Leave it all behind and turn up the volume on summer at Galway International Arts Festival.
Head to the Heineken Big Top (16-28 July) for your music festival experience smack bang in the middle of Galway city at the height of what has been described as ‘One of the Top 5 Summer Festivals in Europe’ (The Guardian).
1. FROM THE HITS TO HIGH ENERGY, FROM TOE-TAPPING TO TRANCE
With 21 music acts to choose from we have to give it up for this year’s line-up. Whether it’s the hotly tipped double-bill of the summer with Villagers and John Grant, Macy Gray’s dulcet tones singing that all-time favourite I Try or The Academic belting out favourites like Bear Claws, Galway is where it's at this summer.
There's also the ‘vibrant, punchy and impossible not to enjoy’ Two Door Cinema Club fresh off the release of their fourth studio album, the ultimate hit-maker Burt Bacharach and many more. Full line-up here.
2. THE LOCATION IS CLASS
Conveniently located smack bang in the heart of Galway, you’ll be hopping and skipping across the Salmon Weir bridge after the show to take your pick of Galway’s best pubs and late-night food spots. Or bring an already perfect night to a close with a cocktail on the deck of the GIAF Festival Club and enjoy spectacular views of the Heineken Big Top by night. You might even get to rub shoulders with some of the artists!
Another plus? No long walks home. The central location means that when you do call it a night, your bed isn’t too far away.
3. WEAR YOUR DANCING SHOES
They’ve been called a ‘festival must-see’ and Two Door Cinema Club are sure to have you dancing along to hits like Something Good Can Work, Undercover Martyn and What You Know - 69 million views on YouTube is pretty impressive! Don't blame us if those seriously catchy tunes are stuck in your head for the rest of the summer.
Or make it a singalong with Burt Bacharach singing all the hits from Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head to What the World Needs Now is Love ... we could go on.
4. HEINEKEN BIG TOP GRUB
There’s only one thing that might lure you away from the main stage ... Mouth-watering smells wafting from the on-site food vendors. Some of Galway’s best-loved eateries have got your back if you’re looking for a Big Top bite including the Best Burger in Ireland from Handsome Burger (don't believe us? read all about it here!).
5. HEAR IT HERE FIRST
The Academic, Two Door Cinema Club and Villagers are all putting out hot new music this summer. This is not a False Alarm - plenty to Superlike about that! Hear them live at the Heineken Big Top.
If you’re not familiar with Tinariwen, start off with their new single Taqkal Tarha. These lads shred the electric guitar like you’ve never heard before.
6. SENSATIONAL SUPPORT ACTS
Radio favourites on this year’s line-up include Wild Youth, Saint Sister, All Tvvins, Paddy Hanna and Daithí (performing with Paul Noonan of Bell X1), The Clockworks and more.
7. WEEKEND VIBES
Psst! We’ll let you in on a little secret - the middle Sunday of the Festival (21 July) is always a great night out. You won't want to miss this year's headliner Macy Gray and special guests Hypnotic Brass Ensemble provide a great party vibe. So take Monday morning off and get to Galway for a Sunday night like no other!
8. OUTDOOR CLUB NIGHT
Dance under the stars to tracks by electronic legends ORBITAL, regarded as one of the greatest live dance acts they're also on Q Magazine’s “50 bands to see before you die” list. Daithí, also known for his stand-out performances, is the special guest and returns to the Heineken Big Top with his live band. He will be joined for part of the set by Bell X1’s Paul Noonan, Sinead White and Elaine Mai.
9. E.T, JAWS, HARRY POTTER & STAR WARS...
All composed by the great John Williams and performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. If you thought these film scores made for epic listening piped through headphones while studying at the library, just imagine them on this scale. Sure to be an unforgettable afternoon of movie masterpieces.
10. GO OUT ON A HIGH NOTE
Hang out with one of Ireland’s biggest live acts when The Coronas play the end of Festival party on Sunday 28 July. Get there early (kick-off 5pm) to hear Le Boom, Ryan McMullan, True Tides and The Clockworks playing support. Guaranteed to be a show-stopping experience.
Galway International Arts Festival and Róisín Dubh present
Live at the Heineken® Big Top | July 16-28
Tuesday 16 July, 8pm
Thursday 18 July, 8pm
Double-bill Villagers and John Grant
Friday 19 July, 8pm
BellX1 with support from Saint Sister
Saturday 20 July, 8.30pm
The Academic with support from Wild Youth
Sunday 21 July, 8pm
Macy Gray with support from Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Monday 22 July, 8pm
Burt Bacharach with support from Paddy Hanna
Friday 26 July, 8pm
Two Door Cinema Club with support from All Tvvins
Saturday 27 July, 2.30pm
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra: Tribute to John Williams
Saturday 27 July, 8pm
Orbital with support from Daithí and his live band