Monday 16 September 2019

GIAF on song after attracting record audiences

Striking a chord: Singer-songwriter Gavin James played GIAF last year
Striking a chord: Singer-songwriter Gavin James played GIAF last year

Gordon Deegan

Record audiences at the 2018 Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) led to box office revenues soaring by 43.5pc to €1.93m at the event last year.

The 2018 festival featured an expanded programme and broke the quarter-of-a-million attendance for the first time, with 252,748 attendees at over 200 events across 32 venues.

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Now, new accounts for Galway Arts Festival CLG show that bumper sell-out shows from the likes of Gavin James, Kodaline and Jenny Greene, and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, contributed to box office revenues increasing to €1.93m from €1.34m last year.

In 2018, performances at the GIAF included four world premieres, and the festival's total revenues increased by 26pc to €3.58m from €2.83m.

Organisers stated that the economic spin-off for Galway last year was a record-breaking €40.8m.

However, a 28pc increase in costs, to €3.54m from €2.74m, last year contributed to the festival's surplus almost halving, to €45,258 from €89,819.

A spokeswoman for the GIAF said yesterday that audiences for the 2019 festival were even bigger, with 263,832 attendances at more than 200 events.

Acts this year included Burt Bacharach, Two Door Cinema Club and Orbital.

On the GIAF's future development, the directors stated that the company will look to build its capacity in the lead into Galway being European Capital of Culture 2020, with a view to availing of the opportunities provided by the designation.

The festival's total income last year included a grant of €537,000 from the Arts Council and €300,000 from Fáilte Ireland.

In addition, GIAF received €489,765 from 'sponsorship and friends'.

The organisation employed eight in management and administration, and a further 95 as production centre, box office and merchandising staff.

Staffing costs last year increased to €625,523 from €544,491.

Only one employee was earning remuneration in the €80,000 to €90,000 range.

The GIAF's total funds at the end of last year amounted to €248,881.

The festival firm's cash pile went to €232,586 from €259,392.

Last year, the GIAF's artistic programme cost €1.79m. The cost of publicity and marketing stood at €518,335.

Irish Independent

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