Become a Festival volunteer and play a vital role in making Galway International Arts Festival an unforgettable experience.

Volunteer applications for GIAF 2022 are closed.

As one of Ireland’s premiere Festivals of creative collisions, we depend hugely on our dedicated volunteers to help transform the city for 14 exceptional days.

As a volunteer, you'll be part of a team who engage and welcome our visitors in the Festival spirit and assist in providing the best experience possible for them - and we are dedicated to making it an exceptional experience for you, too! Volunteers receive Festival t-shirts, free tickets to select shows (where available), discounts on local businesses, completion certificates, an instant network of soon-to-be friends and much more. Come see what it's like to go behind the scenes of Extraordinary.

Here's what some of our volunteers had to say about their experience.

All volunteers must be aged 18 years or older. Please note you may be chosen at random for Garda/Police vetting. GIAF are not in a position to cover any volunteer expenses.

Volunteer Roles

Once you are accepted as a GIAF volunteer, you have many roles to choose from - and you can take on as many as you want! We have many shows and other events that need volunteer assistance, which can all be signed up for individually using a convenient online system. Sign up to invigilate an art gallery, steward audiences at music venues, greet and assist guests at a theatre show, keep attendees safe at street spectacles, usher at one of our world-class discussion events - and so much more.

Festival Ambassadors

Festival Ambassadors are our super-informers! These volunteers commit to an every-other-day schedule during the Festival and know everything there is to know about it – the who, what, where and when of the entire Festival programme. As an Ambassador you will advise and help our audiences choose the perfect shows for their tastes. You’ll know what shows are selling fast and what shows have sold out. You’ll be based downtown in Galway City Centre and other locations where your expertise is required.

*Please note the Festival Ambassador programme will resume at GIAF 2022.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes volunteers are carefully selected via an interview process and may become Festival photographers, catering assistants and aides in various departments such as Production, Administration, Marketing and Volunteers. Behind the Scenes roles vary each year based on need and are perfect for those looking for more experience in the creative industries. Interested individuals may send an email of enquiry with CV to volunteers@giaf.ie or indicate their interest using the online volunteer portal during Festival season.

Visual Arts Internship Programme

A recent addition to the GIAF volunteer department, the Visual Arts Internship Programme (VAIP) sees interns commit to an intensive two-and-a-half weeks invigilating the Festival's most popular art galleries. This programme offers invigilating experience, professional training on the artwork and artists including exclusive artist talks, physical and digital certificates, opportunities to network with some of Ireland's most influential visual arts workers plus all the perks of being a GIAF volunteer.

Applications to the Visual Arts Internship Programme (VAIP) have closed.

Limited slots are available in this programme. Anyone interested in VAIP is encouraged to email vaip@giaf.ie for more information.


If you're a leader of a school programme, theatre group, arts collective, corporation, society or voluntary agency and you would like your group to become involved, drop us a line at volunteers@giaf.ie.

Staff volunteering

Staff volunteering at GIAF is a great way of increasing engagement and meeting ESG commitments. As part of a partnership, GIAF can create bespoke volunteering schedules for staff, identify opportunities for companies to activate around volunteering, assist in the creation of content for the partner's digital channels, and co-promote company volunteering at the festival as part of GIAF's digital marketing campaign. Contact Resource Development for more information.

Induction Evenings

Once your volunteer application has been approved, we'll let you know about upcoming volunteer inductions.

Agreement & Certificate

If you’re accepted into the volunteer programme, we’ll ask you to sign a basic agreement. At the end of the programme, you’ll receive a Galway International Arts Festival certificate, authenticating your participation. It will also serve as a lovely memento of your time spent volunteering with the Festival!

Sponsors & Partners

The GIAF Volunteer Department is proud to partner with the National University of Ireland Galway and with its student volunteer programme, ALIVE.

Keep in Touch

For more information about GIAF volunteers, email volunteers@giaf.ie. Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.