West End Festival Literature programme

Wednesday May 15, 2013

Family Book events

Announcing a feast of Festival book events for families!  Opening the West End Festival Family Book Programme will be the creator of the much loved Katie Morag stories - Mairi Hedderwick at Hillhead Library on Saturday 1 June at 2.30pm.  A combination of masterly storytelling and the stunning Hebridean illustrations give this remarkable series enduring appeal for children and adults alike. Join Mairi to hear all about Katie Morag’s adventures!

Saturday 8 June sees a Socktastic celebration of a fantastically funny picture book Socks with Nick Sharratt who is one of most creative and loved illustrator talents in the UK.  Later, he will be joined by Julia Donaldson, creator of The Gruffalo. In their new picture book Animal Music, the animals get together for a sing-song. Why not join in the fun and meet two leading talents of the children’s book world! At The Kelvin Gallery, University of Glasgow. Tickets John Smith’s Tel 0141 342 5986.

All aboard The Tall Ship on Sunday 9 June at noon to hear the captivating tales of Bottlenose Bay which have already been featured on Bookaboo on television. Meet award-winning illustrator/writer Jan Fearnley to hear about the adventures of Harry the harbour mouse and a host of other loveable characters.  Tickets £2.50 in person only from The Tall Ship.

On Saturday 29 June there is a chance to be a princess for the day and enjoy storytelling and fun activities at a Princess Poppy party. The adventures of the enchanting Princess Poppy have become a firm favourite with little girls.  A global phenomenon, over 2 million copies have been sold to Princess Poppy fans worldwide.  Join author Janey Louise Jones at Hillhead Library at 11.30 am to hear the latest tales about the delightful Princess Poppy.

Princess Poppy - Holiday

Spotlight on The Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow

With some seventeen literary happenings at North Kelvin Meadow and The Childrens Wood during The West End Festival, there are some magical experiences on offer for families and schools. On Saturday 15 June, children’s writer and storyteller Lari Don will visit this special piece of West End wilderness, to read her stunning new retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, encouraging the listener to imagine fairy tales and magical journeys of their own.  Meanwhile, back by popular demand, actor Tam Dean Burn celebrates Father’s Day on Sunday 16 June with a collection of favourite Julia Donaldson stories with musical accompaniment from Emma Schad and Andy Alston. In the afternoon, there is a once in a lifetime opportunity for children to meet The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child!

Sunday 30 June sees Glasgow’s own literary and artistic genius Alasdair Gray lending his unique voice in a reading of The Just So Stories and Tales by Hans Christian Andersen to mark this closing Celebration of the West End Festival Book Programme at North Kelvin Meadow.  At this colourful family event, there will be a range of other activities.  Children and adults are also  invited to come dressed as their favourite character from the Just So Stories!

Alasdair Gray

Spotlight on the West End Festival schools book programme at Glasgow City Libraries

Unputdownable stories are the hallmark of Cathy MacPhail’s writing for young people.  The West End Festival and Glasgow City Libraries are proud to premiere her latest novel Mosi’s War at The Mitchell Theatre on Monday 3 June at 10am. We’re delighted that an author who connects with such a wide range of children and young people is able to open the Schools Programme for The West End Festival.

Back by popular demand,  ‘A master of funny’ the hilarious writer (a.k.a. “The Fibster”) Steve Hartley returns to The West End Festival and The Mitchell Library for a super-heroic session of fun and fibbing. Be a part of “Fact or Fib”, the silliest game-show in the galaxy. Play the “What If?” game, and help Steve make up the biggest, fattest fib in the universe. And finally. . . hear all about Oliver Fibbs and The Giant Boy-Munching Bugs.

 The West End Festival and Glasgow City Libraries are also very excited to feature Carrie and David Grant, presenters of CBeebies show Pop Shop and voice coaches for Take That and Fame Academy. Carrie and David are passionate about promoting opportunities for children to enjoy music. Their brand new series of high energy picture books Elephants Birthday Bells and Lions Speedy Sauce are all about MAKING MUSIC and JOINING IN!  

lions speedy sauce

These are just some of our events for schools - don't miss out!

The West End Festival’s roving Writer in Residence

My West End –The Never Ending Story

Come meet our first ever Roving West End Festival Writer in Residence, Cathy Forde and be inspired to create a short piece about your favourite West End Place.  It could be new, or in the past.   Perhaps your special West End place has vanished and is now a memory or has changed significantly. Or maybe it is a new discovery or a cutting edge new design June.  Open to all at 6.30pm Thursday 6 June at Hillhead Library.   Elsewhere in this fascinating project, Cathy will lead school classes in a series of creative writing workshops held at The Botanic Gardens and The Childrens Wood encouraging them to express their response to their special West End place.

