Become a Festival volunteer and play a vital role in making Galway International Arts Festival an unforgettable experience.

As one of Ireland’s premiere Festivals of creative collisions, we depend hugely on our enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers to help transform the city for 14 exceptional days. As a volunteer, you'll be part of a team who engage and welcome our national and international visitors in the Festival spirit and assist in providing the best experience possible for them - and we are dedicated to making it an exceptional experience for you, too! Volunteers receive official Festival t-shirts, free tickets to select shows, discounts on local businesses, an instant network of soon-to-be friends and much more. Come see what it's like to go behind the scenes of Extraordinary.

Here's what some of our volunteers had to say about their experience.

All volunteers must be aged 18 years or older. Please note you may be chosen at random for Garda/Police vetting. GIAF are not in a position to cover any volunteer expenses.


Volunteer applications are currently closed and will re-open in mid-May 2019. Please check back then for updates.


Volunteer Roles

Once you are accepted as a GIAF volunteer, you have many roles to choose from - and you can take on as many as you want! We have hundreds of shows and other events that need volunteer assistance, which can all be signed up for individually using a convenient online system. Sign up to invigilate an art gallery, crowd steward at the Big Top or other music venue, greet and assist guests at a comedy or theatre show, keep the crowds safe at street spectacles, usher at one of our world-class discussion events - and there's so much more.

Festival Ambassadors

Festival Ambassadors are our super-informers! These volunteers commit to an every-other-day schedule during the Festival and know everything there is to know about it – the  who, what, where and when of the entire Festival programme. As an Ambassador you will advise and help our audiences choose the perfect shows for their tastes. You’ll know what shows are selling fast and what shows have sold out. You’ll be based downtown in Galway City Centre and other locations where your expertise is required.

Behind the Scenes

These volunteers are carefully selected via an interview process and may become Festival photographers, catering assistants, and aides in various departments such as Production, Administration, Marketing and Volunteers. Behind the Scenes roles vary each year based on need and are perfect for those looking for more experience in the creative industries. Interested individuals may send an email of enquiry with CV to volunteers@giaf.ie or indicate their interest using the online volunteer portal during Festival season.

Visual Arts Internship Programme

GIAF18 saw a new initiative within the Volunteer Department - the creation of the Visual Arts Internship Programme. VAIP volunteers commit to an intensive two-and-a-half weeks in the Festival Gallery and gain firsthand knowledge of running and invigilating a busy, high-profile arts venue. This programme offers invigilating experience, professional training on the artwork and artists including exclusive artist talks, tour-guiding instruction, special physical and digital certificates and opportunities to network with some of Ireland's most influential visual arts workers.

Limited slots are available in this programme. Anyone interested in VAIP is encouraged to email volunteers@giaf.ie for more information and to request an application. Please note VAIP applications will open Spring 2019.


If you're a leader of a school programme, theatre group, arts collective, corporation, society or voluntary agency and you would like your group to become involved, drop us a line at volunteers@giaf.ie

Induction Evenings

Once you've submitted your application form, we'll let you know about upcoming volunteer inductions. Please save the dates, as these trainings will include crucial information for your volunteer role(s).

Agreement & Certificate 

If you’re accepted onto the volunteers programme, we’ll ask you to sign a basic agreement. At the end of the programme, you’ll receive a Galway International Arts Festival certificate, authenticating your participation. It will serve as a lovely momento of your time spent volunteering with the Festival!

Sponsors & Partners

The GIAF Volunteer Department is proud to partner with the National University of Ireland Galway and with its student volunteer programme, ALIVE.

Keep in Touch

For more information about becoming a GIAF volunteer, email volunteers@giaf.ie. Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.