To say that excitement is building for the Galway International Arts Festival, would be an understatement.

Over its 35-year history, GIAF has played an integral role in showcasing the most astounding Irish and international talent; from provocative visual arts exhibitions, to intricate dance performances and big name, Big-Top shows, the two-week fiesta has solidified itself as a vanguard in the world of arts and spectacle. The event team assures us that, this year, it will be no different.

The @GalwayIntArts team were tweeting this morning

So, what wonders await arts lovers this time around? Running from the 13th -26th of July, the festival will, once again, provide a platform for visual and audio beauty, with the Atlantic Ocean as its stunning backdrop. Beginning next Monday, events will be running throughout the City – from Eyre Square to the “Sparch” and beyond. No matter where your feet may fall over the 14-days, you’re bound to see something that will generate the odd “OOOH” and “AAAH”!

For music lovers, Dublin’s Little Green Cars will perform in support of the stunning St. Vincent, Declan O’ Rourke will grace the Roisin Dubh stage, Damien Dempsey’s going to sing “all our cares away”, Damien Rice is making his festival debut, and for the classical revellers, RTE’s National Symphony Orchestra will be appearing at Bailey Hall, NUIG.

O’ Rourke plays ‘Roisin’s’ on 17th – Image: Cluas

For visual arts fans, acclaimed Australian artist, Patricia Piccinini, will showcase her unusual and inspired sculptures. The Australian National Arts Prize winner’s work examines the connections between nature, science, art and environment.

Cited as “one of the most important artists of recent years”, Louise Bourgeois, brings her prints, drawings and sculpture to the Galway City Museum. This autobiographical expo explores the artist’s deepest emotions and runs from the 14th-26th of July; and it’s free!

Sculpture by Patricia Piccinni

One spectacle that we are very excited about is the Sky-Whale. Last year, visitors to the City of Tribes saw the Big Red Ball bounce from Eyre Square down to Quay St; 2015’s most anticipated outdoor visual is Patricia Piccinni’s mammoth Sky-Whale. The 100 feet long and 70 feet tall installation will take flight at locations around the City and was first seen over the Australian capital of Canberrra, in 2013.

For the complete schedule of events visit the giaf website.

Nitelife, naturally, will be right there in the centre of the action, bringing you the highlights, best bits and any little surprises we happen to find along the way during #GIAF15