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The Art of Galway

Luglio 2007
Anche quest’anno Galway celebra l’arte in tutte le sue forme, nel più spettacolare festival d’Irlanda.

di Talitha Linehan

File audio:

Galway Fest
Galway Fest
Paul Fahy
Paul Fahy

Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Standard British accent)

Musicians, dancers, actors, comedians, writers, street performers and artists from all over the world will travel to the Irish city of Galway this month for the 30th Galway Arts Festival. The Festival, which runs from 16th to 29th July, has been held every summer since 1978. It is now the country’s biggest arts festival, featuring hundreds of performers and attracting more than 150,000 visitors. This year’s special events include a new “Big Top” tent, a massive street parade and a premiere performance of The Electric Ballroom by Enda Walsh, whom the Festival’s artistic director, Paul Fahy, calls “one of the most exciting playwrights to have come out of Ireland in recent years.” Indeed we asked Paul Fahy what else visitors can expect:

Paul Fahy (Irish accent):

Galway is a small city and it’s (a) lovely medieval centre, a small city centre. And there are just 75,000 people living here, but during the Festival fortnight we bring in about 150,000 people. So, as you can imagine, doubling the population on any given day is a huge thing and that has a big, big impact on the city. You cannot be in Galway during those two weeks and not realise that there’s something major happening, that there’s some big celebration, there’s something very festive happening.
And you can see it on people’s faces on the streets. You can hear it in...from people busking on the streets, to watching fantastic street performers, to knowing people are busy moving around from gallery to gallery to see exhibitions, or looking forward to theatre shows that night. So, as well as bringing that many people into Galway, obviously it’s got a big impact economically on the city and the Festival is worth approximately €25 million during those two weeks. That’s the direct economic impact.


Galway has the added advantage of being on Ireland’s wild west coast. We asked Paul Fahy for some tips on other things to see and do in the area:

Paul Fahy:

Well, one of my favourite things to do in Galway is to go to Connemara, which is just outside Galway city, it’s in the west of County Galway, and it’s one of the most beautiful unspoilt landscapes in Ireland. That’s a favourite thing for me to do. And the other thing is, I love the Aran Islands, which are three small little islands to the west of Galway city again. You hear the Irish language spoken widely out there. The Festival has presented work out on the islands as well, so you’ll hear some great culture over there, too.
And then Galway’s very much a big home for traditional Irish music, a lot of which you can hear free,
so there are a lot of good traditional pubs in town, where you can hear live traditional music played every evening.

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comedians - comici.

playwrights - commediografi.

fortnight - periodo di due settimane.

doubling the popula-tion... huge thing - rad-doppiare la popolazione in un giorno qualsiasi è una cosa enorme.

busking on the streets - suonare in strada.

is worth - fa incassare (lett. vale).

unspoilt landscapes - paesaggi incontaminati.

spoken widely - parlato diffusamente.