To be Honest, In a Perfect World, we’d have High Hopes that it’d stay dry during the Galway International Arts Festival, but it’s not to be this year. One Day, perhaps.
The weather for Kodaline’s second sold out show at the Big Top on Saturday was more January than July, but Everything Works Out in the End (I’ll stop, I promise…) and the relentless rain did little to dampen the spirits of the thousands in attendance, not even the ladies with plastic bags tied around their feet in a bid to protect their heels from the mud.
While concertgoers were identifiable in town afterwards by their muck splatters, the show was far from a wash-out. In fact, for a brief moment during it, the clouds parted and the sun shined. Then the sky went back to grey. But it’s Galway, we create our own colour.
Colour like that provided by the strange Australian SkyWhale, who had to hide from the wind and showers a few times but emerged on her final day in city to again amuse, baffle and delight crowds at The Swamp on Sunday.
The streets were also filled with colour on Friday and Saturday, when the Giant Divas made their way through the town, part Fifth Element, part 1980s toilet roll cover.
Those large French ladies were better prepared for the weather than most, casually producing brollies mid-song and continuing on their merry way. Serving as yet another reminder that despite our often unpredictable weather, Galwegians are always ill-prepared for rain. We’re the ones more likely to be caught in a downpour on Quay Street in shorts and flip flops than head-to-toe waterproofs. Maybe it’s down to some ill-founded sense of optimism.
Whatever it is, believe it or not, our weather is part of what makes Galway special. Now bear with me. Sure, we’d all love good drying weather during the season you’re supposed to get it and, yes, we definitely don’t want to see anyone having to wrap their shoes in plastic for Ladies’ Day at Ballybrit…but don’t we appreciate those brief flickers of sunshine, light and colour all the more when we get them?
Come rain, hail or shine, the Galway International Arts Festival brings colour to the grey every year. As we prepare our bid to become European Capital of Culture 2020, this year’s very special festival has truly shown what makes Galway the bright, colourful, fun place we all know and love, and that Europe’s going to love too.