Carol Laula plus support at Woodend Bowling and Tennis Club

Tuesday May 31, 2016

Scotland is famed the world over for its exports and one of its finest has to be singer-songwriter, Carol Laula. With a style which bobs around somewhere between the sweet, clear delicacy of Joni Mitchell and the tougher edges of Joan Armatrading, it's hardly surprising that she's risen from a young unknown to become a household name. She first captivated the media and her audience in 1990, when her independent single, 'Standing Proud', was chosen to represent Glasgow in its year of culture.

The same decade saw Carol team up with Stuart Adamson to produce a series of songs that will no doubt be seen as a legacy to the talent of the late Big Country singer / songwriter. Carol has also collaborated with Jane Weidlin of the Go-Go’s, Ryan Hedgecock of Lone Justice and Australia's Cheryl Beattie.

The noughties shaped up to be another busy decade her. As well as touring new areas such as Iceland, she has performed across the UK and Ireland with Eliza Gilkyson and appeared at Glastonbury - something of a highlight, where she shared the bill with Billy Bragg.

With seven albums under her belt and another eagerly anticipated album due in 2016, she still stirs critics to describe her as "One of Scotland's leading singer-songwriters" and "an undeniably passionate and whole-hearted singer".

Carol is a great live performer where she truly feels at home; chatting between songs and even encouraging the audience to make requests. It would strike fear into the heart of most seasoned performers, but Carol has good reason for the structure of her shows;

"It can be quite disappointing when you see someone perform live and then they act all precious on stage, taking themselves terribly seriously.

"No, I really want to make the live side of my work that little bit special and accessible to those who take the time to come along to the shows - that way, I get to enjoy it too!" (Carol Laula)  

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Woodend Bowing and Tennis Club

Tuesday May 31, 2016

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A great double bill coming up at Woodend Bowing and Tennis Club in Jordanhill on the 23rd of June featuring two great female singer songwriters, Hannah Aldridge and Lilly Hiatt

Hannah Aldridge

There are few artists that can truly encapsulate the essence and true range of Americana like Muscle Shoals artist Hannah Aldridge, whose musical pedigree precedes her and speaks for itself.

Hannah Aldridge is the daughter of Alabama Music Hall of Famer Walt Aldridge, who is one of the most prolific songwriters of the modern musical era.

With sounds ranging from blues in the Mississippi Delta to the dusty, Dixieland jazz sounds from New Orleans, the musical stylings of Muscle Shoals on up to the primitive roots of American Country music, Hannah Aldridge leaves no inspiration or influence untapped.

Hannah debut record “Razor Wire” has received outstanding response across major mediums (Billboard, American Songwriter, No Depression, Americana UK, Maverick UK, …) and fans all over the world.

 Working on a new record – to be released this year, she is coming to Glasgow in order to showcase the new songs and greet our city with new material.

Lilly Hiatt

Lilly Hiatt is the daughter of John Hiatt and her second alum Royal Blue, is about the majesty of melancholy-or, as she explains it, “accepting the sadder aspects of life and finding some peace in them.” A dance between pedal steel and synths, the album examines the vagaries of love and commitment but steadfastly refuses to romanticize any notion of romance. Singing in a barbed lilt full of deep worry and gritty determination in equal measure, she conveys emotions too finely shaded to be easily named, yet will be familiar to any listener who’s had their heart broken-or has broken a heart.

Lilly Woodend 23 June

 This is, in other words, not a well-behaved singer-songwriter album. Instead, it’s feisty and rough-around-the-edges, full of humour and bite and attitude from a woman who proclaims, “I’d rather throw a punch than bat my eye.” Royal Blue hints at autobiography without sounding self-absorbed, as Lilly transforms a rough patch of life into smart, sturdy, sometimes even hilarious songs that don’t sit squarely in any one genre. Instead, Royal Blue reaches out boldly and playfully into many different sounds and styles: Austin folk rock, Pacific Northwest indie, pre-Oasis Britpop, New York punk ca. 1977. There are ’90s alt guitars and ’00 indie synths, some twang and some Neko Case and Kim Deal.

Doors at 8.00 and Tickets £12 from Tickets Scotland.

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The Mighty Fine Lobey Dosser

Tuesday May 31, 2016

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The Mighty Fine Lobey Dosser show for the 2016 WEF as well regenerating the legendary characters in Bud Neill’s cartoons also celebrates a variety of associations with the artist.

