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January 

MIDWINTER FESTIVAL: BEETHOVEN

17th to 19th January

Celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Music for Galway’s Midwinter Festival continues its long-standing tradition of presenting a three-day weekend of themed concerts with musicians from Galway, Ireland and beyond. The festival will focus primarily on Beethoven’s early solo piano and chamber music compositions, featuring violin sonatas, string quartets, the quintet for piano and winds and the ever-popular septet.

This year, Music for Galway will be joined by the internationally-celebrated duo of Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova and French pianist Cédric Tiberghien.

February

GALWAY 2020 OPENING EVENT

1st - 8th February

Moving ever closer to the city throughout the first week of Imbolc, a huge cast drawn from across the community will invade the streets and squares of Galway on the evening of Saturday 8 February 2020.

Marking the passing of winter and the blossoming of an extraordinary new year, our opening event celebrates the quintessential values of Irishness – courage, creativity and resilience. Taking place in the open air, everyone is welcome and the event is free to attend.

IMAGINING IRELAND

10th February

This intimate event will celebrate the recent groundswell of women’s voices in Irish literature, music and poetry, bringing together a stellar cast of women with a lot to say.

Art-pop auteur, SOAK, creates emotionally probing songs of startling candor. Lisa O’Neill’s raw and unvarnished folk has won widespread praise. Radie Peat is a remarkable voice of new folk. Sorcha Richardson’s debut ‘First Prize Bravery’ marks the arrival of a major new artist. The show gathers the leading lights of an acclaimed generation of Irish writers, including Sara Baume (A Line Made by Walking), Sinéad Gleeson (Constellations) and Elaine Feeney (As You Were). Word and music meet in the work of Denise Chaila, a Zambian-Irish rapper, singer and poet. Her music blends spoken word and rap to give voice to the sound of a transatlantic odyssey.

March

WILD ATLANTIC WOMEN

7th to 8th March

Galway 2020 joins International Women’s Day in looking out into the world, celebrating women’s achievements and continuing to strive for a more equal, enabled world.
On 7 and 8 March, we bring together unique voices in a local, national and international celebration of the lives of women.
Let’s all be #EachforEqual.

Kari Kola

JULY

The Academic

Friday 24th July

One of Ireland's most exciting live acts, The Academic are known for addictive pop hits like 'Bear Claws', 'Fake ID' and 'Superlike'.

Their impressive resume includes a long list of sold out headline shows and appearances at some of Europe’s most high profile festivals as well as opening slots for acts like Twenty One Pilots, The Strokes, Catfish and The Bottlemen.

The Flaming Lips

Saturday 18th July

The Flaming Lips are often said to put on one of the best live shows in the world. The six-time Grammy nominated band bring dazzling colours, lights and other accoutrements (think giant zorbs and unicorns) to their perpetually crowd-pleasing sets, playing hits like "Do You Realize??" and "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1". Q Magazine has listed The Flaming Lips as one of "50 Band to See Before You Die."

The band's 15th studio album, the ‘playful, melodic, cinematic’ King’s Mouth, was released in July 2019, with their entire musical catalogue since their formation in 1983 praised for its unique, infectious pop sound.

Jon Hopkins

Saturay 25th July

Jon Hopkins is known for finely crafted, contemplative electronic music exploring different psychological states, and the connectivity of mind and nature. The English musician and producer has released five critically acclaimed studio albums, including his latest Singularity, as well as the soundtrack for the 2010 film Monsters. His diverse body of work includes collaborations with industry heavyweights such as Brian Eno, King Creosote, Imogen Heap, David Holmes and Coldplay.

The artist’s Heineken Big Top debut is part of his spring 2020 Polarity tour, which includes an already-sold out performance at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin. Hopkins plays GIAF on Saturday 25th July 2020. Tickets are priced at €39.50.

Mirror Pavilion | John Gerrard

April to July

In 2020 Galway becomes European Capital of Culture. As part of the year-long programme and the GIAF 2020 visual arts programme, Galway International Arts Festival has commissioned Irish artist John Gerrard to create two extraordinary artworks responding to the escalating climate crisis. 'Mirror Pavilion' will be installed in Galway from April to July and in Connemara from September to October.

Sinead O'Connor

Sunday 26th July

She's the visionary and uncompromising artist behind the early new wave explosion of ‘Mandinka’ and the multi–platinum soul of Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 You’.

This year marks the return of Sinéad O’Connor after a four year hiatus from performing. Her new beginning will see her bring out new music and tour the world once again as one of the true and original living greats of our time.

Sinéad O’Connor’s Sunday 26 July performance will round out the final weekend of GIAF 2020, bringing the Festival to a close with a spectacular finish.