Situated on the west coast of Ireland by the Atlantic Ocean, Galway has long been considered a centre of cultural excellence. Galway is a vibrant university city with its city centre, a labyrinth of winding medieval streets, squares and waterways. With a population of 75,000 Galway sits on the edge of the River Corrib surrounded by Galway Bay facing the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Galway Arts Festival is Ireland's largest international arts festival. Founded in 1978 it has grown into an event with a significant reputation where, in 2010, there were 158,000 attendances at 273 performances, talks and exhibitions in 25 venues over 14 days. The Festival showcases a wide variety of international artists alongside the best of Irish talent and includes music (popular, contemporary, jazz, world, classical and traditional), theatre (indoor and outdoor), visual arts, dance, talks, discussions, family events and comedy in its programme.
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