 

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NEWS - Big Band Theory

Tuesday April 16, 2013

In the run up to the West End Festival (WEF), Glasgow’s biggest cultural festival, Big Band performers rehearse some well known and other premiere performance music, in a city centre barber shop.

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With over 400 events across some 80 venues, Glasgow’s WEF is set to attract up to 100,000 people to the programme of cultural events including music, art, walks, talks, mini festivals and more. Many of the events will be free to attend to encourage participation.

Zig Zag Big Band, Byres Road Big Band and Glasgow University Big Band will form the “Big Band Festival”, taking place on Thursday, 6 June at Queen Margaret Union, as part of the main WEF. Tickets cost £5pp and are available via www.zigzagbigband.com/wef.

This mini festival, which is geared towards the whole family, is the first time the three bands will have played together.  We join Zig Zag Big Band at their Monday night rehearsal not in a studio or a garage but at Men International, a city centre barbers. Traditional barbers chairs, street art on the wall and 20 musicians playing live.

Allon Beauvoisin, Zig Zag Big Band’s musical director said: "It's very exciting to be involved in a partnership of this nature where there is such a wide range of musical styles encompassed, from early big band swing to the premiere of a big band piece written by a local Scottish composer. The West End Festival is renowned for its eclectic programming and the addition of the Big Band Festival continues that ideology."

Liz Scobie, WEF chairman added: “It’s a real pleasure to see so many performers collaborating to enable an event of this nature as a new initiative for this our 18th West End Festival.  It’s fun, harmonious and lively, and I think we can guarantee this will be a fusion of the finest Big Band sounds that the whole family can enjoy.”

The WEF takes place from Friday, 31 May to Sunday, 30 June this year and it’s set to be the best yet! WEF will be launching the programme and the new website on 26 April.

-ENDS-

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NEWS - West End Festival launches fundraising campaign to bring back the parade

Monday March 25, 2013

Parade

Glasgow’s favourite festival, which celebrates its 18th birthday this year, has launched a fundraising campaign to raise £50,000 to be able to progress the much loved Mardi Gras Parade on Festival Sunday, 9 June.

Festival Sunday is always a favourite for people who attend the festival, particularly the parade. However, given the recession and as sponsors tightened their belts, festival organisers decided not to progress Festival Sunday last year. Instead it focused on the strengths of the Festival; culture and community, limiting any financial impact.

Liz Scobie, the Festival’s chairman, comments on the work and finance that goes into organising the parade: “This year we will celebrate the festival’s 18th birthday! That’s testament to the support we’ve gained over the years and the success of the festival in the west end.

“Last year we didn’t have our usual parade and some people were disappointed, but we need to be realistic why it couldn’t go ahead. It comes at a price and the costs of road closures, security and clearing-up have sharply risen.  Although we have generous funding from organisations such as Creative Scotland, Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council, that alone, is not enough to put on such a show. So we would ask for early support this year to ensure the success of the Mardi Gras Parade. The message is; “Get involved!”

Capitalising on the huge support already given online, a crowd funding project has been started on BloomVC so that the festival can raise money and reward pledges. The L.K. Bennett fashion and fizz event on 7th May will also help raise funds and Lancôme has just confirmed it will be the make-up partner for the evening.

Liz Scobie finished: “The Festival is an opportunity for the whole community including local businesses to get involved. Community festivals like the WEF survive because they are by the people, of the people, for the people. We also want to continue to offer free events as part of the festival making it accessible to all.”

The new website will launch early May and the programme will be widely distributed as normal.

There were an estimated 1,800 artists and performers at the 2012 festival. It continues to attract visitors into the City from beyond the City boundaries, last year making up 30% of all visitors.  Festival organisers are aiming for the Parade to be one of the main events which attracts thousands to line the streets as it dances down Byres Road along to Kelvingrove.

-ENDS-


For further information:

Laura Sutherland - Aura PR

T: 0141 337 6712, 07764 936 840

E: laura@aura-pr.com

Notes to editors:

    1. Interviews with Liz Scobie available upon request

 

    1. More than 1 million visitors have attended the event from its start in 1996 and last year there were over 400 events in 80 venues across the west end of Glasgow

 

    1. The festival involves a mixture of new projects delivered by over 100 Glasgow-based organisations and arts groups and a programme of local and international artists, overseen by a small festival team. The West End Festival includes events, exhibitions, performances, talks, tours, workshops and screenings, and many are free of charge to allow accessibility

 

    1. It is anticipated that there will be close to 500 events taking place in the west end across the four weeks and five weekends of the festival. A fashion fundraiser with L.K. Bennett is taking place on 7th May at Hotel du Vin to kick off the festival fun.

 

    1. The West End Festival is also on Facebook and Twitter

 

    1. For further information on the West End Festival, visit www.westendfestival.co.uk

 

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