GIAF Reaffirms Commitment to Accessibility and Inclusion with Suite of New Initiatives

5 July 2024

Galway International Arts Festival has reaffirmed its commitment to making the arts accessible to all by rolling out a suite of new initiatives to increase inclusivity at GIAF 2024.

Over the last number of years, GIAF has been increasingly focused on making access to the arts a reality for as many people as possible. It has looked to drive engagement and promote diversity and inclusion and has invested a significant amount of resources in developing its capacity to do so.

It now provides 30% of its programming free of charge, has a progressive ticketing policy, has a best practice Volunteer Programme and looks to drive inclusion in its various artist development programmes, all with a view to increasing engagement with the communities in which it operates.

Participation opportunities are offered via both the volunteer programme and Festival programming, while GIAF’s ticketing policy offers concession prices on shows for senior citizens, the unwaged, full-time students, persons on disability allowance, refugees and asylum seekers. The festival has also invested significant resources in updating its website to ensure that it is accessible to all.

Now, in line with its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) strategy and with the support of Claddagh Credit Union, GIAF has announced a range of new accessibility services tailored to ensure a welcoming and accommodating environment for all attendees. These initiatives, integrated into the festival's programming, aim to make cultural experiences more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

The 2024 accessibility initiatives include:

  • ISL-interpreted performance of Unspeakable Conversations, a new play from Once Off Productions and Galway International Arts Festival, by Christian O’Reilly in collaboration with Liz Carr, Mat Fraser and Olwen Fouéré; and Druid’s Endgame on Sat 20 July, 2.30pm.

  • Captioned performances – of Reunion, a breathtaking new Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival co-production by Mark O’Rowe, - Thursday 25 July, 2pm; and Unspeakable Conversations - Friday 19 July, 8pm;

  • A touch tour of the Festival Gallery, which follows up from the success of the first touch tour in 2023, on Thursday 18 July at 11am. Spaces are limited and interested patrons are asked to book their free visit by emailing Elena at or calling 087 7688206 by Thursday 11th July 2024.

  • Audio description of the Festival Gallery, which follows up from the success of its 2023 audio guide, which was downloaded 739 times over the course of the festival;

  • Sensory backpacks for people who find the Festival environment overwhelming.

GIAF’s accessible area will continue to be operational at the Heineken Big Top, while GIAF has also this year partnered with Bus Éireann, as Travel Partner. All of Bus Éireann’s city and town services (401, 402, 404, 405, 407, 409) have low-floor buses and are 100% wheelchair accessible. Access to the vehicle is via a fold out ramp, and each bus has a designated wheelchair space. To reserve accessible transport on Bus Eireann’s commuter routes (Galway/Ennis, Galway/Ballinastack, Galway/Clifden, Clifden/Westport, Galway/Lettermullen/Carna, Galway/Longford, Galway/Mountbellew, Galway/Ballaghaderreen, Galway/Gort) intending passengers should contact Bus Éireann on LoCall 0818 836 611 (or +353 1 836 6111 if calling from outside of the Republic of Ireland) at least 24 hours in advance of travel. On the Galway/Ennis route, there are accessible stops at Galway Station, Oranmore, Cliffs of Moher (Coach Park) and Ennis Bus Station, while all stops are accessible on the other routes.

These initiatives reflect GIAF's ongoing commitment to accessibility and inclusion, ensuring that all attendees can engage with and enjoy the diverse array of artistic experiences on offer. By embedding accessibility into its programming, GIAF aims to set a standard for cultural events and inspire others to prioritize inclusivity in their practices.

John Crumlish, Galway International Arts Festival, CEO, said: “We very much look forward to welcoming all those people who will avail of these initiatives to the Festival this year.

“We have been implementing a range of measures to encourage participation in the festival over the last number of years and this year, with help from Claddagh Credit Union, we have the opportunity to add further to our suite of measures.

“It is very important to us at GIAF that what we do is as accessible to as many people as possible. We want to include as many people as we can in our activities so that they all can enjoy all the great work presented at the Festival.”

More details on all of GIAF’s 2024 accessibility initiatives can be found in GIAF’s programme and on the GIAF website:

A limited number of sensory backpacks will be available to borrow from the Volunteer Hub at The Cube in Aras na Mac Léinn, in University of Galway. To learn more, visit GIAF’s Sensory Backpacks info page or contact Elena via email at

For accessible seating reservations, patrons are asked to contact the GIAF Box Office.

Phone: +353 91 566577

In Person: from 26 June at Galway International Arts Festival Box Office, 31 Eyre Square, Galway Opening hours: 26 June–5 July: Monday–Friday 10am–5pm 8–28 July: Monday–Saturday 10am–5pm, Sundays 12pm–5pm.

Galway International Arts Festival would also like to acknowledge the support of its principal funding agencies The Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland; Galway City Council; its Drinks Partner Heineken; and Education Partner University of Galway.