Monday June 10, 2013
On the 2nd June 2013, for one day only, we closed the road to traffic and had a great community celebration, marking the 9th year of the fantastic Gibson Street Gala, sponsored by IKEA Glasgow.
This popular family friendly event brought together the hard work, dedication and creativity of all the volunteer organisers, as well as all the performers, participants and event coordinators on the day itself. So what was on offer?
Live music and entertainment took place over 2 stages at Gibson Street Stage and GOW Backcourt. There was also a community stage where local groups performed on Park Road.
Amongst others, our stages featured music and performance from Robin Adams, Barulho Beat, The Second Hand Marching Band, The Belly Babies and the Trongate Rum Riots. Musicians in GOW Backcourt included dBass Collective, Theo Wheatley and Belter Skelter with performance, music and dance from Glasgow Capoeira and Ayawara Ensemble.
Revellers were able to chill in the tea tent, buy some home baking and kids took part in a shadow puppetry workshop.
Additionally, we had a multitude of children’s activities at the Gala – so much so that there were 3 Gala Kidzones this year! In the Otago Street Kidzone, creativity abounded with the Gala’s beachy theme of all things summer as well as our favourite drumming workshops from Mr Amu.
A big thank-you to IKEA Glasgow who sponsored our kids events this year, helping to make these activities free for visitors. We were also lucky to have an enchanting backcourt in GOW Community decorated by IKEA with their summer range.
In Eldon Street, attractions included antique fire engines, a climbing wall and a bouncy castle. A sports area provided by Kelvin Hall and Glasgow Life beneath Eldon Street Bridge offered a selection of “come and try” sports.
St. Silas’ Church were back with their lovely fair-trade baking, chatting and relaxing as well as challenge the chessmaster! There was even a demonstration Aikido to watch!
Hillhead Primary School opened its doors again this year to welcome in the gala visitors. Activities included a storyteller, a “beach” in the playground and loads of arts and crafts with the Parents’ Council volunteers.
Then, there were stalls offering a variety of goods, services and information dotted throughout Gibson Street. Along Westbant Quadrant, ArtFusion had a fantastical explosion of artistic events and stalls offering both art works and enticing interactive experiences.
The sun shone brightly on the day and fun was had by all! If you were there and would like to offer your feedback please take part in our wee survey!
Many thanks to the organisers, volunteers, performers, participants, artists, visitors, all. It was a fantabulous day! See you in 2014!
Guest Blog Post by Margaret Mitchell, Gibson Street Gala Coordinator
Friday June 7, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 5 JUNE 2013
Don’t rain on our parade – it’s our 18th birthday!
This weekend, Sunday 9th June, the West End Festival’s Mardi Gras Parade, which features some 600 participants and is sponsored by itison, returns to Byres Road for its 18th birthday and it’s expected that there will be 70,000 visitors to the area to witness the colourful spectacle and enjoy a day out.
In addition to the parade, which leaves the Botanic Gardens at 3pm, there will be street buskers, 60 food and craft stalls spread along Byres Road, the first ever Seafood Showcase (free event) in a bespoke arena and the first Ceilidh on the Corner.
Entertainment will be organised from 1pm and stop for the parade to take place and then start again at 4pm.
Byres Road will be closed from 8am until 8pm on Festival Sunday and west end businesses and residents are being asked to be mindful of this, as there will be no access to Byres Road during these hours.
What’s going on in the parade?
Fairytales of the Unexpected by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland students - a Disney style castle section with a variety of costumed characters and puppets within its walls.
A group of human roller-skates.
Large puppet makes representing Glasgow and Scotland.
Several community groups are following the flying high - aspiration theme.
A group of pink itison morphs.
Clyde, the official mascot of the Commonwealth Games 2014.
Other sections have interpreted things more individually. CAOS from Clydebank are Outer Space, Temple-Shafton Youth Project are dragons, our city centre youth project are flying machines whilst another group are iPods and iPhones. There will also be a thistle section too and three separate Chinese sections (lions and dragons).
Six full samba bands including home grown favourites sheBOOM and Samba Y Bamba - and a community-based one which was formed out of a programme of samba drumming and costume making workshops all over the city and it is made up of people from the different areas.
