Festival open calls

Despite the snow yesterday morning, summer and the summer festivals are on their way. Two festivals currently open for applications are the Galway Fringe and 10 Days in Dublin.

Galway Fringe takes place July 12th – 30th, alongside the Galway Arts Festival. This means that for those two weeks, Galway is full of people eager to see theatre. It’s only it’s second year but I knew a lot of people with shows in last year’s inaugural festival who had a great experience and even made some money! They are interested in all artforms and it is an open-access festival which means everyone is welcome to participate and perform. Registration is open until 28th April but I imagine venues may be allocation on a first come, first served basis so it’s good to start the conversations as soon as possible.

10DaysOn the other side of the country, 10 Days in Dublin will also happening this July 4th – 13th. It’s also open-access and has been running for a few years now. They are looking to expand their programme this year to include more visual art and film but they are interested in all types of art. Registration closes April 5th.

Both festivals offer box-office and all shows will be included in the festival programme. And both will be looking for volunteers if you want to get involved but stay off-stage!!

And if you can’t wait until July, you still have a few hours to apply for the third instalment of TEXT|messages. This is happening in Project Arts Centre, April 25th – 27th. Applications close at 5pm today and there is more information here.

In Praise of Galway

I’ve been working with Fishamble Theatre Company in Dublin for the last few weeks and while I’m enjoying the work and I love being back in Dublin, I spent a lot of time this week missing Galway. I felt like I was missing all the fun with the Volvo Ocean Race and Friday’s Silent Disco on Dominic’s Street. I’ve also been hearing stories of the endless lashing rain but it really hasn’t seemed to “dampened” the party spirit in Galway.

A few of my friends were performing on the Spoken Word stage in Volvo’s Global Village this week and a few more will be performing in the first ever Galway Fringe festival, which starts on 12 July. I definitely have to make a trip to Galway for that. I’m also looking forward to the Galway Arts Festival. It starts on July 16 and has loads of great shows including new Irish writing, all male Shakespeare and the famous Macnas parade which is free, and on July 22. And once the Arts Festival finishes, it’s time for the Galway Races. I’ve never been to the races but I’ve been told by many people that it is a very fun time. July is a busy time in Galway!

The Snug in Tigh Neachtain
The Snug in Tigh Neachtain
I had a great time studying in Galway this year and I really enjoyed getting to know the town. The people are friendly and there’s always a great atmosphere. If you’re tempted to visit yourself, I recommend staying close to the centre of town. Traffic is crazy and it can take a long time to get anywhere by car. It also rains a lot! I know people say it’s always raining in Ireland, but it really does rain more in Galway than the rest of the country.

That’s not a reason not to go but it is a reason to stay somewhere close to the centre of town because otherwise you’ll just spend your time trekking through the rain instead of sitting in a snug pub or a nice dry theatre.

Barnacles hostel
Barnacles hostel
Barnacles on Quay Street is perfect because it’s close to everything. There are at least three great pubs within spitting distance; it’s also very close to Shop Street where there are lots of great cafes. You have the famous McDonagh’s Fish & Chip Shop at the end of the road, though I’d also recommend The Kettle of Fish just round the corner on Cross Street – I haven’t tried their deep fried Mars bars yet, but the chips are excellent! It’s close to the Spanish Arch (and Nimmo’s restaurant – I’ve never been in but it always smells delicious – and the Galway Museum which has a great tea shop. It’s also just round the corner from Druid Theatre, where you can see The Great Goat Bubble, produced by Fishamble, from Thursday 12 July until Sunday 29!

And if you are lucky enough to get a dry, sunny day in Galway (it does happen sometimes!), it’s less than half an hours walk to Salthill prom. If you do go west, give my love to Galway and tell her I’ll be back soon!