20th West End Festival launches

Friday June 5, 2015

The West End Festival (WEF) launches today (Friday, 5 June 2015) with its biggest and boldest line-upto-date, celebrating 20 years of being Glasgow’s favourite festival. The Kelpies return home and a world premier is planned!

The biggest date in Festival programme is Festival Sunday, which has seen up to 100,000 people lining the streets of Byres Road, Botanic Gardens, Kelvingrove Park and spilling down to Dumbarton Road. This year it takes place on Sunday, 7 June, the opening weekend and will start in the Botanic Gardens and come down Byres Road. The theme ‘Bloom’ will work its way through the parade where organisations from across Glasgow have worked to prepare costumes for participating.

On the opening day alone, 18 events take place, one of which is a world premiere! Louise Macdonald presents: "Mary Queen of Scots" new works by Judith Bingham, Dee Isaacs and Eddie McGuire, performed with Schumann's "Maria Stuart Lieder"-a close look at the letters and poetry of Mary Queen of Scots.

WEF also welcomes the Kelpies home!* The Kelpie Maquettes will be on display from 9 June in the Botanic Gardens as part of an exhibition to help fundraise for Queen Margaret Drive footpath restoration.

Big names such as Elaine C Smith, John Rutter, Julia Donaldson, Liz Lochhead and Peggy Seeger feature in the programme too.

Hundreds of events detailed on the WEF website take place over the next few weeks from music to dance, literature to kids activities and as always, many of the events are free to attend.

Liz Scobie, chairman of the festival commented: “The Gibson Street Gala last weekend was fantastic and the whole area was super busy! We’ve now got our brains in gear for the parade this weekend and we’re definitely keeping our fingers crossed for the weather!

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the festival this year, helping make our 20th anniversary something special.

 “Of course none of this would be possible without our volunteers and the generous donations from our supporters and funders, in particular, Glasgow City Council.

“We’ve got a few surprises brewing for later in the month!”

Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, finished: “This year’s West End Festival is set to be ‘blooming’ fantastic, and I and so many people are looking forward to the tremendous programme of events on offer this month.  There is truly something for everyone at the festival, so whether you like music, dance, literature, visual arts or children’s events, there will be something for you.”