The Pearce Institute based in Govan reconnects Partick with Govan as they were one burgh when Bud Neill was born here in 1911.  The Lobey Dosser show is also a contribution to the annual Govan fair.

The Dram! In Woodlands Road has been the home of a yearly celebration of Bud Neill for many years and it is in close proximity to the bronze statue of Lobey, Rank and El Fideldo, currently removed for repair.

Partick Brewing Company, is close to the full size bronze statue of another character from the Lobey Dosser cartoons, the GI Bride and Wee Ned her baby son, located inside partick SPT Railway Station. The pub owner also contributed to the cost of the statue.

The spirit of the wit and humour of Bud Neill inspires the story for the new cowboy comic misadventure called ‘Lobey Dosser in Showdown at the last Chance Saloon’. However for those who seek some historical understanding of Bud Neill’s  interest in ‘Westerns’ I have rounded up some info and ideas for your consideration:

 

The Comic Art of Bud Neill and the Western film:

Bud Neill (1911-1970) created in Sheriff Lobey Dosser a comic strip legend for the readership of the Evening Times (1949-55), which has survived the test of time, because it was fun blend of everyday Glasgow attitudes, illustrating dramatic adventures of life in a Wild West cowboy township, the classic image of the ‘Western’. Bud’s graphic art tales spiced a marvellous combination of humour and sharp wit, which has gripped the imaginations of his readers ever since. He captures in cartoon art the attraction of being a pioneer in a new world where the individual could make a difference. In Scotland today are many social clubs and events that celebrate the ‘Western’ aesthetic. One of the best known Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry has had its spread in Govan Road since 1973, and it maintains I high standard of entertainment in its weekend Country and Western music and dance shows. It provides a link between ‘Western’ culture today and the 1940s, to help seek the reasons why Bud Neill imagined, in subtle black & white art, a pioneer cowboy Sheriff who would become a ‘mighty fine’ legend of popular culture in the city.

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Mighty Fine:

 In the six years that Bud Neill drew his daily cartoon strip the readers of the Evening Times, and a wider audience in The Daily Record and the Mail on Sunday into the late 1960s, grew to love the Sheriff and his posse, they could relate to Bud Neill’s art because, as a former Corporation of Glasgow bus driver, he drew on personal observation of street life in the city and used his understanding of art sharpened by his training at Glasgow School of Art. He added this knowledge of Glaswegians to a fantastic Wild West location, yet one easily understood by the popularity of cowboy films at the cinema. Bud Neill, in addition to his catchphrases ‘ho hum‘ and ‘mighty fine’, created a world of names and characters that then re-entered mainstream conversation in Glasgow: Fairy Nuff, GI Bride, Rid Skwerr, Rubber Lugs, Toffy Teeth and Rank Bajin. His characters often came from districts of Glasgow inc: Calton, Govan, Partick, Springburn and Yoker.

The first daily news of importance in reading the Evening Times was to study the latest form of Sheriff Lobey Dosser. It was in the adventures of this laidback and unlikely lawmaker and how he overcame the criminal schemes of Rank Bajin, that a warm humanity was communicated - a refreshing tonic - for a people still living with the harsh living conditions of post-war austerity and rationing. 

Lawman v Lawbreaker:

But what did Bud Neill communicate: What is it about Lobey Dosser that tapped into the hopes and ideas of post-World War Two Glaswegians and what is it that new generations of people find fresh, funny and alive. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, with limited Television, going to the cinema, for all the family, was one of the most popular forms of entertainment, and that films about ‘Cowboys and Indians’ were crowd-pullers.  Cowboy adventures offered an escape from the daily grind because they allowed viewers access to a life where the individual could take some control of their life. Although the difference between good and bad tended to be shown as opposites, the fairness of the Sheriff - the law-keeper - always struggled against the overwhelming odds of the outlaw and often the corrupt criminal activities of rail and cattle barons. The cowboy hero of Bud’s youth was William S Hart who’s most famous silent film was ‘Tumbleweeds’ of 1925. This ground-breaking cowboy film also contained a comic side kick called Kentucky Rose who has some visual similarities to Lobey Dosser, and the story of settler pioneers must have planted seeds of ideas in Bud’s imagination. Two cowboy films of 1939 that Bud would have known ‘Dodge City’ and ‘Destry Rides Again’ are stories of how unusual people rise to the challenge of being an honest sheriff - a fair lawman - and clean up the town. These films reflect the mood of why the war, if it came, had to be fought by individuals who believed in freedom and fairness who had to defeat Nazi dictatorship.

