festivals in galway

Galway’s Premier Festivals Guide 2024

In 2024, Galway is jam-packed with festivals for everyone to enjoy. You’ll find events for sports fans, music lovers, theatre buffs, and foodies. These festivities will turn the city into a lively place, drawing in locals and visitors.

There will be comedy shows and music concerts at the Town Hall Theatre and Leisureland. You can also enjoy classical music and watch sports matches. The new year starts with a bang, offering rugby games, comedy, and folk music by top Irish musicians.

Every month is filled with its own set of exciting events. This means there’s always something fun happening in Galway.

Key Takeaways

  • The Galway Food Festival in May will feature diverse food experiences, including Brazilian cuisine, a pop-up oyster bar, and a 7-course tasting menu1.
  • Blas na Bealtaine will celebrate Galway’s flourishing food and drink scene with events and collaborations1.
  • The Galway Film Fleadh will showcase 80 feature films and 100 short films in 20242.
  • Brian Cox will be honoured with the Galway Hooker Award for Outstanding Achievement2.
  • Galway’s premier cultural landscape promises a year-round feast of rugby, classical music, and iconic folk performances.

Introduction to Galway’s Festival Scene

Galway is called the festival capital of Ireland for good reason. It’s filled with cultural celebrations all year round. This city has over twenty festivals yearly, making it lively and charming3. You can enjoy music, arts, sports, and food events throughout the year.

Why Galway is the Festival Capital of Ireland

Galway shines as Ireland’s top spot for festivals. The famous St. Patrick’s Day drew 30,000 people in 20193. The Galway International Arts Festival had 250,000 visitors at 200 events in July 20223. These numbers show how these celebrations make Galway’s culture exciting for everyone.

What to Expect in 2024

2024 is set to bring more excitement with a wide range of festivals. There will be the Midwinter Festival for classical music and the fast-paced Galway International Rally. Plus, Galway United will be back in action. The festival line-up offers something unique for every taste.

Galway Festival Scene

Fans of literature will enjoy the 38th Cúirt International Festival of Literature3. Music lovers can’t miss the Clifden Traditional Music Festival’s 12th year3. There are also events like the Connemara Mountain Walking Festival, Galway Early Music Festival, and the thrilling Galway Races Summer Festival. These festivities make Galway a must-visit cultural destination.

Musical Extravaganzas: Galway’s Best Music Festivals

Galway’s music festivals light up the year with their varied genres. They enchant music lovers with everything from folk to the beats of the past.

Galway Folk Festival

The Galway Folk Festival, happening in June, is quite the event. It brings over 50 artists worldwide together to honour the folk scene. It’s a chance for everyone to feel the magic of folk music right there in front of them.

music festivals

Galway International Arts Festival

The Galway International Arts Festival is a July gem. It’s a mix of music, theatre, and the arts, welcoming all kinds of talents. Think The Academic and Pixies. This year offers something even bigger, with premieres in opera and theatre. The Big Top’s lineup includes Stewart Copeland and Fun Lovin’ Criminals, as well as Jess Glynne4.

Galway Early Music Festival

The Galway Early Music Festival takes you way back, to May. Since 1996, it has been echoing medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque tunes. It’s a chance to hear history’s music by artists worldwide, creating an unforgettable experience.

Festival Month Highlights
Galway Folk Festival June Over 50 artists, folk music
Galway International Arts Festival July Music, theatre, visual arts
Galway Early Music Festival May Medieval to Baroque music

Vibrant Arts and Cultural Celebrations

Galway is famous for its arts festivals that mix performances and literary events. The Galway Theatre Festival and the Cúirt International Festival of Literature are key highlights. They attract people from all over the world.

Galway Theatre Festival

The Galway Theatre Festival happens in May. It offers a busy schedule of shows by local and national artists. This event is a big part of Galway’s lively cultural life, drawing fans of theatre. It features a mix of modern and classic shows, promising varied and engaging experiences.

arts festivals

Cúirt International Festival of Literature

In 1986, the Cúirt International Festival of Literature started. It honours Galway’s rich literary past with a week of talks and workshops. The festival in April welcomes well-known writers and poets from across the globe, boosting Galway’s name in the literary world5. This event adds to our bustling cultural scene, giving everyone a chance to dive into the literary world.

