John Crumlish is managing director of the Galway International Arts Festival, which has made a triumphant return to action this year with a formidable programme that includes Enda Walsh's acclaimed new play Medicine, visual arts standouts from sibling duo John and Joy Gerrard and a memorable Other Voices: Courage session - watch it below:

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We asked John for his choice cultural picks...

FILM

Arracht is a new Irish-language film set in famine times. It was filmed entirely in Connemara, won best Irish Feature at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film festival earlier this year and was Ireland's entry for best International film at the Oscars. It is getting its cinema release in October, and I am really looking forward to seeing it on the big screen.

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MUSIC

I am enjoying Big Red Machine’s new album How Long Do You Think its Gonna Last?. The group is the brainchild of Aaron Dessner from The National and Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, and they are joined on this album by a number of guests including Lisa Hannigan and Taylor Swift.

I also really like In the Game, the new album from Mick Flannery and Susan O Neill and would also recommend Mc Cartney III Imagined, which was released earlier this year and is a remix album of Paul Mc Cartney’s last solo album. Mc Cartney curates and it features collaborators such as Phoebe Bridgers, Beck, Damon Albarn and St Vincent. It would appear class is permanent.

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BOOK

Once the festival is over, I will be sitting down with Colm Toibin's new novel The Magician and then will be moving onto Sally Rooney’s Beautiful New World, Where Are You? A very pleasant prospect.

PLAY

Medicine by Enda Walsh, which is currently playing at the festival, is the first play I have seen live in a long time. It is wonderful to have an audience back in the theatre and reacting so positively to the work.

I am also really looking forward to the premiere of The First Child, a new opera from Enda and Donnacha Dennehy which will have its premiere at Dublin Theatre Festival in October.

TV

Songs for While I'm Away is a documentary about Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy by Emer Reynolds. It has a lovely feel and really brings out the fact that in addition to being a rock 'n' roll star, Lynott was a great songwriter. I am exactly the right age to love this as Phil Lynott was simply the coolest Irish man going when I was growing up in Carndonagh in the Seventies. It is currently available on the RTÉ Player.

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GIG

I am really looking forward to Villagers coming to Galway this autumn. Conor O Brien is such a talent. He is one of our best songwriters and Villagers live is always a treat. The new album Fever Dreams is a great listen, and dare I say it, may be his best yet.

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ART

My apologies for recommending something in our own festival but I have to choose Mirror Pavilion: Leafwork by John Gerrard.

The Pavilion is a striking 7m x 7m structure, with three sides and the roof clad in a highly reflective mirror and the fourth wall a high–resolution LED wall upon which the artwork unfolds. It is located in in the spectacular Derrigimlagh bog close to Clifden and the piece, working with the surrounding landscape, is wonderful.

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PODCAST

Here’s the Thing is a podcast in which the actor Alec Baldwin interviews a range of people who are in the public eye. Baldwin is a great interviewer and especially so when he is on his home turf with interviewees from the entertainment industry. He is always enthusiastic, endlessly curious and very entertaining. Guaranteed to take miles off any car journey.

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THE NEXT BIG THING

Tolü Makay. She feels every inch a star in the making.

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The Galway International Arts Festival runs until September 18th - find out more here.