Learn more about the Festival’s busiest spots.
1. The Heineken Big Top
Located in the centre of Galway City, the Heineken Big Top at Fisheries Field is now a famous Festival landmark. With a vibrant outdoor vibe, a bar, and lots of room to dance and mingle, the Big Top annually becomes one of Galway’s most popular summer music venues.
Whether minding the queue for The Flaming Lips or helping to supervise at Madness, a volunteer opportunity at The Heineken Big Top is both exciting and rewarding.
2. Druid Theatre
Mick Lally Theatre, in the heart of one of the oldest parts of Galway City, is a wonderfully atmospheric and intimate venue where the famous Druid Theatre Company creates its work. Since Druid first opened its doors in 1979, it has hosted many world-class performances.
This year, Druid is staging two new Irish plays: Furniture by Sonya Kelly and Shelter by Cristín Kehoe. Volunteers have the opportunity to usher audiences into these beautiful new works.
The Mick Lally Theatre is also home to the ever popular Druid Debuts. These staged readings of new works are a unique opportunity to watch a play’s development in real time. This year we are proud to present You Belong to Me by Rory Nolan and directed by Garry Hynes (20 July) and Babysitter by Christian O'Reilly and directed by Marty Rea (27 July).
3. Galway Arts Centre
Galway Arts Centre is a 3,000 square-foot space specialising in both Irish and international contemporary art. This well-known hive for cultural activity also hosts a wide range of activities such as classes in art, writing and photography, in addition to workshops in drama, music and voice.
Volunteers will invigilate Domestic Godless, a genre-defying exhibit by the Cork-based collective of the same name, which will explore their irreverent attitude to contemporary food culture.
4. Aula Maxima, NUI Galway
The Aula Maxima is located in the Quadrangle in NUI Galway. The university is located near the centre of the city and stretches along the picturesque River Corrib. The oldest part of the university, the Quadrangle, designed by John Benjamin Keane, is a replica of Christ Church at the University of Oxford.
Aula Maxima houses the Festival’s First Thought Talks, a series that will explore the Festival theme of "Home." Volunteers will greet audience members and assist the Venue Manager with setup.
5. Waterside by The River Corrib
Olivier Grossetête’s The People Build is a large-scale reconstruction of the architecture that defines Galway. Over two weeks, thousands of cardboard boxes will be transformed into the building blocks of democratically-assembled buildings, including a new floating cardboard bridge at Waterside, a testimony to Galway’s River Corrib Viaduct, once part of the Galway to Clifden Railway.
The builders are a strong legion of GIAF volunteers, without which the project would not be possible.