For an incredible 17 years, Glasgow’s West End Festival has been enlivening the summer with an eclectic array of events that highlight the city’s unique character.
From music, theatre and dance, to readings by children’s authors, guided walks and talks, there’s something for everyone at the West End festival, which this year is being held from 1st to 24thJune.
The festival is an independent, community-focused event that grew from small beginnings in 1995 to the hugely popular celebration it is today.
As the event’s director Michael Dale has explained, although the festival takes place in Glasgow’s lovely West End, it isn’t solely a festival for residents of the West End. The festival’s ethos has always been to accommodate a range of interests and budgets, and with a good mix of free and ticketed events, everyone can take part.
Check out what Michael Dale has to say about the origins of the festival:
Last year saw around 650 events held over the course of the festival. This year attendees can expect a similar bounty, including highlights like the Gibson Street Gala on Sunday 17th June (check out the video of last year’s gala below) and the Glasgow O2 Mela, a multicultural extravaganza in Kelvingrove Park on the 23rd and 24th June.
Wee festival-goers will want to drop by the Grosvenor Café on Ashton Lane, which is staging a selection of kids’ activities throughout the festival, including free face painting on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4pm.
They’ll also want to check out the fascinating critters at Zoo-fest, on Sunday 10th June at the Hunterian Zoology Museum, and the great author readings being held at the Glasgow Libraries throughout the month.
Music fans can choose from classical, Celtic, rock, jazz, folk and soul performances, or take in one or more of the 28 chamber music concerts that make up the ambitious Cottier Chamber Project.
There is theatre ranging from Shakespeare to brand-new works by Scottish playwrights, and a series of guided walks around Glasgow’s various neighbourhoods.
Spend an evening at The Stand Comedy Club if you’re looking for a laugh, or check out one of the many workshops on music, crafts, sewing, languages and more.
There are quiz and games nights, wine and whisky tastings, social events, art exhibitions… the list goes on. Unfortunately, Festival Sunday and the opening parade will not be taking place this year due to funding issues, but there’s still plenty to see and do – check out the festival brochure for full details.
So, if you’ve been planning a trip to Glasgow, this is an ideal time to visit. Make a weekend (or week) of it, and explore the many attractions the city has to offer.
Glasgow boasts excellent restaurants, bars and shops, and if it all gets a little much, you can always choose a peaceful Glasgow hotel slightly away from the bustle, such as the Macdonald Crutherland House.
If you still need inspiration, check out our Paper.li compilation of daily updates on the festival, as well as this great video from the 2011 Gibson Street Gala:
Did you go to Glasgow last year for the West End Festival? Are you going this year? Share your plans with us in the comments below!