Von Anna Winter
This summer in July I started my adventure working at the “Galway Fringe Festival”. I was feeling super nervous, because this was the first time for me to be in another country all on my own. I took a flight from Vienna to Dublin and then a bus to Galway. I arrived in Galway about 30 min later than expected due to a traffic jam right before Galway. After trying to find the right bus to my accommodation (which I couldn’t find because Google doesn’t have the correct bus ‘names’) I just took a taxi. I was welcomed warmly when I finally got to my new home for the next weeks, which I booked with Airbnb.
Before I get into details about my work, let me tell you about the Galway Fringe Festival. It is a festival that takes place every summer at the same time as the more famous Galway Arts Festival. It includes theatres, concerts and exhibitions.
The next day was my first work day. The Galway Fringe Festival doesn’t have a real office. The team works in a workbench above a bank, so there are a few other companies working there too. I met my contact person, who is the director of the festival. Her name is Claire Keegan and she is seemed like a friendly person. During the first few days I met the interns and other volunteers. I mostly had to buy some last things for the festival and pick up posters and flyers.
In the next week the festival started. Everyday there are a few events and they usually start in the afternoon. During the festival I was in the box office which was a gallery at the same time and told people about the upcoming events, the art in the gallery and sold tickets.
Now, that all sounds great and that it was, but the whole festival was quite chaotic. We didn’t have any programmes left after a few days, so people got angry. The promotion in general started way too late. Most people who came into the gallery didn’t even know that the festival exists. Nevertheless, the events still had a fair amount of visitors. Claire Keegan also turned out to be quite a confused person.
Even though it was chaotic and we often didn’t know what’s going on, I wouldn’t miss this experience. I met great people, made awesome friends and learned how to be on my own in a foreign city. I also got to see a lot of interesting events. Galway is a beautiful city with the ocean near and street music at every corner. The residents of Galway are super friendly (Irish people in general are). And even if this sounds weird but this festival reminded me of how not to organize a festival.
So, to anyone who’s interested in going to Ireland or Galway I’d recommend you the Galway Arts Festival because it is much more organized especially since Galway is going to be the European Capital of Culture in 2020.