Note the emphasis on the significant contributions these festivals make to Galway’s cultural tapestry, highlighting both the diversity and richness they bring to the city’s annual events calendar.

Festivals in Galway: A Month-by-Month Breakdown

Galway is full of lively local festivals all year round. These festivals cover a wide range of interests, making sure the cultural scene is always buzzing. Whether you love sports or music, there’s something for everyone in Galway.


January starts with a bang, mixing sports, comedy, and classical music. Rugby matches bring excitement for fans, while comedy shows spread joy. The Midwinter Festival also treats classical music lovers to unforgettable performances.


In February, the Galway International Rally speeds up the month. It’s a big draw for fans of fast cars. Music buffs get their fill with a mix of international and local bands playing across the city.


March mixes it up with Tedfest, a fun celebration of ‘Father Ted’. This quirky event is a big hit. St. Patrick’s Day then lights up the city with parades and cultural happenings, showing off Galway’s community spirit.


The Clifden Traditional Music Festival brings April alive with Irish tunes. This festival shines a spotlight on Ireland’s rich musical heritage. It’s a must-visit for anyone who loves traditional music.


May offers a mix of music and sports too. The Tour de Conamara sees cyclists racing through beautiful scenery. And Fleadh na gCuach in Kinvara starts the month with its celebration of traditional music and culture, marking Galway’s unique festivity.

Galway events

Sporting Events and Races Celebrated as Festivals

Galway thrives with sporting events Galway. It’s not just about sports. These gatherings bring together top athletes and those who love to have fun. People meet, enjoy the culture, and get entertained, adding to these events’ special charm.

Galway Races

The Galway Races are the city’s major highlight. Every July, for seven days, the Galway Racecourse is a hub for horse races, fashion shows, and a lot of fun. Everyone comes to see the races and show off their chic outfits. It’s an unforgettable experience for anyone spending their summer in Galway6.

Connemara International Marathon

The Connemara Marathon is a hit among runners. Happening in April, it offers a run through Connemara’s stunning views. The course goes through hills and by the sea, making it one of the world’s most beautiful marathons6.

Portumna Forest Marathon

In June, the Portumna Forest Marathon brings a unique chance to run in ancient woods. It caters to all running levels with various distances. But it’s more than a race. It’s a chance to be in nature and feel refreshed with every step. This event is about the love of running, nature, and community spirit.

sporting events Galway

These happenings make sporting events Galway buzz with life. From the Galway Races‘ elegance to the Connemara Marathon‘s tough beauty and the Portumna Forest Marathon‘s calming atmosphere, Galway’s events show its love for sports and fun. For complete event details, check out Galway events.

Food and Drink Festivals

Galway celebrates its culinary richness with food and drink festivals. These festivals showcase local and international food. The Galway Food Festival is a key event. It’s part of the ‘Blas Na Gaillimhe – A Taste of Galway’ network, bringing special events in May1. It helps strengthen the connections between Galway’s restaurants and food producers. The festival has cookery demos, workshops, and food-related events for everyone1. The original festival drew 70,000 visitors yearly. It had over 100 food stalls and producers from the city and county1. There’s also entertainment and activities for children, making it a family-friendly place1.

The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival is a significant event. It happens every year on the last September weekend in Galway City. Since 1954, it has seen over 500,000 visitors and served over 3 million oysters7. This festival includes a Seafood Trail and various events like the oyster-opening championship and foodie talks7. The main events occur in a major marquee at Nimmo’s Pier. There, visitors can enjoy a lively atmosphere with a Champagne, Guinness, and Oyster reception7.

food festivals

There are more exciting food festivals to explore. Blas na Bealtaine runs throughout May, spotlighting global dishes. Headfest combines music, sports, and arts in Headford. It’s all about celebrating Galway’s food culture and community1. These festivals highlight local food and bring people together. They make Galway a top spot for those who love food.

Family-Friendly Festivals

In 2024, Galway’s festivals will be buzzing with music, arts, and sports. But there’s more. They also have events perfect for families. These festivities are great for making memories together.


