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Festival Makers Conference Galway 11-12 May 2023

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The Arts Council in partnership with Drama and Theatre Studies at the University of Galway and Creative Europe Desk Ireland will present the Festival Makers Conference on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th May 2023 in Galway City.

The Festival Makers Conference will take place over two days in Town Hall Theatre, Galway & O'Donoghue Centre, University of Galway. It will feature a Keynote address from Kim Cook, Director of Creative Initiatives, Burning Man Festival, Black Rock, US and panel discussions such as ‘Festival Producing’ and ‘Building Partnerships’ as well as workshops to guide festivals on environmental sustainability and good governance practices.

Delegates are also invited to attend the Creative Europe Reception on the evening of Thursday 11th May which will provide opportunities for festivals to learn more about developing international partnerships and meet with artists. See below for more information on this event.

In addition to the organised programme there will be space and time made available for festivals to network with other festival makers, festival stakeholders and artists making work in a festival context. Full programme information can be found here along with conference updates.

Preferential accommodation rates have been organised for conference delegates and these can be found here. Please note that these rates are subject to availability and offered for a limited time only.

Conference tickets are directly available here – early booking is advised as ticket availability is limited.

Networking & Connecting - Creative Europe & Festival Makers Conference

The Culture Office of Creative Europe Desk Ireland will host a networking event on Thursday 11th May from 6pm to 9pm in the Galway Rowing Club. If you register for the Festival Makers Conference you will be automatically added to our reception list. For artists who have not registered for the conference, you can register here if you wish to attend our Networking event on Thursday 11th May.

For this informal event, we'll look at the ways in which organisations and artists can connect via European Networks, work with local and national partners to develop more in-depth working partnerships internationally.

Connecting with a European cultural network can open doors to new opportunities, co-creation, learning, information sharing, new ideas and much more. Creative Europe mobility awards to travel and work at an International level can also lead to partnerships and projects with like-minded artists and organisations from across Europe and enable you to apply for other EU funding programmes.

On the night, we're delighted to be joined by Galway theatre company, Blue Teapot who will talk about their Creative Europe funded project Trasna Na Líne Festival and how it was connected nationally and partnered at a European level. We'll also hear from Twisted Lane Productions about their residency, as part of European Festivals Fund for Emerging Artists (EFFEA), with Cáirde Sligo Arts Festival, Passage Festival Denmark, and Oerel Festival Netherlands. During their residency, Aoife and Mark will work on Les Lumières, an immersive experience set in a mature forest where the audience is invited behind the scenes of an imagined fairytale circus.

Our networking evening is also a way of allowing artists, festival organisations, local authority bodies, producers and arts organisations to connect with each other. If you want to get a better insight into what European networking and collaborations could bring to your work then sign up and join us to mingle and chat over a glass of wine.


  • 6.30 pm Culture Office: Aoife Tunney and Katie Lowry introduce CE opportunities
  • 6.45 pm MC Brú Theatre Director, James Riordan
  • 7.00 pm Speakers: Petal Pilley and Hillary Kavanagh, Blue Teapot Theatre
  • 7.10pm Speakers: Aoife and Mark Carry Twisted Lane Productions
  • 7.20 pm James Riordan wrap up
  • 7.30pm Electric Dreams perform. Drinks and mingle.
  • 9.00pm ENDS

For travel, accommodation, accessibility and other conference information including programme details please visit the Arts Council’s Website here.

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