The biggest free open air music festival at the Volvo Ocean Race
The biggest free open air music festival of the year is expected to attract over 150,000 visitors to Galway and make the city rock like never before during the dramatic final week of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The nightly concerts on the huge waterfront stage will feature some of the country’s best known and most exciting new bands and entertainers. They will also be one of the centerpieces of the global TV coverage of the event.
During the 2009 Volvo Stopover in Galway, tens of thousands of music fans thronged the dramatic waterfront setting each night for similar free concerts and described the atmosphere and the performances as “electrifying and incomparable”.
The organizers of this year’s festival say they believe it will be even more memorable with performances by incredibly talented bands, more elaborate staging and larger audience capacity.
Head of Entertainment for the 2012 Galway Volvo Festival Lisa Hallinan said “This is going to be a spectacular opportunity for music fans to come to Galway and enjoy nine nights of non stop free entertainment in a truly wonderful location – between the sea and the city”.
“Anybody who was in Galway in 2009 will understand the sheer scale and the energy of the event. Now the city is once again preparing to throw the party of the year and live up to its reputation for delivering world class festivals.”
The Volvo Ocean Race Finale in Galway will be at the centre of a global TV audience of millions with crews from 47 TV stations arriving in the city. The concerts will be part of the backdrop to many of the stories on the race finale and festival in Galway.
Maverick Sabre, one of Ireland’s hottest tickets and described by BBC1 as the “the male Amy Winehouse” will headline the festival, opening on the Main Stage on Saturday June 30th. He will be supported by rising stars and local band ‘The Kanyu Tree’.
On Sunday July 1st and Monday July 2nd the fantastic line up of Thin Lizzy, The Family Stone, Ryan Sheridan, Niwel Tsumbu and The Deans will have the city and the docks area pulsating with a vibrant music festival beat.
The week’s line up also includes Galway’s legendary Saw Doctors, who will be leading the city in celebration as the Volvo Fleet arrives form Lorient in France at the end of the 39,000 nautical miles round the world race. Few will ever forget the performance of the Saw Doctors during the arrival of the Volvo fleet at the 2009 stopover in Galway.
One of the most spectacular days of the week long festival will be July 4th US Independence Day which will see a gigantic fireworks display on the night skyline and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble performing on the Main Stage.
Trad claims centre stage on Thursday night with Altan’s Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh and Galway’s own trad supergroup De Danann who are expected to be one of the biggest crowd pullers of the week.
Celebrating their 25th anniversary, Galway’s storming rock band The Stunning will play their only Galway gig of 2012 on Friday July 6th reliving their unforgettable performance at the 2009 festival when they appeared on stage in full seafaring costume.
Sharon Shannon and her 42 piece orchestra, who wowed audiences at the Auckland Stopover in New Zealand earlier this year, will be the star attraction at the Grand Finale Concert following the official prize giving ceremony.
The week of non stop entertainment will also feature Hot 8 Brass Band, Túcan, The Rip Tide Movement, Bipolar Empire, O Emperor and Stephen James & Band. A programme of family friendly street theatre and roving performances will run throughout the Race Village and the city. The acts will include LUXe, Extreme Rhythm, Cillian Rodgers, Bui Bolg, Marcel So, Youth Ballet West and Groupo Candeas.
John Killeen, President Volvo Ocean Race Galway, says that the open air concerts are expected to attract record breaking audiences and will be at the centre of an international media showcase for the city.
“A music festival of this scale could not take place without the financial backing and generous support of Galway City Council which is funding the entire entertainment line up,” he said.
Speaking on a visit to the site of Race Village, Joe O’Neill City Manager said “We believe that the Finalé of the Volvo Ocean Race will be a hugely successful event for the city. We are glad to be working with the Galway Volvo Ocean Race team to ensure that the biggest event in Ireland this year will have a lasting and worthwhile legacy for Galway City.”