Tedfest takes place on the beautiful Inis Mór. It’s inspired by the hit TV show ‘Father Ted’. Families can join in look-a-like contests and watch live shows. There’re also themed games. It’s a fun and family-friendly event that brings the show’s magic to life.

Corrandulla Agricultural Show

The Corrandulla Agricultural Show is in June. It’s a showcase of farm life with animals and equestrian events. There’s also family fun. This event is a deep dive into Galway’s farming background. It offers a day of entertainment and learning for everyone. Families really look forward to it.

family friendly festivals

Galway Ukulele Festival

In June, the Galway Ukulele Festival lights up the city’s Latin Quarter. Families enjoy music in concerts, on streets, and in workshops. It’s a place for joy and inclusivity. This music festival not only connects the community but also provides fun for kids and adults alike.

The Baboró International Arts Festival for Children is in October. It includes plays and storytelling for kids65. Its varied programme shows it’s designed to be a hit with families every year.

Local Community Festivals

Galway has many local festivals that are key to its culture. These events celebrate the area’s history and its people’s energy. For example, Headfest takes place from 30th May to 3rd June in North Galway8. It offers music, sports, arts, and community fun, marking a highlight on the local calendar. At the same time, the Salthill Fives tournament mixes fierce competition with family-friendly activities at Salthill Park.

Éalú Le Grá is another special festival. It’s at Cregg Castle and combines music, art, food, and community spirit. This event shows just how talented and united the local community is, giving a true flavour of Galway’s grassroots festivals.

community events

The Tiny Traders Market Village at Eyre Square opens every Friday to Sunday9. It gives local crafters a chance to share their work. Then, there’s the Umbrella Le Cheile Artisan’s Market on the 3rd Sunday of each month at Galway Rowing Club. It adds even more to the city’s cultural scene9.

These festivals offer a mix of music, art, sports, and markets. They all help make Galway’s cultural year richer. Galway’s community events are well known for bringing people together. They celebrate the talents and the heart of the local community.

Traditional Celebrations and Heritage Events

Galway is a key spot for Irish traditional celebrations and festivals. In March, it comes alive for the three-day St. Patrick’s Day festival. This event has a big parade and lots of cultural activities.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

St. Patrick’s Day in Galway means lively parades, music, and dance. It’s a time for everyone to come together and have fun in the streets.

Fleadh na gCuach

The Fleadh na gCuach takes place in May in Kinvara. It’s known for its real traditional music sessions. Musicians across the country come to play in pubs, making it a unique and rich experience6.

An Tóstal

An Tóstal honours Galway’s connection to the sea with boat races. These races, called currach races, are a big part of the festival. It shows the ongoing love for Irish culture and heritage6.

From St. Patrick’s Day and Fleadh na gCuach to An Tóstal, Galway hosts a broad range of events. These help keep Irish traditions and culture alive in the city.

Those looking for real Irish cultural experiences should visit Galway. Its events provide a deep dive into the heart of Ireland’s heritage celebrations.

Seasonal Highlights: Summer Festival Fun

With the summer months, Galway’s culture bursts into life with numerous festivals. There’s something for everyone, from tasty food events to exciting film and music festivals. Galway becomes the place to be, whether you’re a local or a visitor.

Blas na Bealtaine / A Taste of Galway

May kicks off with Blas na Bealtaine, a month-long celebration of Galway’s food. It showcases local and global cuisine. For food lovers, it’s the highlight of the season, featuring the best of what Galway’s kitchens have to offer.

Galway Film Fleadh

The Galway Film Fleadh shines in July, offering a full film experience. There are premieres, documentaries, and films from around the world. Running from July 15 to 28, it’s a must for anyone passionate about the newest in cinema10.

South Galway Bay Music Festival

July also brings the South Galway Bay Music Festival, a treat for music buffs. It features a wide music selection, blending local and international talent. Held by the picturesque South Galway Bay, this event promises a summer highlight that won’t be forgotten.

The festivals not only show Galway’s vibrant culture but also offer unforgettable experiences. Whether you love food, movies, or music, Galway’s calendar has something special for you. These events create lasting memories for all who attend.


Galway shines all year with lively festivals and rich culture. Each January opens with Connacht Rugby and Munster matches. January also sees funny nights with Jason Byrne. Musical shows by famous artists have everyone excited.

