Call for festival event entries

Wednesday February 6, 2019

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We have announced our 2019 dates for the summer festival. Friday, 31 May to Sunday 30 June and we're calling arts, cultural and community organisations to submit an event to be included.

WEF, now in its 24th year, is an umbrella organisation which coordinates the summer festival every June and attracts 400 events and 80 venues across the west end of Glasgow.

Event organisers, promoters and organisations are being asked to consider organising their own event for the 2019 festival, which would sit under the main West End Festival banner and would have the support of the public relations and marketing activities.

Michael Dale, director, West End Festival said: “We’ve started our planning for the 24th West End Festival and would like to encourage new businesses and organisations to get involved.

“From restaurants which might run special festival tasting menus and promotions, to bars and venues with music events, to organisations with a focus on education, arts and culture, we’ll gratefully review all applications and put together our best programme to-date.

“We’ll also help promote your event through our website, email and social channels and of course, our printed programme which is distributed across Greater Glasgow.

“We’d be delighted to suggest some ideas for events if you want to get in touch!”

Help make the WEF2019 the best yet, with your quirky ideas and include people from different communities across the west end and beyond.

The West End Festival is a community organisation and a registered charity. It relies on funding and grants as well as donations and in-kind support. It’s run by a Board of volunteers and always welcome new people to sit on its working committees.

If you’d like to take part, volunteer or submit an event, you’ve got until 15 March before the entry deadline!

Contact us if you need any advice.


Kelvingrove Bandstand to host event aimed at ending homelessness in Scotland

Wednesday August 8, 2018

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Social Bite needs your help!

On Saturday, December 8th, Social Bite will once again hold its Sleep in the Park event, but this time in four cities on the same night! Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen will play host to the huge fundraising and awareness initiative which aims to help end homelessness in Scotland.

The Glasgow event will be held in the Kelvingrove Bandstand and Social Bite is looking for 3,000 people to participate.

Amy Macdonald and KT Tunstall will be travelling by helicopter to perform four cities in one night.

Last year 8,000 people joined the world’s largest sleep out in Princes St Gardens to raise £4 million and call for an end to homelessness in Scotland. This has caused a sea change in the fight against homelessness and funded a raft of major projects. Social Bite want to keep up the momentum and are asking 12,000 people across four cities to join them in a nationwide sleep out on Saturday, 8 December.

"By raising money and working together we can accelerate the pace of change in Scotland and create the political mandate to end homelessness here. We want to make Scotland an example for the whole world to follow. We’re a small country. A nation of innovators. The statistics of homelessness in Scotland are not insurmountable."

So, people of Glasgow, are you in? You can find all the information you need here, whether you're doing it individually or as a corporate collective.

In addition, Social Bite has just launched the Housing First program; which will have a hugely significant impact on the homeless in Glasgow and four other cities. 


Who's who in Amicus?

Tuesday June 12, 2018

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Amicus orchestra is very special orchestra and we are celebrating our 10thAnniversary with a very special Gala Concert.

Amicus was founded by members of NYOS (National Youth Orchestra of Scotland) Camerata who aspired to keep playing in an orchestra at the highest possible level as they left NYOS and moved into their chosen careers. So it is completely appropriate that we are joined on June 17thby current members of NYOS Symphony Orchestra for this brilliant occasion. Having so much young and exciting talent amongst is very exciting.

Our leader for this concert, Gordon Bragg, is also a NYOS alumnus. He was until recently the second violinist in the Edinburgh quartet and now plays for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra as sub-principal 2ndviolin. Gordon also conducted amicus in 2013.

We are particularly pleased we welcome back as conductor the inspiring Catherine Larsen-McGuire, who is based in Berlin. We all learn so much from Catherine who conducted us in February 2017 and are very lucky that she can join us again.

Our soloist for Strauss Four Last Songs is making her return to Glasgow, where she studied at the Alexander Gibson Opera School of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Armenian soprano Anush Hovhannisyan reached the final rounds of the Cardiff Singer of the World in 2017. This is her first performance of the Strauss and anyone in the audience will be privileged to hear her as she is clearly a rising star.


Last year we were lucky to have the oboist Nigel Shore, playing with us and after the concert he wrote in his blog: “Had a wonderful Strauss Concerto weekend with the Amicus Orchestra in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow. What a great bunch of people and wow, what a violin section! It was really good to be able to sit back and enjoy the slow movement with a true Straussian string sound. So energetically and sensitively conducted by Catherine Larsen-Maguire too.” We’ll try not to disappoint Anush!

