GIAF 2021 COVID-19 Safety Information & Booking FAQ

11 July 2021

Update 1 September: In light of the recent Government announcement, we have reviewed our COVID-19 health and safety policies. This page has been updated to reflect the new guidelines.

The team at Galway International Arts Festival would like to reassure you that, just like last year's festival, all events in our 2021 programme will be compliant with current government public health guidelines in order to protect the health and safety of patrons, artists, staff, crew and volunteers.

Please note that this page will be updated on an ongoing basis as the situation evolves.

The following measures will be in place at Galway International Arts Festival 2021 events:

  • Contact tracing
  • 60% capacity in selected venues where vaccine certs are presented
  • An increased and enhanced cleaning regime
  • Contactless ticketing
  • Extensive COVID-19 signage
  • Hand sanitiser dispensers at entrances and exits
  • PPE protocols at public-facing desks and wearing of visors/face masks
  • One-way systems
  • Managed bathroom queuing
  • Capacity limit on stage numbers and in all backstage rooms

We ask that you carefully read GIAF signage at events, observe guidelines and follow staff instructions with regard to public health measures. Government guideline state that you must wear a face mask to all indoor events. If you have any mobility issues, please contact us in advance so that we can plan for your attendance.

Your health and that of our artists, staff and volunteers are of paramount importance so if you are feeling unwell on the day of an event, we ask that you stay at home for your safety and that of others.

GIAF is compliant with the Fáilte Ireland Covid Safety Charter and is committed to following guidelines so that audiences know they are in a safe place.

Below you will find some useful information. If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at


How can I book tickets?
You can book tickets for all ticketed events from the event page on

Due to social distancing requirements, a some events are restricted to bookings of two persons only. If this is the case for an event, further information can be found on the relevant event page.

How will I get my tickets?

To reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19, there will be no paper tickets and tickets will not be available for sale on the door. An electronic ticket will be issued at the time of booking. E-tickets can be scanned from your phone at the venue.

Do I need to pre-book a ticket for free events?
Yes. To allow for social distancing and contact tracing, all Galway International Arts Festival activities must comply with the current HSE and Government guidelines for capacities at indoor and outdoor events. Please pre-book free tickets for A Handful of Dreams and the Festival Gallery.

What if the event I wish to attend sells out? Will more tickets become available?
A number of tickets have been released for Medicine by Enda Walsh, Decadent Theatre’s There Are Little Kingdoms and the First Thought Talks and Vinyl Hours, following the Government announcement easing restrictions for indoor events where a valid vaccine cert is presented.

Please keep an eye on our website and social media channels for any updates, or sign up to our newsletter here.

Some events are also available to enjoy online from home.

Contact Tracing
An up-to-date contact number must be provided when buying tickets, in order to assist authorities with contact tracing in the event that a confirmed case of COVID-19 arises. This will be shared with our partner venues for the sole purpose of adhering to HSE guidelines on contact tracing.

Can I attend with a group?
Group bookings are facilitated. However, due to social distancing guidelines, we cannot guarantee that patrons will be seated together. Where attending as a group we advise you to create one booking.

For Bedsit, tickets will be sold for one individual or as a group booking only (max 4 tickets per group) to avoid sharing the space with unconnected persons.

Account holders purchasing tickets assume responsibility as the point of contact for all attendees within their booking.

Are refunds available?
Galway International Arts Festival has a no refund or exchange policy on all tickets purchased for the 2021 programme.

However, in light of COVID-19, we ask that if you are feeling unwell or displaying symptoms, that you follow government guidelines and remain at home and self-isolate. In this case, please contact

Please Note: Per government guidelines as of 1 September, all ticketholders, will be required to show proof of a Covid-19 vaccination certificate at the venue. Any existing ticketholders who cannot provide a vaccine passport are asked to contact the GIAF box office on Anyone who is no longer in a position to attend will receive a full refund.

If an event is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, customers will be eligible for a refund in this instance.

Special assistance
If you have any mobility issues, please contact us in advance as we are happy to make accommodations to ensure an optimal experience for you. Email


Protecting our community from COVID-19 is a shared responsibility. We want you to enjoy your experience and to stay safe. Please follow all government health and safety practices when attending events and please note that you are attending events at your own risk.

**Please ensure you have your emailed PDF ticket on your mobile device ready to present on entry.**

Should I wear a face mask?
In line with HSE guidelines about face coverings in indoor settings, the wearing of face masks is now mandatory and must be worn when attending indoor events in the 2021 programme including the Festival Gallery.

See HSE guidelines on wearing masks.

Do I need to bring proof of vaccination?

Yes, for some shows. A vaccination certification is required for entry to Medicine at the Black Box Theatre, There are Little Kingdoms at the Town Hall Theatre, First Thought Talks and Vinyl Hours.

When should I arrive?
For safety, waiting times pre-shows will be limited and we suggest arriving at the venue no earlier than 25 minutes and no later than 10 minutes before the event starts. In some cases, you may be expected to queue outdoors before accessing the venue so please consider the weather before you travel.

Latecomers may only be admitted at the discretion of management. Please note that no latecomers will be admitted to Medicine at the Black Box Theatre.

What should I do if I feel unwell?
If you become unwell during an event, please notify a member of Festival staff who will bring you to an isolation area if you are not able to take yourself home safely.