Record audiences leads to revenue rise at Galway arts festival

Costs increase as event featured expanded programme

Records audiences at the 2018 Galway International Arts Festival led to box office revenues rising 43.5 per cent to €1.93 million last year.

The festival featured an expanded programme and broke the quarter of a million attendance for the first time with 252,748 attendees at over 200 events across 32 venues.

Accounts show that bumper sell out shows from the likes of Gavin James, Kodaline and Jenny Greene and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra contributed to the rise in box office revenues.

Last year, performances at the festival included four world premieres and the event’s total revenues increased by 26 per cent to €3.58 million.

Organisers said that the economic spin-off for Galway last year was €40.8 million.

However, a 28 per cent increase in costs from €2.74 million to €3.54 million contributed to the festival’s surplus almost halving from €89,819 to €45,258.

A spokeswoman for the festival said on Monday that audiences for the 2019 festival were even bigger with 263,832 attendances at over 200 events.

Acts this year included Burt Bacharach, Two Door Cinema Club and Orbital.

On future developments, the directors said that the company will look to build its capacity in the run up into Galway becoming European Capital of Culture 2020.

The festival’s total income last year included a grant of €537,000 from the Arts Council and €300,000 from Fáilte Ireland.

In addition it received €489,765 from ‘sponsorship and friends’.

The festival employed eight in management and administration and a further 95 as production centre, box office and merchandising staff

Staff costs last year increased from €544,491 to €625,523. Only one employee was paid between €80,000 and €90,000.