Guidelines for Applicants
Below is a brief outline of the various volunteer roles in the Festival and what’s involved. We’ll do our best to match you to the most suitable role.
Theatre/ Dance Venues
Volunteering at one of the venues puts you at the forefront of the Festival experience. You are, literally, the welcoming face of the festival. Our venues include The Black Box, The Mick Lally Theatre, The Bank of Ireland Theatre NUIG, An Taidhbhearc and The Town Hall Theatre.
As a volunteer with one of the above venues, you’ll work with the venue manager to ensure that all front-of-house operations are running smoothly. This will include welcoming the public to the venue, ticket collection, brochure/programme selling and general audience management.
Most venues open in the evening, with the exception of weekends where matinee performances can be expected. Occasionally, a Backstage Talk will take place after the show and you may be asked to assist the venue manager during the talk.
The Absolut Big Top
The Big Top is the Festival’s signature venue in the Fisheries Field, overlooking the River Corrib. The Absolut Big Top plays host to some of the Festival’s larger musical performances. Working closely with the Chief Steward to ensure a safe and fun experience for all, roles will include audience stewardship, marshalling fire and emergency exit points and venue information duties. The Absolut Big Top is classed as a temporary venue and is run as a very tight ship.
Nothing says the Festival has arrived like the presence of the effervescent street theatre. Drawing thousands into the city streets to soak up the atmosphere, volunteering with the street theatre team is always a full-on and fun experience. Some of the operational functions of volunteering with the street theatre team will vary depending on the type of act. However, the main function will be audience management working to a street manager.
Bringing world-class visual arts into the heart of our city as part of the Festival experience is one of the most enthralling and rewarding parts of the Festival programme. The Visual Arts Hubs are always some of the most popular Festival venues, with nearly 80,000 visitors over 15 days in 2016.
An interest in contemporary art and culture is helpful to become a volunteer with the Festival’s visual arts programme. Gallery Invigilators are part of the front-of-house team and support the Chief Invigilator in maintaining the security of the exhibitions and safety of the public.
The role includes welcoming the public, answering general queries on the work and ensuring that visitors abide by the gallery’s regulations around exhibits and photography. Volunteers work with the Chief Invigilator to maintain the space at a gallery standard and help open and close the premises each day. Volunteers will develop a working knowledge of the exhibitions to inform and inspire the public as they immerse themselves in the exhibition.
Our Festival Ambassadors team are a dedicated group within the volunteer’s programme that are assigned an information sharing role. You’ll be based downtown in Galway City Centre - sometimes at our desk in the Festival Hub, sometimes on the busy streets of Galway and at other times, at the larger Festival venues. You will know everything there is to know about the Festival - the where, what, who and when of the entire Festival program.
You’ll advise and guide our audiences in choosing the right shows for them. Basically, anything our audiences need to know, they ask you! An ideal position if you genuinely enjoy meeting new people, if you’re chatty, are a clear communicator and can handle multiple queries in an efficient and friendly manner.
Talks & Discussions
First Thought is the talk’s strand of the Galway International Arts Festival exploring creativity. Introduced in 2012, First Thought features discussions, conversations, readings and backstage talks all based on creativity. You’ll work with the venue manager to ensure that all front of house operations are running smoothly. This will include welcoming the public to the venue, ticket collection, ushering and general venue operations. It might also involve helping with some small stage set-ups. Ideal for anyone who finds the creative process fascinating. The talks are curated months in advance and some of the world’s most inspiring minds take part
The Festival presents a wide variety of musical acts across a number of venues over the course of two weeks. You will be required to work with the venue manager to ensure that all front of house operations are running smoothly. This will include welcoming the public to the venue, ticket collection, general audience management and on occasion may also helping with some small stage set ups and seating changes.
If you love classical this is your top preference! You will be required to work with the venue manager to ensure that all front of house operations are running smoothly. This will include welcoming the public to the venue, ticket collection, general audience management and on occasion may also include helping with some small stage set ups and seating changes.
Behind The Scenes
These roles are most suited to people who are available more or less full time and who want to gain an insight to various areas of festival management. There are a limited number of roles available with the following teams: Social Media, Merchandise, Artist Liaison, Marketing & Research, Production and Events. Interviews will take place well in advance of the Festival. Ensure that you fill in the skills section on the application form if choosing Behind The Scenes as one of your top preferences.