Sunday 25 February 2018

'Largest crowd ever' expected at arts festival

Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

AUDIENCES at the Galway Arts Festival look set to break records, with over 160,000 people expected to have attended over the two-week event.

John Crumlish, chief executive of the Galway Arts Festival, said he is overwhelmed with the response from the public. Most of the theatre events are now sold out with many of the music performances also reaching capacity.

"It's been very very busy and we're really happy with the turnout. The theatre programme is sold out and the music events are selling fast," he said.

Mr Crumlish said he was expecting the overall attendance to exceed last year's 162,000. Thousands of visitors have also flown in from abroad for the event, with Mr Crumlish estimating that up to a quarter of attendees were foreign visitors.

"We're happy that it will top last year's attendance. Audiences have been coming out in huge numbers. We had a very good first week and we expect to see the same this week."

Mr Crumlish added that he believed there had been a "sea change" in the mentality of the public who were putting recessionary woes behind them to support the festival.

"There is definitely something in the air. The city at the weekend was buzzing," he said.

Among the highlights of the second week are the DruidMurphy plays, three plays performed in a single day, running from 1.30pm to 10pm at night.

Also exciting the crowds will be The Coronas with The Kanyu Tree and Bressie. Their Friday night concert is already sold out.

Irish Independent

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