The Academic to play Galway International Arts Festival

11 December 2018

Galway International Arts Festival and Róisín Dubh are delighted to announce that indie rock sensation The Academic will headline the Heineken Big Top at Galway International Arts Festival in 2019.

The Westmeath school friends, who just released their debut studio album in January earlier this year, have had a meteoric rise to stardom, quickly becoming one of the most exciting live acts on the music scene since their formation in 2013.

With just one EP, ‘Loose Friends’, to their name in October 2015, they sold out their first show at Dublin's Vicar Street.

Massive hits, such as ‘Different’, ‘Mixtape 2003’, ‘Bear Claws’, ‘Permanent Vacation’, ‘Why Can't We Be Friends?’ and 2018’s ‘Fake ID’ followed, garnering a massive following and critical acclaim.

Band members Craig Fitzgerald, Dean Gavin, and brothers Matthew and Stephen Murtagh have also amassed an impressive live resume, with a long list of sold-out headline shows, appearances at some of Europe’s most high profile festivals as well as opening slots for acts like Twenty One Pilots, The Strokes, and Catfish And The Bottlemen.

The Academic has also been a firm favourite with the online blogosphere, reaching No. 3 on the music blog aggregator Hype Machine, amassing millions of streams online and widespread international radio play including support from BBC Radio 1 in the UK.

Their debut studio album Tales from the Backseat was released in January 2018 and entered the Official Irish Charts at number one.

In July 2018, The Academic performed their biggest headline show at Iveagh Gardens, Dublin to 5,000 people before playing support to The Stunning at their unforgettable GIAF 2018 gig and announcing a US, European, UK and Ireland tour for the autumn of 2018.

The Academic will play the Heineken Big Top as part of Galway International Arts Festival 2019 on Saturday 20 July. Tickets for The Academic, priced at €35, are available from and

Galway International Arts Festival 2019 takes place from 15-28 July 2019, with Two Door Cinema Club (Friday 26 July) and Bell X1 (Friday 19 July) already announced for the Heineken Big Top. More acts are set to be announced in the new year.

Galway International Arts Festival would like to acknowledge the support of its principal funding agencies the Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland, its Drinks Partner Heineken and Education Partner NUI Galway.