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€2.5m spent on troubled Galway 2020 opening ceremony


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

€2.5m spent on troubled Galway 2020 opening ceremony

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The week-long opening ceremony of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture (ECOC) – including its centrepiece at the Swamp which was cancelled due to Storm Ciara – cost €2.5 million.

The cost of staging the event in February 2020 is revealed publicly today for the first time, after documents were released to the Galway City Tribune following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

Wonder Works Ltd was commissioned by Galway 2020 to “support the creative development and delivery” of the “ambitious” opening programme, according to report by the company.

It had previously been involved in the London 2012 opening ceremony, which included a parachute stunt involving James Bond actor Daniel Craig and the Queen.

By May 2020, a total of €2.252m had been spent on the Wonder Works ECOC opening ceremony, according to a spreadsheet released under FOI.

Between May and September of the same year, a further €247,000 was spent on the Galway 2020 opening ceremony. That brought the total expenditure to €2.5m.

Neither figure (€2.252m or €2.5m) was contained in Galway 2020’s ‘Project Evaluation Report’ into the opening ceremony, dated July 2020.

In that same year, the City Council’s entire budget for arts grants was €425,000 – it is currently €400,000.

(Photo: the stage in South Park, when the opening ceremony had to be cancelled due to Storm Ciara).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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