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Galway Comedy Festival laughing all the way to the bank


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway Comedy Festival laughing all the way to the bank Galway Comedy Festival laughing all the way to the bank

Galway Comedy Festival was laughing all the way to the bank after it was granted almost one third of the available money in this year’s city marketing fund.

Connacht Rugby was also among the big winners who will be supported by Galway City Council through the fund, but another sporting organisation – Galway International Rally – did not get funding for 2023/24.

Another beneficiary was a new festival celebrating the Irish language and the city’s bilingualism, organised by Gaillimh le Gaeilge, which hopes to attract up to 10,000 visitors during the off season.

The Marketing Promotion Fund was established by councillors to support “major events and festivals” in the city.

It assists projects and events that support “local economic development” through attracting investment, spending, jobs or additional events.

Events from September 2023 to April 2024 were eligible to apply for €93,500 funding available. Most of it was from the fund but Fáilte Ireland provided €18,500.

A total of eleven applications looking for €180,000 were received by the City Council.

The following were the successful applicants: Galway Comedy Festival (€30,000); Connacht Rugby (€25,000); An Féile (€15,350); An Tóstal via Salthill Village (€8,350); Galway Masters (€8,800); Galway Drum Show (€3,500); and Galway Cartoon Festival (€2,500).

In its application, Galway Comedy Festival said it will bring more than 100 acts to the city for 65 shows in 17 venues over seven days starting from October 24.

It plans to spend €80,000 on marketing, with 70% of that budget being spent outside of County Galway, on national and international ads and public relations.

It said in 2022, it sold 800 tickets to international visitors, and more than 15,000 to domestic patrons.

Connacht Rugby had sought €30,000, not for a single event, but “for a concerted effort to attract more visitors to the Sportsground” in the upcoming rugby season, particularly from other parts of Ireland, and Europe.

The money, it said, will support development of digital campaigns to increase visiting support from outside the city. It will also allow “additional advertising spend” and to “enhance our pre-match and half-time entertainment”.

The club said its direct impact on the local economy annually was €15m in Galway. It said that rose to €27m per annum, when “factoring in secondary multiplier effects”. This season is a milestone, it said, as it returns to Champions Cup, the top tier in European club rugby.

An Féile, organised by Gaillimh le Gaeilge, is a new festival, “celebrating the Irish language and its associated culture” in Galway, Ireland’s bilingual city.  It will include a weekend of music, song, dance and drama combined with language learning and cultural activities.

The organisation said this new festival could help to develop Irish heritage tourism. It has set an “ambitious target” of 10,000 attendees in year one.

Building on An Tóstal’s 70th anniversary last year, Salthill Village plan to bring the currach racing festival back again at the end of April. It attracts national and international competitors.

Galway Masters is an international basketball tournament over a weekend in November with 47 teams competing, including 20 from overseas including UK, Europe and North America. It estimated the event would create a minimum of 1,150 to 1,400 bed nights.

Galway Cartoon Festival will attract a number of illustrators and cartoonists to the exhibitions and events across the city.

Galway Drum Show in the Clayton Hotel and other city venues next March, involving “some of the finest drummers in Ireland and abroad” is expecting an audience of 1,300, with 500 of them international visitors.

Four applications were deemed ineligible for funding, including Galway International Rally. It had requested €15,000, but at the time the decisions were being made at City Hall, Motorsport Ireland had not granted Galway Motor Club any dates in the 2024 rally season. The report noted the rally in previous years led to “significant” bed nights and economic impact.

PorterShed’s plans for a “sustainability festival” to promote decarbonisation planned to attract 80 people. It had applied for €15,000, but it was referred instead to the Council’s Climate Action team to be developed further.

Galway Harbour Company wanted €20,000 for “travel and associated costs involved in attending relevant cruise trade shows and meeting prospective cruise operators who can be attracted to Galway”.

It was declined because it was “not deemed a festival or event eligible for consideration”.

The Irish Computational Biology and Genomics Symposium was declined for the same reason but was forwarded to the Galway Convention Bureau for consideration.

The proposals were agreed by city councillors at their latest meeting.

Photo: Stand-up comedian and actor Omid Djalili who will feature in this year’s Galway Comedy Festival.

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