Humour v Conflict:

However, in the post-war era, Bud Neill found an alternative way to illustrate the eternal struggle between fairness and injustice, not just repeat dramatic adventures like the war comics, The Commando or Battle, or the gunfights of wild west tales in cowboy comics: Instead he was to use his understanding of art and compassionate humanity to invent a new fresh humorous and charming adventure series that transcended the evil consequences of conflict. In an original formal style of light and shade Bud Neill used his art and imagination to create Sheriff Lobey Dosser as a most un-Hollywood hero; he was short and dumpy with a long straight whiskers, poor dress sense and the clumsy tackety boots of the working man; but if long suffering, a resourceful and fair character, who had as his target, greed. It is a notable coincidence that the Glasgow comic strip adventures of Sheriff Lobey Dosser, matched in purpose the new American TV show ‘The Lone Ranger’ 1949-1957. In a post war appetite for peace, both stories shared a desire to limit violence and, instead of guns, use as a new weapon of choice, reason and wit to overcome anger and greed. A competing TV show ‘The Cisco Kid’, 1950-56’, also had a different way of solving conflict, they cracked corny jokes! Whilst ‘The Cisko Kid’ and ‘The Lone Ranger’ with other inc ‘Hop Along Cassidy’ were home grown American cowboy heroes, Lobey Dosser was a Scottish settler hero elected as sheriff, because of his sage leadership of the wagon train, by the pioneer populace of Calton Creek, Arizona, USA. This township in the Wild West cowboy prairies was founded by a wagon train of settlers from Calton, adventurous souls from the East End of Glasgow. The settlers of this new frontier town were now in the legendary Wild West of such infamous outlaws and gunmen as Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jessie James and the resilient ‘Red Indian’ Native American fighters against injustice inc, Cochese, Crazy Horse, Geronimo and Sitting Bull. The new citizens’ of Calton Creek had many difficulties to overcome, despite being in a place with the healthy air of the open prairies and the warmth of desert landscapes, new hazards lurked around every stage post.

Ho Hum:

Although surrounded by natural dangers and two Native American tribes, The Pawnee – later renamed the Layabouts - and the Blackfeet, the real threat to peace came from the mysterious outlaw and wannabe criminal mastermind Rank Bajin, who is obsessed with making lots and lots of money by lying, cheating and stealing in what he thinks, is a very clever manner. The origins are unknown of the very bad man, the outlaw, Rank Bajin; but the clue to his character is in the name. However the good man, the law-keeper, Lobey Dosser, came from the most unlikely of heroic origins; the clue in his name was the Glaswegian slang for homeless people who slept in closes, which confirmed his lowborn origins. Lobey Dosser’s dramatic life story is illustrated by Bud, who ultimately reveals Lobey - who has transcended the difficulties of his origin - is now a fair minded personality who retains his Glasgow humour along with his accent. In contrast, the arrogant Rank displays his superior education through a sophisticated use of over-polished English. However Lobey Dosser was not to face this tricky criminal alone, ho hum.

Heroic Horses, Hi Ho:

Great cowboy film characters often had, as a companion, free-spirited horses: ‘Silver’ was the name of the Lone Ranger’s horse. ‘Trigger’ was Roy Rogers ‘Four Legged Friend’. Another period example is ‘Champion the Wonder Horse’ who befriended a wee boy and with him had lots of adventures.  Lobey Dosser ‘the wee boy’ has a rare breed of horse called El Fideldo. However Elfie had an original disadvantage over the horse TV and film stars of his time, he was a twa-legged friend!

Lobey’s Contemporaries:

Cowboy and cowgirl film stars that illuminate the heyday of Sheriff Lobey Dosser are worth recalling, some of the better known are: Gary Cooper in ‘High Noon’, Doris Day in the musical ‘Calamity Jane’, Betty Hutton in ‘Annie Get your Gun’, Alan Ladd in Shane, John Wayne in ‘Stagecoach’, James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich in ‘Destry Rides Again’, Audie Murphy in ‘Destry’, and Errol Flynn in ‘Dodge City’. Bud Neill, a cowboy star in his own imagination, did, by creating Lobey Dosser and posse, add a Scottish artistic contribution to the intriguing personalities these stars represented on screen. It is worth noting that he also included the musical element, often having snatches of film and pop songs included in the scenarios as an added layer of meaning to the jokes.

