to walk on air against their better judgement and we think there are things in this programme what will make you walk on air against your better judgement.

“We should be allowed to try out. We should be allowed to experience fairy dust and we should be allowed to get it wrong – and to get it very, very right – and for people to say I’m just going to do a lot more of this.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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