explore Galway's festivals

Discover Galway’s Vibrant Festivals with Us

Get ready for the excitement of Galway’s festivals. This city is alive with celebrations of arts, culture, music, and food1. We’ll explore the heart of Ireland’s festival scene.

In November and December, the Galway Christmas Market lights up the city1. It’s not to be missed, with a huge Big Wheel, a carousel, and Santa’s Express Train. Then, in April, the Cúirt International Festival of Literature takes centre stage. It shows off writing from home and abroad1.

May brings the Galway Early Music Festival, shining a light on old music. You can even join in on harp-playing fun1. And by June, The Galway Sessions fill the air with Irish tunes. This draws musicians from all over1. July sees not one, but two big events. The Galway Film Fleadh showcases new movies worldwide. Plus, there’s the Galway International Arts Festival with its mix of performances and talks. Big names like The Academic and Pixies make appearances1.

September is for oyster lovers with the Galway International Oyster Festival. It includes a world championship and a chance to explore seafood spots around the city1. Come October, the Baboró International Arts Festival for Children offers fun for everyone. It’s packed with plays and arts that pull in both kids and adults1. Ganbusters arrive in October too. The Galway Comedy Festival has over 80 comedians, including stars like Reginald D. Hunter and Ardal O’Hanlon1.

Galway doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to events. It also offers a wide range of places to stay, from quaint cottages to modern hotels2. This makes it perfect for thrill seekers and families alike. The festival lineup has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • The Galway Christmas Market features a towering 32-metre Big Wheel and Santa’s Express Train1.
  • The Cúirt International Festival of Literature celebrates Irish and international writing1.
  • The Galway Early Music Festival in May includes medieval and Renaissance performances1.
  • July’s Galway Film Fleadh brings global filmmakers to the city1.
  • The Galway International Oyster Festival highlights seafood traditions with a city-wide trail1.

Immerse Yourself in Arts and Culture at Galway International Arts Festival

Every July, the Galway International Arts Festival makes the city buzz with creativity. It turns into a thriving cultural spot. You’ll find a wide range of shows, artworks, and events here. People from all over join in, making it one of Galway’s top art gatherings.

Events and Performances

From the 17th to the 30th of July, the festival shines with exciting acts and dances3. It features both modern dance and theatre that will leave you amazed. This makes it a special part of summer for those living in or visiting Galway.

Galway International Arts Festival

International Talent

The festival is well-known around the globe because it welcomes stars from everywhere. In 2024, brilliant musicians like Passenger and Jess Glynne will play4. This adds even more flavour to the festival’s mix of art and music.

Heineken Big Top

The Heineken Big Top, found at the NUI Galway campus, is at the festival’s core. This spot is famous for its unforgettable shows that captivate the audience1. It’s a must-visit in the Galway summer for anyone who loves art. Here, you can see stunning performances in a breathtaking setting.

Enjoy the Magic of the Galway Christmas Market

From November to early January, the Galway Christmas Market lights up Eyre Square. It’s a favourite spot for both locals and visitors. With over 50 wooden chalets and a big wheel reaching 32 meters, the festive fun is impossible to miss. You’ll also find a traditional Carousel and a variety of food stalls with treats from both local and European artisans156.

Galway Christmas Market

Festive Activities and Treats

Food lovers can enjoy bratwurst and crêpes at the Galway Christmas Market. It’s not just about eating, though. There’s the German Bier Keller and live music to make the atmosphere lively. Oh, and don’t forget about Santa’s Grotto for the little ones to meet the man himself5.

This magical place is open Monday to Wednesday from 12pm to 8pm, Thursday to Saturday from 10am to 10pm, and Sunday from 10am to 8pm5.

Special Attractions for Families

Families find lots to do at the Galway Christmas Market. Santa’s Grotto opens its doors on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Children can meet Santa and get a special gift5.

There are also fun rides like the Big Wheel and Santa’s Express Train. These attractions really bring the magic, making it a top event in Galway6.

With over 450,000 visitors last year, the market grows more popular. It’s drawing even bigger crowds this year. Up to half a million visitors are expected this season5.

Explore Galway’s Festivals: The Cúirt International Festival of Literature

The Cúirt International Festival of Literature takes place in April. It’s held at the Galway Arts Centre and Town Hall Theatre. This event marks the significant role of words and literature. Starting in 1985, it has become a key festival in Galway, originally focusing on poetry for three days7.

Today, it lasts a week. It features a wide range of writing, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. There are also activities for everyone, regardless of their age7.