Bud Neill, A Pencil Sharp Wit:

The scene is now set for a posse of characters to engage in a series of showdowns between, on the one hand, the law-keeper, Sheriff Lobey Dosser, and on the other, the crook, Rank Bajin. To summarise the effect of these stories: Hold on to your Stetsons and let the fun begin as you will witness a battle of wits between right and wrong, a satire on fake attitudes - sometimes off planet - that will entertain, engage thought with songs and jokes, stimulate the imagination and quite possibly liberate some laughter from the jail of everyday concerns. 

Bud Neill rode off into the sunset in 1970, but his comic creation Sheriff Lobey Dosser has lived on in the imagination of the citizens’ of Glasgow and in those who discovered and relished his many subtle meanings. Three collections of his cartoons have been published in book form by Ranald MacColl in the 1990s, two bronze statues have been financed by public subscription and situated in public spaces; Lobey and Rank on El Fideldo - currently removed for repair - in Woodlands Road by the entrance to Park Terrace, in 1992; and The GI Bride, in Partick SPT Railway Station in 2009. A ‘Lobey Dosser Day’ folk music event held at The Dram, supported by Michael Dale of the West End Festival c2008-2014 and organised by Ian Black: A five minute video of a musical and visual blend of trumpet composition by John Maxwell Geddes played by Nick Walkley and illustrated with Bud Neill’s art in the reform of Rank Bajin in 2012 (on youtube): A one hour play by ‘Mighty Fine Theatre’ where Lobey and posse were regenerated in a new adventure called ‘Bud Neill’s Lobey Dosser Rides Again’ at Partick Burgh Halls in 2014 (on youtube). Throughout all these events The Grand Ole Opry has stood since 1973 as a bright beacon of those values that Bud Neill admired - many Opry-ans  attended the unveiling of the Lobey statue. All this activity reveals an impressive record of support for Bud Neill’s artistic creativity, and a reflection of post-war values.

Full events details here. Six performances. Tickets £5.

Guest blog post by Duncan Comrie. 

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Weekly summer BBQs at The Bothy

Monday May 23, 2016

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Nestled up a cobbled little side street known as Ruthven Lane, just off Byres Road you’ll find The Bothy. Appropriately named, it’s an unusual Scottish restaurant, set in a beautiful traditional sandstone building. Serving delicious Scottish fayre with a uniquely modern twist, The Bothy is somewhere to be sure to visit during the West End Festival.

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A blend of traditional, yet modern Scottish cooking, their creative menu sets them apart from local competitors. The historic building adds to the Scottish atmosphere and provides the perfect comfortable, quaint setting for you to relax in where the super-talented team of staff add to the Scottish theme with their kilted uniforms, friendly service and always with a very warm welcome.

This year, for the West End Festival, for four weeks running, The Bothy invites you to join them every Saturday for a Summer BBQ like no other! We’re not talking about run of the mill burgers and chicken wings here, we’re talking about rustic Scottish food with real flavour, served up al fresco just for you.

If this has whet your appetite, here’s what you can expect to enjoy from the menu….For the carnivores out there, bite into stunning juicy Venison burgers with a refreshing kale and gherkin slaw. Seafood lovers can savour the  ‘Finnan smoked haddock stovie parcels, with tasty shaved fennel salad’.  For whiskey fans, how about the ‘Auchentoshan, Heather Honey and lemon glazed Chicken’ delightfully served with summer radish, broad bean and watercress. Spice your palate up with the  ‘Chilli fire glazed Scottish Beetroot Parcels and goats curd.’ Whichever of these amazing creations you choose from The Bothy menu, you’re sure to be impressed by their culinary genius! Give them a bash, every Saturday from 4th June to 25th June from 12pm.

Guest post by The Bothy.

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£50,000 fundraising campaign launched to bring back Festival Sunday

Tuesday May 17, 2016

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The West End Festival recently announced its annual festival Sunday wouldn’t take place this year, for a number of reasons, including increasing costs and reduction in funding. Today it launches a fundraising campaign to bring back Festival Sunday.

