Galway 2020 Reimagined Programme Announced


2020 has been an extraordinary year, and Covid 19 has shaken the foundations of the entire arts and culture sector.

Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture made the decision not to proceed with live events scheduled from mid-March onwards, in response to public health guidelines and in the interests of public health. However, despite these challenging times, Galway 2020 has remained committed to the recovery and sustainability of the sector and our incredible artists and cultural organisations, and today announces details of an exciting reimagined programme of events.

Staying true to the original themes of Language, Landscape and Migration, the reimagined programme, which will take place from September 2020 to March 2021, will include both live and digital components, offering audiences the possibility to attend events in person, or experience elements of the programme online from home.


Working closely with our European partners, the digital presentation of events allows for the retention of international partnerships and collaborations.  The ambition of the programme, while making every effort to create live experiences for audiences again, in a safe way, those who are unable to attend, will also have the opportunity to experience memorable moments, while staying safe at home.

The public can expect in-person and live events, outdoor installations, publications, online events, outdoor performances, exhibitions and broadcasts, from Macnas, Druid, Galway International Arts Festival and many more.  The Galway 2020 programme has been reimagined by over 350 of Galway and Ireland’s best talents from the original programme and events which were impacted by Covid 19, showing their collective imagination, creativity, brilliance and resilience.  Acutely aware of the public health guidelines, events have been reimagined to be presented within these guidelines, allowing for social distancing and limited attendance.  These measures will be further supported by the Galway 2020 Wave Makers (volunteers) who have received Covid 19 training, to help patrons, artists and staff feel comfortable and safe. 

The reimagined programme comprises hundreds of events from 28 projects, as well as 30 Small Towns Big Ideas community-based projects. Highlights of the programme include;


  • The Irish language remains central to the programme, with Irish language and bi-lingual events embedded across the programme, including Aistriú, Sea Tamagotchi and Óro.
  • Commissioned by Galway International Arts Festival for Galway 2020, Mirror Pavilion by John Gerrard, using cutting edge digital technology, will be one of the largest outdoor installations ever to be seen in Ireland.
  • Druid returns to live theatre in the magic fields, woods and gardens of Coole Park in a tribute to, and an animation of, the life and works of Galway’s Augusta Lady Gregory. DruidGregory will include six of Lady Gregory’s one-act plays, performed by a company of 12 actors and musicians, and directed by Garry Hynes.  This will be followed by a barnstorming 14 venue, four-week tour of Gregory’s beloved county Galway, from Portumna to Glenamaddy, Ballinasloe to Clifden, and many more communities in between. As part of the Education and Community strand, DruidGregory will also include one-off, outdoor performances of Galway writer Tom Murphy’s first play, On the Outside (written with Noel O’Donoghue).
  • Master storytellers Macnas will bring a dramatic new interpretation of the world’s oldest story to Galway – the legend of Gilgamesh. The extraordinary adventures of Gilgamesh will unfold across city, county and online and will see Macnas elevate its signature style and challenge the boundaries and possibilities of traditional theatre and storytelling, outdoors and indoors and at
  • Turning our bad weather to good use, Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann makes Galway the place to be because it rains and blows. The project is a beautifully curated series of installations, commissions and artistic responses to weather, with the aim of affecting cultural change in our relationship with weather. Hope It Rains invites people of all ages to join its projects to make Galway weather-proof and climate resilient.
  • RISE is a series of three collaborative projects from Baboro International Arts Festival for Children that will place the voice of the child at the heart of the performance, bringing to the surface the childhood experiences of joy, beauty, family, empowerment, loss and transformation.
  • Incredible exhibitions and commissions from TULCA Season of Visual Art, Project BAA BAA, Monument and Deeper Shades of Green and Oughterard Courthouse Arts Programme taking us on a journey around the city and the county to view work from wonderful artists both in person and online.
  • A modern-day fairy tale, Blue Teapot’s Into the Dark Woods entices us into rare territory, using the living realm of the woods as an extraordinary invitation into the world as experienced by someone with an intellectual disability.
  • Galway Moves is a series of site-specific dance performances inspired and informed by our landscape. Produced by Galway Dance Project, and devised by Dansnest, Galway Moves will celebrate community and connection bringing dance into open spaces, culminating in public performances in Galway city and county.
  • To the Islandis an enchanting story, beautifully illustrated, that families from Galway, Ireland and beyond will treasure. Patricia Forde’s story is about a little girl who visits the strange and mythical island of Hy Brasil, off the west coast of Ireland, but then follows her heart home to Galway. The book will be gifted to every child starting school in Galway in 2020.
  • Based on the ancient Irish tradition of ‘Meitheal’ the coming together for a common purpose, the Small Towns Big Ideas programme has impacted communities across Galway, focusing on over 100 community projects since its inception in 2018. The communal creativity continues into 2021 with 30 new and exciting projects and events.

Further exciting updates to the programme will be announced in the coming weeks, in partnership with a number of organisations including Music For Galway’s music programme, in line with public health guidelines.

For more information and to view the programme visit  All relevant ticketing information is available for each event where tickets are required.

A limited number of events were hosted online during the restricted period including the digital theatre programme, InterActionPeripheral Visions the European film competition as part of the Galway Film Fleadh 2020 as well as the presentation of Savage Beauty by Kari Kola as an online art experience of the largest site-specific light artwork ever created.

“This year has been a huge challenge for everyone, particularly those working in our sector, who have had their livelihoods put at risk.  During this time, we’ve seen the importance of culture more than ever before, to lift people’s spirits and get us through the darkest of days.  Through it all, we have remained determined to persevere and present as much of our programme as possible.  We have had to rethink how some elements will be presented, and unfortunately it will not be possible to deliver all of our original programme.  However, it is vital that we  do so, both for the artists and organisations for whom this work is so important, and also for audiences, to have the opportunity to embrace their favourite art form and celebrate great art and cultural experiences again.”

“Our fire tour lit up towns across Galway over 6 nights, we had a magnificent weekend of events in early March celebrating International Women’s Day, with special guest, author Margaret Attwood, and we had a huge response to the special digital experience of Kari Kola’s outdoor light artwork Savage Beauty. These are just some of the highlights of the first few weeks of our programme earlier this year. While we’ve had to make many changes since then, we are excited to create more moments like these in the months ahead, and this reimagined programme is packed with exciting and memorable moments, which we can’t wait to share with everyone.”  Patricia Philbin, CEO Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.



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