Wednesday June 12, 2013
This is the first year I’ve worked behind the scenes for O2 Glasgow Mela, the biggest multicultural festival in Scotland. It has been a highlight of Glasgow’s cultural calendar for years, and one of the big events that takes place during the West End Festival, and it’s my job to help promote it. So no pressure there, then!
I’ve been spending loads of time finding out about all the performers who will be taking the stage. The more I discover, the more excited I get about the line-up, and every day I learn something new! For instance, do you know what a ‘ney’ is? Do you know why 2013 is a special year for Bollywood? Do you know what O2 Glasgow Mela has in common with Glastonbury?* If you know answers to any of these questions, you get a gold star. If you know answers to all these questions, you get my job (kidding, I need it!).
O2 Glasgow Mela takes place in Kelvingrove Park on Sat 15 and Sun 16 June, and –dhol drum roll - it’s FREE! We’ve got a jam-packed programme of music, dance and performance across three stages and around the park, a range of delicious exotic foods to buy and stalls to browse – and a great Kids Zone too.
What’s not to like? I’ll see you there, then….
* A ‘ney’ is a type of Turkish flute. You can hear Ilhan Baractu play it on the Mehfil stage on Sunday. 2013 is the 100th anniversary of the release of the first film release in India. Happy Birthday Bollywood! The Glastonbury connection is the marvellous Jaipur Kawa Brass Band, who are performing at both festivals this year!
Guest Blog Post by Nadia Lucchesi, O2 Glasgow Mela Coordinator
O2 Glasgow Mela is free and unticketed
The festival is open from 12 noon – 8pm both days
Tuesday June 11, 2013
All the world's a stage... and all the script's a metaphor: Mapping Metaphor at the West End Festival
The West End Festival is a great opportunity for people to get a flavour of the research being carried out at university and connect with different areas of study. With that in mind, the project I work for, ‘Mapping Metaphor with the Historical Thesaurus’, has decided to throw open our doors for one talk only on Saturday 15th June at the University of Glasgow.
This project looks at the English language, and indeed metaphor, from a rather different perspective than many people were shown in school. Even better, we have the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary data which allows us to look at the English language over the course of more than a thousand years. We all know that poetry is full of metaphor, but how about a conversation...or a blog post (go on, read this one again and see whether you can spot any)?
Come along and explore metaphor in everyday language with the ‘Mapping Metaphor’ project team. The session will illuminate this pervasive feature of language, throw some light on our project, and spark off a discussion of your own favourite metaphors.
Guest blog post by: Ellen Bramwell, University of Glasgow
Event time: 2pm, Saturday 15th June
Venue: 12 University Gardens (English Language), University of Glasgow
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
Sunday June 9, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - SUNDAY, 9 JUNE
Glasgow’s biggest festival celebrates 18 years in Rio style
West End Festival Mardi Gras confirmed for 2014
Festival goers celebrated the West End Festival’s 18th birthday in style with over 600 people participating in Scotland’s Mardi Gras parade today, Sunday, 9 June, as part of the Festival’s month-long programme (31 May – 30 June).
Festival Sunday and the Mardi Gras parade attracts up to 80,000 revellers to the streets and this is the first time the Festival has had sufficient funding to close Byres Road for the Parade since 2008.
Following a public appeal the Festival secured £15,000 of funding towards the costs of its iconic Parade Day from Glasgow based daily deals and events service itison.com, ensuring its return this year.
Oli Norman, founder of itison, said: “We’re really proud to help make the Parade return to Byres Road this year. Over 20,000 itison members in Glasgow have already said they’re coming today so we know it’s going to be a big day. The weather is great and the itison team will be dancing their way down Byres Road with the rest of the Mardi Gras. It’s such a fun day.”
The Festival programme includes over 400 events in some 80 venues across the west end of Glasgow, with events ranging from music and theatre, to walks, talks and community galas. The parade is the biggest highlight of the festival and it has today been announced that funding has been secured via Glasgow City Council for its return in 2014 and 2015, assisting the development of the parade in the wider communities of Glasgow.
Baillie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, said: “The West End Festival parade is a well-established fixture of Glasgow’s cultural calendar, and an event that so many people look forward to every year. I am delighted to say that the council is supporting the parade for three years as we appreciate the significant value, both economic and cultural, that the parade and festival brings to Glasgow and its visitors. I am sure the parade will be as colourful and entertaining as always on Sunday.”
Liz Scobie, chairman of the West End Festival added her thoughts: “From local communities organising their own galas and our widely anticipated parade, to international musicians and the premier of World War Z, the west end is not only a very cultured area and community, but its location lends itself to significant events and is a fine showcase for visitors from outwith the city and abroad of what Glasgow has to offer.
“The parade has been a labour of love for festival director, Michael Dale, parade co-ordinator, Noel Bridgeman, and the Festival team, but it couldn’t have happened without the generous support of our funders, sponsors and volunteers. I’d like to thank each of them for making this spectacular event happen.”
The West End Festival is a celebration of culture, and one that has brought colour and entertainment to the streets of the west end since 1996. It continues to be a key part of Glasgow’s events calendar, attracting visitors from across the city and beyond, as well as including internationally renowned musicians and artists such as Pavel Haas Quartet, Brass Jaw and the live screening of Munch 150.