With increasing costs for licensing, road closures, cleansing, security and policing, and cuts of funding across the board in the arts, compounded by the bad weather at Electric Gardens in November last year, which impacted on sales, Festival organisers decided not to put on the Mardi Gras spectacular on Byres Road on its 21st anniversary.

Some of the public and businesses are of course disappointed as it means there is no road closure and mass gathering to cheer on 400 parade participants. The streets of Byres Road and Dumbarton Road have been lined with up 100,000 people in past years.

Liz Scobie, festival chairman said: “We took our time this year to think of how best to go about making sure the festival is sustainable in the future.

“We’ve come to realise that as the public are so enthusiastic about the parade and businesses in the west end increase takings on Festival Sunday, we need to start to ask for help and support in future years.

“We’ve never been able to ticket the event, so we can’t charge for attending the parade, plus we’ve always wanted to ensure a real family day out for everyone to enjoy.

“As a charity and organisation run by volunteers we now have to ask the public to contribute to helping ensure we can make Festival Sunday happen.”

Michael Dale, who founded the festival back in 1996 added: “It’s just not possible to organise and run such a huge public event for free anymore.

“We’re launching a fundraising campaign online and we’re going to ask people to donate money through our website.

“We need to raise £50,000 by early next year if we’re going to put an event on like Festival Sunday. In addition, we’re also asking for everyone to give us their thoughts on what Festival Sunday could look like. It might not be as it has been in previous years firstly depending on funds and secondly, the public and businesses have the opportunity to shape something really special and potentially new.”

Liz Scobie finished: “Now is the time to launch this campaign, before the festival kicks off this year and when we’ve got an already captured audience. We’d like to thank our current funders and supporters and also thank anyone in advance who would consider supporting our campaign.”

The festival aims to reach £50,000 in this fundraising effort and is relying on community spirit and the passion from previous parade go-ers to help bring back Festival Sunday in 2017.

Donations are suggested from £5 and will be made via the website's fundraising page - click here to watch a short video and donate now.

Anyone who donates £20 or more will be entered into a prize draw and will also be added to the Festival’s website supporter list.

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Why are you playing in a wee cycle shop cafe?

Monday May 9, 2016

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Glasgow in the summer time is a special place. Aside from the weather  I'm talking places to eat, attractions to see, parks to walk in,  and so many interesting things to peruse. And there are Musicians to watch! Wait a minute. That's a novel idea, and something Glasgow excels at.

I was taking these photos, when a 'Glesga' man comes over and says “Hey Big Man.” - in Glasgow, all males are 'Big Man'.  “Why are you playing in a wee cycle shop cafe?” I admire his honesty and he's looking at me as if I've just told him I don't like chips. The conversation didn't go much further but it did make me think that I should tell you all why we're playing Siempre.

These days I love playing in a space where people can come along and enjoy listening to music. After all, isn't that what every musician anywhere in the world is trying to do? To find an audience and be listened to?  Quirky spaces and different environs to listen to performances is the way forward for me.  It becomes unique when it's a small and intimate place, not only for the musos, but for the audience too. It becomes  a one off and everyone feels part of the performance. It's memorable and special. That's the idea anyway.

There are so many so-called gigs out there.  Some are fine but, as a general rule, attempting to control a room of people who are trying to get served alcohol when I'm armed only with an acoustic guitar is no fair match. Ask any performer. The bar always wins, we sing louder, they talk louder and before you know it I'm hoarse, they're pissed and we all end up with sore heads.

When I was asked to be part of the West End Festival I didn't have to think too hard about it. It's always a privilege to play in your hometown. I've watched the festival grow and love the way it has become a big part of the Glaswegian Summer.

So, come on then and be part of my summer in Glasgow. Sit down and enjoy the music in a lovely place. Have a coffee, a glass of wine, a scone or two and we can all get to know each other. That's how it should be. 

Click here to read more about the event and buy tickets.

Guest blog post by Graeme Clark, Wet Wet Wet.

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West End Festival launches month-long programme on 21st anniversary

Monday April 25, 2016

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Glasgow’s largest multi-cultural event, the West End Festival (WEF), launches its programme today, (Monday 25 April), celebrating 21 years.  

WEF is thrilled to announce a special collaboration with Glasgow favourites, Belle and Sebastian, celebrating their own 20th anniversary with a series of unmissable shows (10 – 15 June). The group performs at WEF before heading to London’s Royal Albert Hall for two sell-out shows on 22 and 23 June.