In February, the Galway International Rally excites car fans. It’s also when Galway United Senior Men join the top division11.

March brings Tedfest and the St. Patrick’s Day parade with 3000 people. There’s music all around. April’s Clifden Music Festival and Marathon draw big crowds of fans and athletes11.

May is filled with events like the Joe Heaney Irish Singing Festival. The Theatre Festival guarantees fun for everyone11.

July is the time for the Galway International Arts Festival. It turns the city into an artistic hub. There are performances, art, and workshops, perfect for families12.

As the year ends, local fests like Headfest and Salthill Fives keep the joy alive11.

Galway offers something for everyone, from art to sports to food. Our events list promises lasting memories. Come join us and discover the vibrant culture of Galway in 2024.


Why is Galway known as the festival capital of Ireland?

Galway is well-known for its vibrant culture. It hosts a wide variety of festivals all year round. These festivals include music, arts, sports, and food events. This makes Galway a lively place for people living there and tourists.

What are some of the key cultural celebrations in Galway in 2024?

In 2024, Galway will celebrate many cultural events. This includes the Midwinter Festival, Galway International Arts Festival, and Cúirt International Festival of Literature. These events will feature music, theatre, literature, and the visual arts.

What music festivals can we expect in Galway in 2024?

Music lovers can enjoy several festivals in Galway in 2024. There will be the Galway Folk Festival, Galway International Arts Festival, and Galway Early Music Festival. Each festival will focus on a different music genre.

What arts festivals are taking place in Galway in 2024?

Galway is hosting arts festivals in 2024, including the Galway Theatre Festival and Cúirt International Festival of Literature. These events will showcase the best of local and national theatre and literature. There will be performances, readings, and workshops to enjoy.

What are the notable events in Galway for January 2024?

January in Galway is full of exciting events. There will be rugby matches, comedy gigs, and the Midwinter Festival for fans of classical music. It’s a dynamic start to the year in the city.

Which sporting events are celebrated as festivals in Galway?

In Galway, sports are celebrated with special events. Such as the Galway Races, Connemara International Marathon, and Portumna Forest Marathon. These combine sports and fun in a festive way.

Are there any food and drink festivals in Galway?

Yes, Galway has many food and drink festivals. Blas na Bealtaine is one of them, showcasing global foods and local produce. It shows Galway’s love for food beautifully.

What family-friendly festivals can we attend in Galway?

Galway has many family-friendly festivals. Including Tedfest on Inis Mór, the Corrandulla Agricultural Show, and the Galway Ukulele Festival. They’re packed with fun for kids and adults together.

What are some local community festivals in Galway?

Headfest, Éalú Le Grá, and Salthill Fives are popular local events in Galway. They bring arts, sports, and community gatherings together. These festivals are great for building local pride.

Which traditional cultural events should we look forward to?

In Galway, look out for traditional events like St. Patrick’s Day, Fleadh na gCuach, and An Tóstal. They celebrate Irish heritage with parades, music, and community involvement.

What are the seasonal summer festival highlights in Galway?

Summer in Galway is full of festivals like Blas na Bealtaine, Galway Film Fleadh, and South Galway Bay Music Festival. They offer food, films, and music. A great time for everyone.

Source Links

  1. https://www.galwaytourism.ie/event/galway-food-festival/
  2. https://www.galwaytourism.ie/event/galway-film-fleadh/
  3. https://www.lallytours.com/en/galway-festivals-2023
  4. https://www.galwaytourism.ie/event/galway-international-arts-festival/
  5. https://wildatlanticwaydaytours.com/galway-festivals/
  6. https://www.discoverireland.ie/galway-city/festivals-events-galway-city
  7. https://www.galwaytourism.ie/event/galway-international-oyster-festival/
  8. https://thisisgalway.ie/galway-festivals-galways-events-and-festival-calendar/
  9. https://www.galwaytourism.ie/galway-events-calendar/
  10. https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/ireland/festivals
  11. https://www.galwaytourism.ie/whats-on-in-galway-in-2024/
  12. https://facts.net/events/17-facts-about-galway-international-arts-festival/

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) .

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