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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West End Festival launches outstanding programme of 400 events

Tuesday May 1, 2012

Today, (Thursday, 26 April), the 17th annual West End Festival the biggest festival in Glasgow’s calendar was officially launched and organisers outlined a programme of 400 events taking place across the west end of Glasgow, including a series of ‘mini-festivals’.


Established in 1996, the independent cultural Festival draws a strong crowd each year of around 100,000, to enjoy a mix of both free and ticketed events, from music, theatre and comedy to family days, guided walks and children’s events to be held in 80 venues throughout the west end.

It will run from 1-24 June, bringing together the entire business and residential community to generate a hugely positive economic impact for the city of Glasgow.  Previous years have resulted in over £1m in sales for the wider Glasgow economy.

Support continues from Glasgow City Council and, in this ‘Year of Creative Scotland’, the Festival will also work closely with Creative Scotland. The Gibson Street Gala, the Glasgow Mela and The Cottier Chamber Project - the largest chamber music festival in the UK, will also form part of the Festival line-up.

New partners this year are Stow College, where Festival organisers will work closely with students on a variety of educational and practical initiatives.  5pm.co.uk is also partnering with the Festival, bringing the economic benefits to local restaurants whilst working together to promote the west end.

Ticketed events will be sold online and on occasions at the door. Full details of where to buy tickets are included in the brochure and online. Some venues are selling tickets at reduced prices to attract the student and family market.

Elizabeth Scobie, chairman of the West End Festival commented:

“As ever we are extremely grateful for the support of all those involved and to our sponsors - the festival would not be in its 17th year without them.  Now Glasgow’s largest and most dynamic cultural event, we hope residents from all over the city and beyond will take every opportunity to attend as many events as possible.”

A special fundraiser event will also take place on 18, May at the Glasgow University Union with the theme of ‘Strictly West End’ and a performance from the Glasgow University Big Band.  Another first, the ‘Best Dressed Window’ competition will be set to encourage community spirit and involvement.

West End Festival director, Michael Dale said:

“Our annual festival of culture, community spirit and summer fun is back once again!  The willingness of local traders, stall holders, artists, musicians and volunteers to get involved never fails to impress and the hard work of all will ensure that this remains a destination festival year on year.

“It has been 17 years since we launched and the calibre of talent involved continues to bring visitors from the world over – we’re set for another great month.”

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