Highlighting Irish and International Writing

The festival shines a light on a mix of writing. It supports new writers and celebrates known Irish and international authors. In 2024, the 39th Cúirt International Festival of Literature is from the 23rd to 28th of April7. Readers and writers come together. They discuss, learn, and share their love for literature7.

Cúirt International Festival of Literature

Engaging Talks and Interviews

The festival offers exciting talks and interviews with different authors and poets. These events are very popular and often sell out. This shows how much people love the festival’s diverse range of topics8.

Topics cover fiction, non-fiction, poetry, food, art, and the Irish language. They aim to inspire and engage people in Ireland. Thanks to support from the Arts Council, Galway City Council, and Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, the festival is a rich and memorable experience78.

Experience the Traditional Irish Music at The Galway Sessions

Every June, Galway comes alive with The Galway Sessions. It’s a top event celebrating traditional Irish music. Folk legends perform, sharing their tunes. This event shows off the lively music scene of Galway, welcoming people from around the world.

The Galway Sessions

International Performances

At the heart of The Galway Sessions, you’ll find Sharon Shannon, Dervish, and De Dannan. International and local musicians fill the air with beautiful music at Galway’s best places9. Their performances are what make this festival so special. It’s a global music party in Galway every summer.

Venues and Atmosphere

The Crane Bar, The Quays Bar, and The Kings Head are legendary spots for Irish music10. Tigh Neachtain, with its 120-year-old history, is a favourite for both musicians and locals9. The Crane Bar, with over two decades of music, is at the heart of Galway’s music too9.

Great places like Taaffes Bar offer sessions with live music. Musicians play lively tunes, creating a fun and social vibe10. These sessions are where tradition is celebrated. Musicians share the joy of Irish music with everyone, locals or visitors10.

Come join us at The Galway Sessions. Let the music revive the spirit of Galway. Feel the heartbeat of its music at every performance.

Witness the Galway Races Summer Festival

The Galway Races Summer Festival is a key event in Ireland’s horse racing scene. It includes exciting races, elegant fashion, and a buzzing atmosphere. The festival runs from the last Monday of July to the first Sunday of August, offering a week full of thrill and sparkle11.

Thrilling Horse Races

Feel the excitement at the Galway Races Summer Festival. It pulls in crowds from all over to enjoy the horse races. Whether you’re a betting pro or new to it all, there’s a thrill for everyone. This festival becomes a big part of the social life in Galway11.

Fashion Events

Ladies Day at the festival is a standout. This is the day when fashion is at its best. With elegant outfits, it brings an extra sparkle to the festival. It’s a time for everyone to enjoy the mix of fashion, fun, and horse racing11.

Galway Races Summer Festival

At this amazing event, old traditions and new trends meet. You can hear the horses running and see people enjoy themselves in style. The Galway Festival shows the livelyheart of the city year after year.

Taste the Best at the Galway International Oyster Festival

The Galway International Oyster Festival is a highlight on the festival calendar. It has been celebrated since 1954 and has welcomed over half a million visitors1213.

Galway International Oyster Festival

Every year, more than 3 million oysters are eaten at this event. This makes it very special among Galway’s many food festivals12.

Seafood Celebrations

Galway is unique because its native oysters are harvested from natural beds. This makes the festival an exceptional food experience12. But there’s more than just oysters. A Seafood Trail includes 17 restaurants, each showing off their own Galway oyster dishes12.

World Oyster Opening Championships

The World Oyster Opening Championships are a thrilling part of the festival. Over 20 contenders from all over the globe come to compete. They aim to win the title of world’s best oyster opener13. An impressive record was set in 1977, when Willie Moran from Ireland opened 30 oysters in just 1 minute and 31 seconds. This record remains unbeaten13.

Seafood Trail Across the City

The festival’s Seafood Trail is a highlight for those who love food. It includes visits to 17 restaurants in Galway. Each one offers a taste of the finest oyster and seafood dishes12. Starting from Nimmo’s Pier to various restaurants in the city, the journey offers amazing seafood experiences. This helps make the festival one of Galway’s top food events12.

1954Festival launched at Paddy Burke’s Bar
198240,000 oysters consumed at the festival13
1987Listed as one of Europe’s Seven Best Festivals by AA Travel Guide13
2004Festival’s 50th birthday celebration13
2013CNN named it ‘One of Europe’s best summer festivals’; Fest 300 – ‘One of the best 300 Festivals of the World’13
2023Voted Ireland’s “Best Food Festival” at the Travel2Ireland awards13

Relive the Music from Across the Ages at Galway Early Music Festival

The Galway Early Music Festival lets you discover music from the medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras. It takes place in May, when historic sites in Galway come alive with these old but gold tunes. This mix of history and music makes it a key event in Galway’s music scene.

