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Arts Festival ticket sales set to top 200,000 again

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Tickets sales for the Galway International Arts Festival have picked up considerably since the Republic of Ireland was knocked out of the European Championships.

Artistic Director, Paul Fahy, said people are often distracted by World Cups and European Championships but sales were boosted again when Ireland’s interest in Euro 2016 ended.

Mr Fahy said the festival is happy with sales to date, and is on course to match last year’s record breaking year.

“Any time there is a big tournament, and especially when Ireland is involved, we notice a dip in sales but it has picked up again. Last year we broke the 200,000 attendances for the first time and we expect that we will do so again this year,” said Mr Fahy.

Some 25% of the programme is free, including Insects, a street spectacle from Eyre Square to Spanish Arch last night and tonight; and The Scent of Sawdust a circus spectacle in Eyre Square next weekend on July 16 and 17.  Two of the ‘must-see’ shows in this year’s festival are previewing this weekend.

PRESS PLAY ABOVE TO WATCH ‘INSECTS’ IN GALWAY LAST NIGHT

Arlington by Enda Walsh will run for 21-days in total at Leisureland in Salthill a venue that hasn’t been used in years by the festival. Its world premiere is this Monday.

Invitation to a Journey is currently previewing at Black Box Theatre, and sales are brisk.

It is “stunningly beautiful”, he said, and is a mixture of dance, theatre and music.

Mr Fahy said he would be “hoping to hit the road” with both Arlington and Invitation to a Journey, and Death at Intervals at an Taibhdhearc.

Waiting for Godot at Druid is sold out.

The iconic festival big top at Fisheries Field will appear on the Galway skyline over the coming days.

The Gloaming is sold out and Elvis Costello, the first gig, is selling fast. “People would want to get their skates on for Elvis Costello,” he said.

The festival Gallery at Connacht Tribune print works on Market Street, officially opens this Sunday from 4pm.

It is an exhibition of paintings from Hughie O’Donoghue entitled One Hundred Years and Four Quarters.

The Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway has been transformed for Making Ireland Modern while the NUIG university art gallery hosts Spectres of Modernity.  The visual art shows are free.

The official launch of the arts festival takes place this coming Monday at the Radisson Hotel at 9.30pm.

Bookings can be made online at www.giaf.ie; at 566577; and in person at the festival kiosk in Eyre Square and at its box office at Galway tourist office on Forster Street.

CITY TRIBUNE

Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.

It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.

In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.

It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.

They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.

They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.

It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.

The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.

The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.

Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.

It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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