Being able to assemble such a large orchestra means we can take on the Titan, Mahler’s 1stSymphony. As we are normally a chamber orchestra it is a wonderful opportunity. There aren’t many pieces that include 10 French horns!

Strauss: Four Last Songs
Mahler: Symphony No 1
Venue: Bute Hall, University of Glasgow
Conductor: Catherine Larsen-Maguire
Soprano: Anush Hovhannisyan
Tickets on the door or from the orchestra website


Blog by Amicus member, Alison Hutcheson.

Photos courtesy of Bill Kean.


Eva Cassidy Tribute

Friday June 8, 2018

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Ellyn Oliver is one of Scotland’s most in-demand session vocalists.  Her unique voice is controlled skillfully to produce both soft tones likened to Eva Cassidy or Norah Jones, as well as strong powerful belts likened to Adele or Aretha.

Her distinctive vocals have made an appearance in many popular Scottish bands and projects, ranging from being backed by an orchestra, choir and band in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, to running successful regular solo acoustic nights.
In the few years Ellyn has been working professionally, she has completed 3 tours of Scotland, played live on national TV and radio (BBC), sang in 2 productions staged in George Square, Glasgow and multiple solos in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Edinburgh Usher Hall.

Most weekends, Ellyn is out performing at weddings and events – both as a solo artist during the ceremonies and as part of evening function bands.  She is a popular choice for backing vocals for some of Scotland’s best singer/songwriters, a regular performer in an annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival show and has headlined her own show at the Limavady Jazz and Blues Festival.

Ellyn’s career has also brought her further afield to perform and work with the international NGO, Tearfund in Malawi, and tour with charity Origin in Cape Town, South Africa with the Cape Town Gospel Choir and Orchestra.

Fancy seeing Ellyn at Cottiers this weekend? Click here for the booking information.


Gatsby Midsummer Ball

Wednesday June 6, 2018

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The Gatsby Club, Scotland's largest 1920s themed cabaret and club night, returns with our Midsummer Ball as part of the West End Festival!

You will be dazzled by bright lights, lavish surroundings and a beautiful stage which plays host to our fabulous show. Settle down at one of our candle-lit tables with a bottle of champagne and prepare for the show to begin!

On the line-up we have international burlesque starlet, MARA DE NUDÉE, flying all the way from Paris to headline the night. We also have vintage close-harmony trio; THE RAGTIME DOLLS, cabaret songstress & musical saw player; MARKEE DE SAW, hula hoop extraordinaire; VOLCANIC ASH, and vaudevillian cabaret duo & comperes for the evening; THE CREATIVE MARTYRS.

After the show we have live music from Leeds based 6-piece swing ensemble, THE BIG EASY, followed by resident gramophone DJ, LORD HOLYRUDE, who will keep toes tapping and flappers flapping into the wee small hours. So make sure to have your dancing shoes on and your Charleston moves at the ready!

After the show make sure to get down to the front of the stage for The Gatsby Club's official ballroom photograph. Have your image frozen in time amongst our glamorous performers, cast and audience members.

We'll also be running our usual end of show raffle with lots of fantastic prizes to be won so make sure to purchase your raffle tickets on the door.

Other highlights include our cupcake stall brought to you by Sweet Cupkates Bakery, and our glamorous photobooth, courtesy of Pearl & Plum Photography.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Guest blog post by Clare Smith, Producer and Director, The Gatsby Club


Event information:

Dress Code: Glitz and glamour, top hats and spats, black or white tie, waistcoats, flapper dresses, long pearl necklaces. Please no casual attire.

***** - The Skinny

Doors: 7:30pm (event runs until 2am)
Show/Band: 8:30pm-11:30pm
Aftershow: 11:30pm-2:00am
Tickets: £18 (full night) / £7 (aftershow only)
Table Reservations: Available to purchase through ticket link. (Please note that plenty of unreserved seating is also available in the venue and large groups can reserve areas of the balcony. Please get in touch with prior to the event to book)
Venue: Glasgow University Union (GUU)
Box Office:


Charles would approve

Tuesday June 5, 2018

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After my many years of teaching the public how to stencil Mackintosh I am still in admiration with the way children take any creativity in their stride!

With no fear, they seize the brush and a bunch of colour no one would have thought off, and embark on a voyage of discovery. I think Charles would approve... I mean Charles Rennie Mackintosh! The glorious architect celebrated this year with a 150th anniversary celebration.

