Q&A with Festival Director, Michael Dale

Tuesday November 1, 2016

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After launching Glasgow's St Andrew's Day Torchlight Parade last month, WEF PR Director, Laura Sutherland sat down with Michael to find out what's planned and what people can expect from the event.

1. What is the idea behind the torchlight parade?      

Scotland has a long-established Patron Saint and we have a real opportunity to celebrate this, much like the Irish celebrate St Patrick's Day. 

As the West End Festival aims to extend its activities across the year and continue to work with the Glasgow communities, and beyond, it seemed right to take advantage of the opportunity by the Scottish Government via EventScotland to organise an event around St. Andrew’s Day. 

St Andrew's Day is Scotland's national day, designed to celebrate the country's history, culture and heritage with people both at home and abroad. Check out #mystandrewsday on social media to see how everyone is getting involved. 


 2. Why should I come to the torchlight parade?   

We hope that people will take the opportunity to help mark St Andrew’s Day by taking part. The Hogmanay Torchlight Parade in Edinburgh is amongst the biggest in Europe and so it’s clear that there is a demand for this kind of event to show that we care about being Scottish.  Also, every torch that you buy helps to build our donation to the Beatson Cancer Charity, which is a great local charity to support.


3. What is there to do/see at the parade?   

We will have fire artists at the gathering point at Queen Margaret Drive and then you can walk with the samba and pipe bands through the west end.  We’re hoping kids will join in with their parents and bring along some fun glow in the dark accessories, too.


4. How long does the parade last?  

About 45 minutes once people set off. We will have security and stewards along the way, and we’re also appealing to the community to volunteer and help on the night.


5. Is there anything for children to do at the parade?   

We’re happy for kids to dress up or take glow-sticks, and hope they will enjoy being part of a fun event. The WEF summer Mardi Gras parade is virtually the biggest community event in the city, and this will be a bit like that except in the dark! 


6. Do I need to buy a torch to be a part of the parade? 

Yes.  We take the view that children shouldn’t have one, so if adults over 16 buy torches that would be great.   It’s a participant-led event so if you don’t feel like walking from Queen Margaret Drive to Kelvin Way, then you can always stand in the street and cheer on the parade as it passes.

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