The Galway International Arts Festival has announced its 2022 programme, welcoming audiences back in person to the streets, galleries and venues of Galway city this July for one of the country's most popular cultural events.

The 2022 GIAF brings artists from across the globe to the west, including the return of Chicago's world-renowned Steppenwolf with a production of Sam Shepard's classic play True West and actor, creator and illusionist Geoff Sobelle's latest creation Home, a spectacle of illusion, choreography, music and storytelling that explores the everyday drama of what makes a house a home.

John Gerard's Flare [Oceania]

Irish artists are to the fore, with the world premiere Flare [Oceania], a new site-specific installation from John Gerard, following his acclaimed Mirror Pavilion, to be unveiled on the Galway Docks, alongside theatre and opera from Druid (Sonya Kelly's The Last Return) Landmark Productions and Irish National Opera (Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh's The First Child) the Gate Theatre and Theatre Lovett (The Tin Soldier by Louis Lovett).

Elsewhere, Enda Walsh also returns with Middle Bedroom, the latest in his ongoing series of immersive Room installations, created with GIAF Artistic Director Paul Fahy, while a community cast of 150 people from all walks of life will perform in a highwire spectacle over the River Corrib in Galway Community Circus’ LifeLine, which draws on the transformative power of circus arts to deliver well being impact and provoke discourse on mental health.


An extensive music programme includes the return of the Heineken Big Top, with a formidable line up that includes Pixies, The Stunning, The Flaming Lips, Sinéad O'Connor and Jon Hopkins, alongside gigs from Joan as Police Woman, Orla Gartland, Niamh Regan, Ye Vagabonds, Soda Blonde, the ConTempo Quartet, Crash Ensemble and the annual Traditional Music Showcases, plus many more.

The visual arts programme includes a new exhibition by Brazilian–born artist Ana Maria Pacheco created especially for GIAF and Entanglement by ANNEX, Ireland's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2021, while the popular First Thought series offers a series of conversation events exploring the big issues and challenges of the day, with guests including composer and conductor Eímear Noone and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

Maureen Dowd

It's the first time in three years that the festival has taken its usual place in the Galway summer calendar, having been cancelled or scaled back in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic.

"There is nowhere quite like Galway during Festival time in July," says Artistic Director Paul Fahy. "It is such a thrill to return to our usual summer dates for the first time since 2019 with what we think is a really wonderful Festival. We are very grateful to all our fantastic artists and companies for their amazing work and look forward to welcoming our audiences back to our stages, galleries and the streets of Galway for two wonderful weeks of great art and performance."

GIAF 2022 runs from 11-24 July - find out more about this year's programme here.