I am a great fan of the pupils of Hillhead Primary, Primary Seven, who last October took part in my Big Banner Project. They were so involved in the stencilling workshops I ran that we ended up with spare time and managed to stencil this huge banner that today adorns the lobby of the school. Many schools have splashed out in a piece of art that a chosen artist create for them but few schools have a piece made by its own pupils.

And indeed not many pupils make a piece of work exhibited in a gallery - Hillhead pupils did. Their banner was in The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture, for two weeks! 

From pupil to artist it only took a short step, but we could not stop there… from artist to teacher is another small jump. We had to do this

Outreach is a great concept. You have some knowledge and you pass it on to as many people as you can. That is what we do! That is what they will do!

The children of Hillhead Primary. I want them to have a go” at teaching the technique they have learned from me to their parents, friends and of course, you, the public!

What a great feeling to see them embarking on this adventure of sharing. 12 children with a brush in their hand showing everyone how to stencil! I think the West End Festival is the perfect opportunity for this.

You can find us on the Plaza of Hillhead Primary on the morning 23rd June with a stencilling brush in our hand waiting for you! We want to teach you all about Mackintosh roses :)

Click here for the event information

Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw from The Lansdowne House of Stencils


Thistle Gallery Art of Words exhibition

Monday June 4, 2018

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An exciting new exhibition is now underway at the west end's Thistle Gallery after a successful preview weekend.

The Gallery was full of book and art-lovers are a few images of what lies in store...but you really must visit to truly appreciate the diversity of work in every medium and the wide array of literature which has inspired the artists.

In addition to their normal opening hours this Thursday, June 7th and next Thursday, June 14th, the Gallery is privileged to be hosting two charity events in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support from 7pm.

Two acclaimed authors, Graeme Macrae Burnet and Carl MacDougall, will be reading extracts from their books. And a cornucopia of talented writers of poetry and short stories will also be present each evening, who have participated in two anthologies 'Ten Writers, Telling Lies' and 'Honest Error'.

Tickets for these events, £15, are selling fast and include wine and canapés. A raffle which features a painting by popular artist Jackie Henderson who has donated 'The Secret Garden' artwork to help boost funds for the Macmillan Charity will also be included.

Please email or call 07745392117 to secure your tickets for what promises to be two memorable evenings exploring the bond between art and literature.


Preview: Take A Walk on the Weill Side

Monday June 4, 2018

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At the West End Festival launch, the night before the festival kicked off, Taylor Wilson and Karen MacIver performed an excerpt of their WEF 2018 performance "Take A Walk on the Weill Side".

Kurt Weill was one of the greatest theatre showmen of his day. He wrote music of biting satire and wit, with stories of cruel, calculating women battling against the politics of wartorn Europe. His genius endures with classics from Mack the Knife to Pirate Jenny, brought to life by celebrated chanteuse Taylor Wilson, together with the acclaimed Karen MacIver Trio. 

Keith Bruce, former Art's Editor at The Herald, said:

"Very fortunate to be at preview of next Saturday’s Take a Walk on the Weill Side at Glasgow’s CRM Queen’s Cross Church this evening. Don’t
miss Taylor Wilson and Karen MacIvor @musicdesignuk when they unveil the full show at St Mary’s Cathedral for @westendfest on June 9".
If you plan to attend, here's the link.

Opening Weekend Lane and Street Parties

Monday June 4, 2018

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On the opening weekend of the West End Festival, we had many local community events taking place in gardens, streets and lanes.

Here are some of the pictures from the weekend!

Wilton Street Garden Fete


Ashton Lane Street Party

Tea Green pop-up market at the Kibble Palace

Vinicombe Street Gala Day


Ten things not to miss at #WEF2018

Monday June 4, 2018

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9 June at St Mary’s Cathedral

Take a Walk on the Weill Side


10 June at Cottiers

Songbird – a tribute to Eva Cassidy


13 June at GUU

Tribute to Runrig


15 June at Oran Mor

Ladies of Soul


17 June at Willowbank Bowling Club

Petanque (French Boules)


17 June at Kelvingrove Park

The Big Sunday 


20 -24 June at City Halls

Glasgow Jazz Festival


21 June at Kelvingrove Bandstand



23 June at SWG3

Sole Bloc


24 June at Oran Mor

West End Festival All-Dayer