The West End Festival (WEF) is Glasgow’s largest community cultural event and every June delights the imaginations of participants, residents and visitors in the west end of Glasgow. In 2018 it celebrates its 23rd year.
Over 100 Glasgow-based organisations, arts groups and local and international artists deliver a mixture of activities and projects, overseen by a small festival team. WEF brings all of these activities together in the festival programme and includes all sorts of music, local history events, exhibitions, theatre and dance performances, talks, guided walks, workshops and film screenings, and many are free of charge to allow accessibility. WEF’s ethos is to include participants and venues that can complement the already diverse programme.
Several spin-off events and mini-festivals have been created by WEF, including the Bard in the Botanics (established 1999), the Partick Farmer's Markets (est 2002), the Gibson Street Gala (est 2002),l the Cottier Chamber Project (est 2011) and of course the famous Byres Road Opening Parade (est 1996). For various reasons some of these events have taken a temporary break, but a winter programme now exists. The key events have been the Electric Gardens (2015) and the St Andrew's Day Torchlight Parade (2016 and 2017) supported by EventScotland.
More than 1 million visitors have attended the event since it started and last year the festival encompassed over 400 events in 80 venues across the west end. The festival is supported with funding from Glasgow City Council as well as many other funders and sponsors. WEF earns more than 50% of its income through its own efforts.