Laura Sutherland, Aura PR M: 07764 936 840 E: email@example.com
Notes to editors:
- Interviews available on request
- Supporting imagery available on request
- Generous funding is given from organisations such as Creative Scotland, Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council
- Other sponsors and funders include IKEA Glasgow, G1, Hugh Fraser Foundation
- More than 1 million visitors have attended the event from its start in 1996
- 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
- For further information on the West End Festival, visit www.westendfestival.co.uk
- Scotland’s biggest free multi-cultural festival, the Glasgow Mela, will take place in Kelvingrove Park from 12 noon until 8pm on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June. Bringing some of the biggest names in urban, Bhangra and Bollywood music to Glasgow, the weekend promises vibrant tunes, dance, entertainment and live performances on three stages across the whole park. For more information visit www.glasgowmela.com
- More about itison.com: itison.com is officially Scotland’s #1 deals and events service with 500,000 members in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. Founded in September 2010, it is one of the UK’s fastest growing start-ups with more than 40 full time staff in 4 offices across Scotland.
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.
Wednesday June 5, 2013
Mairi Hedderwick did a Katie Morag event at Hillhead Library attracting around 180 children and their families on Saturday, 1 June. This was the opening event of The West End Festival Literature programme. The following day on Sunday, 2 June, Mairi Hedderwick delivered a fascinating event on the Art of Travel Writing and Illustration, also at Hillhead Library. Her illustrations and her travel writing are remarkable.
The two children, pictured above, Alexander and Harrison happened to be in the Junior Library on the Sunday and heard that Mairi Hedderwick was upstairs. The boys are real Katie Morag fans so they joined us at the end of the adult Travel writing event buy more Katie Morag books, meet Mairi and get their books signed.
They were thrilled to meet her.
Guest blog by Teresa Lowe - Literature Programmer
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
Wednesday May 15, 2013
This year the West End Festival is proud to showcase an incredible array of literary talent at 50+ book events across a variety of venues across the west end from The Tall Ship to Cottiers Theatre to libraries, schools and The Children’s Wood.
Scotland’s National Poet Liz Lochhead headlines our new series of Literary Late Nights at The Cottier that also features Christopher Brookmyre and the outrageous humour of his novel Bedlam. We also have Glasgow’s own Doyenne of Darkness, up and coming Glasgow crime writer Caro Ramsay with her crackling crime thriller Blood of Crows and former New York Club producer Martin Belk with his unique memoire Pretty Broken Punks about coming of age amidst New York’s demi-monde. Tickets from Cottiers 0141 357 4000 or www.cottiers.com.
Monday April 29, 2013
“It’s 6:50pm and I’m running late, literally. My train has only just pulled into Glasgow Central Station and I’m already caught up in a leg race with an old German couple struggling to keep up with fashion. The unconventional leather footwear that stupidly points out at the end of my legs rain down against the coat of skin on Platform 13, with my footsteps leaving damp puddles of echo along the tarmac as I move into a taxi waiting outside to take me to the CCA”.
For some it is just another night at the CCA, for others it’s the chase of a pursuit. The making of a something for those still living on the edge of a dream leads to one point.
On Monday the 11th March that point was the “Glasgow Film Premiere Night” which was organised by the ‘Alopex Events’ team with conjunction with’ Burning Horseshoe Productions’ and ‘Quick off the Mark Productions’. The night consisted of showing two short films by directors Rodney Reynold and Chris Quick.
The first of the two films to be shown; “The Greyness of Autumn” follows the final Days of Danny McGuire, an ostrich living in Scotland. Danny’s life is suddenly turned upside down when he loses his job and his girlfriend in the same day. As Danny struggles to reinvent himself in a society that treats him as a second class citizen, he questions whether there is much point living in a world that will never see past the feathers”.
Where the film should unearth everyday problems we all face, it somehow manages to quake a cackle of laughter. The Greyness of Autumn has proven to be great exercise for your face, but don’t expect your heart to walk away lightly either.
There is simply just not enough hands up puppet Ostriches speaking with a Scottish accent.
“A Priest with Two Guns”, the second of the two films to be shown at the Premiere. “After a confessional Father O’Reilly is startled by a noise and investigates to find a small box outside the front of the church. He opens the box to find a severed hand and a Dictaphone. Upon listening he discovers that his brother Shaemus owes £20,000 to McEleroy the Money Lender and he has 24 hours to repay the debt or Shaemus dies. It is left to O’Reilly to use all his capabilities to find the money but he comes across many obstacles alone the way”.
Blood, violence and lots of men wearing black clothes pointing guns at each other, this persuading modern day Celtic western shooter has it all which has been influenced by Tarantino as Director Rodney Reynold admits to.
No matter how meaningful words can be, the barrel of a gun speaks much louder and there is more emphasis on that whilst they are duel wielded by a psychopath who’s arms are twice the size of a double barrel shotgun.
Organised by Alopex Events, the team of who were recently put together -- Barbara Walsh, Jade Anderson, David Sharp and James Stewart – study Events Management in their first year at The City of Glasgow College.
The team would like to thank everyone who attended the event and everyone who helped the process along the way.
Expect to see big things happening in the future from these Short Films, Actors and the Directors. All profits from this venture are to be donated to the fantastic West End festival, celebrating Glasgow’s culture, sense of family and most of all its love of FUN.