The SeaFest 2017 line-up has just been released and with it the organisers are clearly looking to inspire a new generation to celebrate our seas and embrace the maritime world – undoubtedly a very good thing for the future of the Irish coast.
The festival runs from June 30th to July 2nd and there’s a massive range of events and activities on at the Galway docks and at other locations around the city that will keep people of all ages in good maritime spirit.
Here’s our first look at the festival line up and there’s plenty to be excited about!
A maritime festival – with lots to eat & drink
Every good festival knows how important it is to keep their visitors well fed and SeaFest looks to spoil visitors this year with food and drink high on the list of available options.
The Festival Village at Galway Harbour and Docks is pretty much the HQ of the festival and with a huge variety of stalls there will be plenty of opportunity to indulge.
Pretty much everyone from the Irish maritime world will at SeaFest and of course that includes Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, who will be putting on the Bord Bia Seafood Experience down at the docks. Billed as ‘a highly entertaining, interactive and dynamic showcase on Irish Seafood’ this looks like it could be of serious interest to both budding chefs as well as seafood connoisseurs.
The Latin Quarter getting in on the action
Of course the festival is not just at the docks and growing on last years success it seems like the whole of Galway is starting to get in on the SeaFest spirit; Salthill and the Latin Quarter are keen contributors to the festival vibe this year.
At the laid back seaside Salthill, restaurants will again be putting on SeaFest specials for the weekend. And its a great welcome addition that the Latin Quarter is joining in the SeaFest festivities for the first time. Restaurants, bars and cafes will be getting involved as part of the Seafood Trail. Each business has chosen a seafood taster to celebrate this year’s festival. Foodie delight guaranteed!
Galway champions Ireland’s maritime world
SeaFest is a maritime festival so rest assured you’ll be in maritime heaven with the range of events and activities on and off the water. The programme really looks to engage the whole family and seems set to make a serious push to encourage people to embrace the maritime world and learn more about it.
Galway Harbour and Docks is to be transformed into an ‘open air sea world’ with a huge variety of activities to take part in; there’ll be maritime heritage with traditional boat displays and demos and you can go aboard the visiting ships including the glorious tall ship Phoenix, the hardworking Irish Naval vessel LÉ Ciara and the Marine Institutes science research vessel’s Celtic Explorer and Celtic Voyager.
And for those keen to test out their sea-legs there are plenty of opportunities; have a go at sailing a Galway Hooker or a Keelboat with the Irish Sailing Association’s Try Sailing sessions or go on a kayaking trip adventure down at the docks.
Film, surf, food & design – an intriguing combination
Like a festival within a festival, LookWest.ie will host their own marquee at the docks with ‘three days of fun, exciting and marine themed entertainment focusing on creative business in the west of Ireland’. The line-up will include inspirational speakers, fun performances, a showcase of brilliant west of Ireland products and businesses all inspired by the sea. You will have the opportunity to ‘meet and great’ with the speakers and businesses in the showcase area each day.
SeaFest looks to inspire a maritime generation
If you can manage to pull yourself and the family away from the festivities at the docks, all fed and watered, there’s two other places that should definitely be visited. Ireland’s brand new and very first marine science gallery at Galway City Museum, located beside Spanish Arch, will be open all weekend. This is really worth checking out as it serves as a nice way to enhance your festival experience, particularly for young minds that want to learn more about the marine world.
There’s also the Amundsen exhibition at NUI Galway which will also be open all weekend. The exhibition “Cold Recall: Reflections of a Polar Explorer” – is a fascinating travelling poster exhibit that presents images from one of the greatest adventures of the early 20th century: the race to the South Pole.
A rising tide of ocean understanding
Ireland’s coast with its strong maritime industry and precious marine environment is important to so many aspects of our lives and yet many are completely oblivious to its broad range of benefits. From food, employment, trade, tourism, the list easily extends and encompasses all aspects of the Irish economy. Improving everyone’s understanding of the coast can only serve to help protect this vulnerable resource and ensure we all continue to benefit from the coast now and well into the future.
SeaFest 2017 is clearly looking to make a lasting impression, to inspire and to engage. There’s a real sense with the variety of events and activities available that Seafest is elevating what we’ve come to expect from a maritime festival; they’re certainly putting on a really great weekend’s entertainment but there’s also a serious effort to improving everyone’s understanding of the coast and that’s something we should all be excited about.
For more information and for the full listing for events visit their website.