Performances and Venues

The festival picks special venues across Galway’s historic spots. This setting gives the music an amazing backdrop, making it sound even better. Places like An Taibhdhearc Theatre and The Druid Theatre add magic to the performances.

The festival also takes place at Roisin Dubh, Monroes Live, and The Mall Theatre Tuam. Each place adds its own unique vibe to the festival’s atmosphere.14

Interactive Offerings

The event doesn’t just offer music shows. It lets you dive into the experience with things like harp workshops and guided tours. These activities teach and entertain, making the festival truly special in Galway’s culture.

The Galway Early Music Festival is an outstanding example of how to celebrate our musical past. With great performances and fun interactions, it truly stands out.

Get Entertained at the Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

The Baboró International Arts Festival for Children takes place every October in Galway. It’s a special event loved by many. The festival fills Galway with exciting performances and fun for families.

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Diverse Program for All Ages

Baboró is turning 28 in 2024, making it Ireland’s top arts festival for kids and families. It runs from October 11th to 19th15. Though it focuses on kids up to 12, there’s joy for all ages here, making it a top choice in Ireland15.

Interactive Visual Art and Dance

This festival brings together theatre, dance, music, and visual arts. It’s a feast for the eyes and the imagination16. There are plays and workshops to fire up creativity. Plus, shows from around the world add a unique touch to the cultural scene in Galway15.

Plays and TheatreDiverse theatrical performances from around the globe catering to young audiences.
WorkshopsInteractive sessions that engage children in creative activities and learning experiences.
Free EventsFree exhibitions, storytelling, and workshops available throughout the festival.
Dance PerformancesEnergetic and captivating dance shows that entertain all ages.
Visual ArtsInteractive visual art installations designed to inspire and engage festival-goers.

In the cultural calendar of Galway, the Baboró Festival stands out. With dance shows, visual arts, and theatre, it draws in families with kids. Come and be part of this enchanting event in Galway Ireland15!

Savor the Summer Festivals in Galway: Trad on the Prom

From May to September, jump into the amazing experience of Trad on the Prom. This summer fest in Galway mixes vibrant music with lively dance routines perfectly. It’s near Shannon Airport, just 80 kilometres south of Galway City, making it easy to get to for an unforgettable show17.

Irish Dance Extravaganza

Summer festivals in Galway reach new levels with Trad on the Prom. This event is known for its stunning Irish dance shows, similar to the famous Riverdance. Every dance step and rhythm capture the hearts of the viewers.

Trad on the Prom

Music and Song Showcases

Trad on the Prom also highlights Ireland’s deep musical roots. Top musicians and singers give awe-inspiring shows. This makes it a key event at the top of the music festivals Galway list every year. Visiting or local, catching this music celebration is a must-do.

Performance Details

Set at the iconic Salthill’s Leisureland Theatre, Trad on the Prom runs from May to September. This location fits perfectly in Galway City, which has Eyre Square and the Galway City Museum nearby. It offers a full cultural experience to everyone who attends17.

Reach Trad on the Prom via bus with providers like Bus Eireann, City Link, or GoBus. Or, enjoy a scenic train ride from Dublin. Either way, coming to Galway for Trad on the Prom gives a special look at Irish traditions mixed with a modern touch17.

Laugh Your Heart Out at the Galway Comedy Festival

The Galway Comedy Festival is a top event in vibrant Galway. It happens in October, with over 80 stand-up comedians. It promises a week of laughter and fun.1 Join other comedy fans and enjoy the fun.

Lineup of Comedians

This year, you’ll see a great mix of famous and new comedians at the Galway Comedy Festival. Stars like Reginald D. Hunter and Ardal O’Hanlon will perform. They’ll bring their own funny styles to the stage.1 Their shows will be a highlight of the event in Galway, Ireland.

Special Shows and Dining Experiences

Besides the amazing comedy, you’ll have unique dining experiences at the festival. The Faulty Towers dining event is a standout. It’s perfect for fans of the show. Picture having dinner with top-notch slapstick comedy.1 It guarantees a night of laughs and great food whether you’re local or just visiting for Galway’s festivals.


Galway’s festivals bring life to the city with their arts, music, and food. The Galway International Arts Festival stands out every July since 1978. It turns the city into a centre of creativity. You can see premieres and a mix of art, like theatre and music18. The Galway International Oyster Festival is just as special. It honours the area’s oyster history with great food and music19.