There will be cookery demonstrations by Glasgow Chefs such as John Quigley and through the Showcase there will be activities geared towards getting families cooking and eating together as well as trying to get people to buy better. Zero Waste Scotland and Seafood Scotland are supporting the event. As well as the great food available there will be live music from the Seafood Buskers and the Fisherman’s Wife’s Choir. The Showcase will take place from 12pm – 8pm at Byres Road.
Ceildh on the corner
Grab your granny by the hand and head along to Ceilidh on the Corner also at Byres Road.
There is nothing better than a family jig with some of Scotland’s premier Ceilidh bands to wipe away the cob webs of a Sunday afternoon. This fun event kicks off at 12pm with Reely Jiggered and that is what you will be if you keep dancing through the sets of Lua Dansa, Deoch n Dorus and The Reel Stramash.
It’s an opportunity to make a day of it with friends or family and get your stomp on with some of Scotland's most well-known Scottish dancing including the Gay Gordons and the Canadian Barn Dance. Tickets £5.00, Concessions £3.00, Family Ticket £15.00 (2 adults and two children).
Liz Scobie, chairman of the festival added a reminder:
“The local shops, restaurants and bars will be celebrating with us and it’s great that so many people can take advantage of what the festival, in particular Festival Sunday, has to offer.
“We’ve been working to alert people to the road closure, licensing, the activities taking place and also to remind people that it’s a family friendly day.
“We want everyone and their Granny to come along on Sunday – it's a special birthday for us this year and we hope everyone will join in the celebrations in true party style!"
As it’s a family day festival goers are urged to be sensible when drinking and abide by the licensing laws.
For media enquiries:
Laura Sutherland, Aura PR
T: 0141 337 6712 / 07764 936 840 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
- Interviews available on request with Liz Scobie and MD of sponsor, itison, Oli Norman
- West End Festival is supported by Creative Scotland, Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life
- Journalists, photographers and camera crews have been invited (via email on Monday from Laura) to the parade on Sunday, 9 June. A press desk will be set up and manned. A follow up media invitation will be sent on Friday, 7 June
- Each year the Mardi Gras parade is made up of costumed groups and individuals who come from all walks of life. Most (but not all) of the groups are from support organisations that help people in a variety of ways in their everyday lives. The parade is an opportunity for them to work together to create entertaining and stunning artworks that can draw attention to important work of those organisations and individuals. The support organisations work tirelessly all year around to make a difference to peoples’ lives and the art projects are a great way to remind participants and spectators of the value of meaningful, shared, social activities.
- On 22nd April 2013, we invited members of the public and community organisations to the Kibble Palace to share in a showcase event profiling the community engagement aspects of the Mardi Gras Parade and several organisations who exemplify this model were represented, including Glasgow City Council’s Leaving Care Services, LGBT Youth Scotland, Depot Arts, New Rhythms For Glasgow, Turning Point Scotland and Spider Arts.
Thursday May 30, 2013
Each year the Mardi Gras parade is made up of costumed groups and individuals who come from all walks of life. Most (but not all) of the groups are from support organisations that help people in a variety of ways in their everyday lives. The parade is an opportunity for them to work together to create entertaining and stunning artworks that can draw attention to important work of those organisations and individuals. The support organisations work tirelessly all year around to make a difference to peoples’ lives and the art projects are a great way to remind participants and spectators of the value of meaningful, shared, social activities.
On 22nd April 2013, we invited members of the public and community organisations to the Kibble Palace to share in a showcase event profiling the community engagement aspects of the Mardi Gras Parade and several organisations who exemplify this model were represented, including Glasgow City Council’s Leaving Care Services, LGBT Youth Scotland, Depot Arts, New Rhythms For Glasgow, Turning Point Scotland and Spider Arts.
There were live musical performances from a Springburn Community Choir (Local Vocals), some featured live singing from young people from Leaving Care Services, an original dance work by a new dance group in Drumchapel “Aspirate” and several costume artworks by artists Kenny Burns and Siobhan Lawson.
To see some of these fantastic organisations in action, come along to the Mardi Gras Parade on Byres Road on Sunday 9 June 2013. The street will be closed, there will be food and drink, stalls and entertainment, and the parade with costumes and samba bands will set off from the Botanic Gardens at 3pm. See the West End Festival website for more information!
Guest blog post by:
Noel Bridgeman, West End Festival Parade Co-ordinator
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.
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.