Two special events, both FREE, are taking place at the Kelvingrove Bandstand: ‘Summer Arts Community Stage’ 5 June, wonderful arts groups from across Glasgow’s north west - from samba drumming to joyous singing, upbeat dance to fresh young theatre; ‘A celebration of singing’ on 18 June, a day of song for everyone to enjoy at Kelvingrove Bandstand as we welcome local choirs to the stage of the iconic venue. The WEF is working in partnership with Glasgow Life for these two events.

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Michael Dale, WEF director said: “Over the last 21 years, we have not only played to over a million people in free and ticketed events, but we have given birth to a number of important mini-festivals such as the Bard in the Botanics, the Cottier Chamber Project, the Gibson Street Gala, the Partick Farmers' Markets and The Electric Gardens. All of which have their origins in the West End Festival, and all of which have gone on to bigger things.”

WEF announced last month that it was reviewing its development after 21 solid years. Options now include the winter festival, The Electric Gardens at the Botanic Gardens, very successful in year one and pounded by bad weather in year two.  As a result the hugely popular Byres Road parade has been suspended this year.  WEF want to reassure committed festival goers that it will return bigger and better in the future.

There are still hundreds of events taking place throughout the festival month, many of which are free and are family friendly.

Five things not to miss!

  • 3-26 June, Festival of Architecture 2016, The Ideal Hut Show exhibition at Botanic Gardens
  • Maryhill Community Hall will host the voice of Capercaillie, Karen Matheson, on Saturday, 4 June.
  • Oran Mor’s All Dayer on Sunday, 19 June
  • Sounds of Shakespeare, commemorating 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death, Friday, 3 June at St. Brides Church
  • Gibson Street Gala, Sunday, 19 June

Liz Scobie, WEF chairman added: “A festival as dynamic as WEF in a city as dynamic as Glasgow can’t stand still, and as well as new venues and new performers, we hope you notice the ever-increasing section on singing.  This year there are at least 29 choirs and singing groups – a whole festival in its own right!

“The West End Festival is 21 today and all of us connected with it feel very happy that we've reached this major milestone.  Over the years we've grown to become the largest community festival in Scotland and this is due to the efforts of a small army of dedicated staff, volunteers who donate their time and effort, and numerous supporters and sponsors who give us their money and encouragement. 

“We must thank Glasgow Life, the W M Mann Foundation, the Hugh Fraser Foundation, the Cross Foundation and the Scottish Book Trust for their contributions.  But special thanks must be reserved for Glasgow City Council whose confidence in the WEF has never wavered.  Let Glasgow Flourish!

This year, the West End Festival is supporting The Big Lunch, which takes place across the UK on 12 June. WEF is helping spread the word to communities around the west end of Glasgow.

The programme will be available later this week in outlets across the west end and is available on the mobile-friendly website from Tuesday 26th April 2016.

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WEF announces dates & celebrates 21st anniversary

Wednesday March 23, 2016

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Scotland’s biggest community festival, Glasgow’s West End Festival (WEF), celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, with a packed programme of events from Friday 3rd to Sunday 26th June.

A full programme of festival events will focus on Kelvingrove Park, making full use of the refurbished Kelvingrove Bandstand.  A massed samba event, a festival of singing, a big band concert and a series of rock concerts are some of the highlights.

In recognition of WEF’s milestone anniversary, the festival looks to the future to ensure it continues to be one of the most valued events in the Glasgow calendar.  Focus will be placed on working more closely with partners in both the public and private sectors to design and deliver a fresh programme of activities, increasing the opportunity for community participation and engaging a wider audience.

Festival chairman, Liz Scobie, said “Our 21stbirthday is a truly significant milestone.  We have evolved from a few events to a programme of more than 400 and the participation of hundreds of thousands of people of all ages supported by a small army of volunteers.

“WEF remains a charity and we are extremely grateful to all the unsung heroes who give their time and energy to make our festival happen. As we take time to develop our new-look festival, we have decided that there will not be a parade in Byres Road this year, whilst making plans for it to return bigger and better in the years to come.

“WEF’s award-winning commitment to community impacts on the quality of people’s lives and helps provide a sense of belonging, neighbourliness and cohesion.  Who can put a price on that?”