Galway’s festivals show off more than art. They also reflect the spirit of coming together. The Galway Oyster Festival in autumn is a big feat. It brings chefs together with music and new food20. Then there’s the Cúirt International Festival of Literature every April. You get to hear deep talks and stories from famous writers, making the culture richer.

Into traditional Irish tunes? Check out The Galway Sessions. Or laugh at the Galway Comedy Festival. There’s a fest for every taste. And don’t miss the Galway Christmas Market or the excitement of the Galway Races Summer Festival. Galway stays magical with its events. You should visit these festivals. Join in the fun and feel the city’s cultural vibe.


When does the Galway International Arts Festival take place?

It happens in July, making Galway buzz with creativity. You’ll find many shows, art, and fun.

What are some of the main attractions at the Galway Christmas Market?

Running from November to December, the market lights up Eyre Square with its joy. There’s music and Santa’s Train for all.

Who are some of the notable writers at the Cúirt International Festival of Literature?

Literary greats like Marian Keyes have spoken at the Festival. You can listen to them in April.

Where can I enjoy traditional Irish music during The Galway Sessions?

Head to The Crane Bar or The Quays Bar in June for amazing folk music. It’s part of The Galway Sessions.

What makes the Galway Races Summer Festival special?

It’s a mix of exciting races and stunning fashion shows in July. Be sure to check out Ladies Day.

What activities are featured at the Galway International Oyster Festival?

Seafood lovers, this one’s for you in September. Feast on oysters and enjoy Europe’s top seafood at the festival.

What can I expect from the Galway Early Music Festival?

In May, travel back in time with music from different centuries. Don’t miss the harp workshops and tours.

What does the Baboró International Arts Festival for Children offer?

The October event is packed with plays, art, and dancing. It’s fun for kids and adults alike.

What is Trad on the Prom and when is it held?

From May to September, it’s a celebration of Irish culture. Enjoy performances in Salthill, like Riverdance.

Who are some of the comedians featured at the Galway Comedy Festival?

Over 80 comedians light up the city in October. Look out for names like Reginald D. Hunter and Ardal O’Hanlon. The Faulty Towers dining event is also top-notch.

Source Links

  1. https://www.discoverireland.ie/galway-city/festivals-events-galway-city
  2. https://www.discoverireland.ie/galway
  3. https://www.giaf.ie/media/post/what-to-do-in-galway-this-summer
  4. https://www.advertiser.ie/galway/article/141172/immerse-yourself-in-irelands-rich-culture-this-summer-with-festivals-and-events-in-galway
  5. https://www.galwaytourism.ie/event/galway-christmas-market/
  6. https://www.irishcentral.com/travel/ireland-christmas-markets
  7. https://www.cuirt.ie/about/
  8. https://thisisgalway.ie/the-39th-cuirt-international-festival-of-literature-begins/
  9. https://tripjive.com/best-traditional-irish-music-in-galway-discover-now/
  10. https://www.galwaytourism.ie/best-traditional-music-pubs/
  11. https://www.ancientirelandtourism.com/galway-irelands-festival-capital/
  12. https://www.galwaytourism.ie/event/galway-international-oyster-festival/
  13. https://www.galwayoysterfestival.com/about-giof/
  14. https://tht.ie/all
  15. https://www.galwaytourism.ie/event/baboro-international-arts-festival-for-children/
  16. https://wildatlanticwaydaytours.com/galway-festivals/
  17. https://www.headwestireland.com/county-galway-the-ultimate-travel-guide/
  18. https://facts.net/events/17-facts-about-galway-international-arts-festival/
  19. https://www.thehardiman.ie/attractions/galway-oyster-festival/
  20. https://www.galwaydaily.com/more/lets-dive-into-the-galway-international-oyster-festival-experience/

Healing Spirit festival takes place at Drummany Spirit, Milltown, Cavan, Ireland on the 4rd to 5th August 2024. Our festival is run by our small community group, Drummany Spirit, is family and child friendly and is alcohol and drug free. This boutique festival features a large lineup of live music, plus a large array of holistic events and practices including sweat lodges, yoga classes, movement meditation (ecstatic dance), pranayama/breathwork, meditation; plus alternative healing and therapies, crafts, art, drumming circles and talks by leading authorities on personal and spiritual growth, sustainability, conscious living, and healing.

We are set on beautiful sacred land overlooking Lough Oughter in Cavan. Drummany Spirit is a community group which hosts the festival each year. 2024 is our third year running the festival and it's been a major success so far with new friends from across Ireland and abroad attending. You can see the festival lineup here, see photos from previous years here and you can get tickets here (note: the festival has very limited capacity and is almost sold out) .