Festival director, Michael Dale, added “We continue to have a packed programme of events organised by west end businesses, venues and promoters.  These will include Oran Mor’s “All Dayer”, the Queen Margaret Drive and Gibson Street Galas and a large “Festival of Singing” featuring some 20 choirs and choral groups.”

In particular, WEF is supporting The Big Lunch on Sunday June 12th as part of a nationwide community project to get as many people as possible to have lunch with their neighbours in streets, gardens and parks throughout the UK.

An Eden Project initiative, last year’s event attracted over seven million people in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.  Funding of £150 is available for The Big Lunch for anyone who organises individual events.

Advertising and sponsorship opportunities remain available for businesses interested in supporting the development of WEF, the area and the people who live, work and visit the west end.

The full programme will be launched in April. Keep an eye on westendfestival.co.uk for updates, news and more.

Photograph: Festival fun in west end park by John Linton Photography

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Black Friday 25% off

Thursday November 26, 2015

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Book tickets this Friday, Saturday or Sunday and get 25% off a large selection of tickets!

Dates and time slots which apply include:

Fri  27-Nov       7.15pm 7.30pm 7.45pm 8.00pm
                 
Sat  28-Nov           7.45pm 8.00pm
                 
Sun  29-Nov   6.45pm 7.00pm 7.15pm 7.30pm    
                 
Wed  02-Dec   6.45pm 7.00pm 7.15pm 7.30pm 7.45pm 8.00pm
                 
Thurs  03-Dec   6.45pm 7.00pm 7.15pm 7.30pm 7.45pm 8.00pm
                 
Fri  04-Dec         7.30pm 7.45pm 8.00pm
                 
Sat  05-Dec           7.45pm 8.00pm
                 
Sun  06-Dec           7.45pm 8.00pm

Limited number of tickets available per slot, so hurry!!

Use code EGBLACK at checkout.

Book via this link /events/events/electric-gardens/

Feel free to share this offer!

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Magical Botanical -

Friday November 13, 2015

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The West End Festival (WEF) brings you The Electric Gardens II (EG2) – Lux Botanicum, a spectacular of sound and light taking place in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens, and opens to the public today running Wednesday to Sunday, until Sunday, 6 December.

EG2 is designed as a self-guided evening walk through the upper Botanics; the gardens are full of specially placed lights, sound effects, music and this year, we’re delighted to introduce the fire theatre which will take place four times per evening.

The experience is suitable for everyone and accessible to all. Slots are every 15 minutes from 5:30pm. The final slot is at at 8pm and the walk takes around 45 minutes - 60 minutes.

 The inaugural Electric Gardens welcomed 15,000 people (not including under 5s) and this year, WEF is already on target to beat that figure before it’s even launched.

While the West End Festival runs in June every year, Festival organisers decided to expand operations into the winter months. More than 40% of ticket sales last winter were from outside Glasgow. For EG2 we’ve teamed up with Yelp Glasgow to ensure businesses have the opportunity to get involved and take advantage of the additional people in the area.

Michael Dale, festival director, said: ”I’m delighted we’ve been able to organise another Electric Gardens. We had such positive feedback after last year and we have listened to those that provided constructive feedback.

“EG2 is bigger, and in our opinion, better than the first one. It was our first year so we had to experiment with the gardens, the route and even pricing. This year we’ve reduced our prices in the middle of the week.”

Liz Scobie, chairman of WEF added: “We have a unique setting right in the heart of a city; you don’t have to travel far and public transport means it’s easily accessible too.

“WEF is all about community and the spirit of collaboration. We’re grateful to Glasgow City Council for its support and we want to thank all the partners we’ve worked with to make our second Electric Gardens even more special than the first.”

Organisers are encouraging attendees to make a night of the visit, taking full advantage of the lively dining and shopping experience that the west end offers. Check out ‘Go Local’ on the WEF website.

Attendees are advised to travel by public transport to limit parking issues and lower the amount of traffic in the area. The Queen Margaret Drive entrance across from the old BBC building is the only one being used.

Visitors are also being encouraged to dress for the weather as the majority of the event is outdoors.

Ticket prices for the event vary per day and there are still tickets left for the opening weekend although early booking is advised.

It should also be noted that ticket sales for the same day stop online at 3pm. After 3pm, you can buy same-day tickets from Oran Mor (top of Byres Road) in the bar. Subject to availability.

Tickets can be purchased online at westendfestival.co.uk or by calling 0333 666 3366. 

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