The West End is in blossom on Parade Day

Sunday June 7, 2015

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The West End Festival’s Mardi Gras parade took place today, Sunday, 7 June, with nearly 500 participants taking part in the spectacular, themed around ‘bloom’, and an estimated 80,000 lined the streets and soaked up the atmosphere.

The biggest date in the 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. Local businesses take advantage of the day with a temporary extension of the bars and cafes into the streets; there were markets/stalls and an awful lot of street entertainment – nearly 40 acts - to help keep the spirit alive even after the parade has finished.  

Organisations from across Glasgow have worked for the last few months to prepare costumes for participating, helping the west end come alive. From a giant thistle and wonderfully colourful hot air balloon to a life-size pear and a bluebell, everyone had a bloomin’ good time!

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: “Already we’ve had huge support for our 20th West End Festival. The Gibson Street Gala, a world premiere, local markets and stalls and now the famous parade, all within a week! Thanks to our wonderful team of volunteers who help make all of this happen.

“Next week we’re launching a special exhibition at the Kibble Palace with the Kelpie maquettes, salsa dancing, comedy, whisky master-class, kids activities, science, a ceilidh and numerous top class music events and theatre. So much to choose from, it’s difficult to pinpoint one or two highlights!”

Full event listings via westendfestival.co.uk

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Scotland's Mardi Gras pleases thousands on Byres Road

Monday June 9, 2014

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Parade day has left all of us here in the mardi gras spirit!

Not only did the 500 plus performers and entertainers put on a great show, but we got some much anticipated sunshine to top the day off. 

Thousands of people took to the street and joined us watching and cheering as the parade passed.

Parade passing Oran Mor

This year’s parade theme, ‘Identity’, was interpreted by community groups and organisations from around Glasgow, in their costume designs which they made and wore for the vibrant parade procession.

The scene took over Byres Road and the surrounding streets and finished off on the steps of the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. 

Living statue outside Curlers

Before the parade began it was great to see so many people wandering up and down Byres Road and around the market in the Ashton Road car park – taking advantage of all the free entertainment and supporting local businesses by stopping for a bite to eat.

Even if the afternoon was a little damp...

BBQ at the butchers

And until next year, a massive thank you to everyone who came along, and to everyone involved! Check out lots of submitted images on our facebook and twitter.

Parade day

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Final week before WEF 2014

Thursday May 29, 2014

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Organising a festival isn't easy you know! You have to have time, resources, contacts, ideas and a passion for the project. Our WEF team certainly has passion!

As the last week before the festival kicks off runs away before us, we're busy working on final arrangements for media, calling out for volunteers for the biggest date in our programme, parade day, and ensuring our participants, local businesses and of course you, the people who flock to the festival events, are fully up-to-speed with arrangements.

We were happy to see a waiting list start for stalls on parade day. Hopefully the sun will shine as it did last year!

We were doing a count and think we've got circa 500 people in the parade! More than last year and by the looks of the costumes and puppets, it's going to be every bit as colourful!

Be sure to keep an eye on the website for highlights and of course our Facebook and Twitter feeds for news and updates.

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_OLD Final week before WEF 2014

Thursday May 29, 2014

Main Image

Organising a festival isn't easy you know! You have to have time, resources, contacts, ideas and a passion for the project. Our WEF team certainly has passion!

As the last week before the festival kicks off runs away before us, we're busy working on final arrangements for media, calling out for volunteers for the biggest date in our programme, parade day, and ensuring our participants, local businesses and of course you, the people who flock to the festival events, are fully up-to-speed with arrangements.

We were happy to see a waiting list start for stalls on parade day. Hopefully the sun will shine as it did last year!

We were doing a count and think we've got circa 500 people in the parade! More than last year and by the looks of the costumes and puppets, it's going to be every bit as colourful!

Be sure to keep an eye on the website for highlights and of course our Facebook and Twitter feeds for news and updates.

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News - Don't rain on our parade!

Friday June 7, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 5 JUNE 2013

PRESS RELEASE

 

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.

Seafood Showcase

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.

-ENDS-


For media enquiries:

Laura Sutherland, Aura PR

T: 0141 337 6712 / 07764 936 840 E: laura@aura-pr.com

 

 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.

 

 

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Guest blog - Kibble Flavours of the Festival

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Guest blog - Putting the fun back into food for children

Wednesday May 29, 2013

DD logo

Dribble Delights are putting fun back into food for children with food allergies and food intolerances. We would like to invite all of you to our stall on Sunday,  9 June, 2013 where we will be promoting our e-book and future range of baby food and toddler snacks.

Our delicious and nutritious recipe e-book guides you through the weaning stage and beyond. It’s packed full of advice and tips from a top baby nutritionist and also highlights the quality ‘free from’ staples for your pantry – cherry-picked by Cheryl Ryder (who’s been there, done that and bought the bib (!)) Our e-book is exclusive to Lulu, available to purchase here.

DD Lulu book

The festival has been hugely popular in previous years. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Byres Road and the iconic Ashton Lane, what could be better than milling around the stalls of Glasgow’s front runners in art, culture and cuisine?! Hopefully the sunshine will be in attendance too.

Cheryl and kids

We would also urge you to keep your eyes peeled on Reporting Scotland as Dribble Delights will be featuring soon! CEO, Cheryl Ryder, will be baking with her children and discussing her own personal experiences with food allergies and intolerances – the frustration, stress and how Dribble Delights can improve this for parents in similar situations. Stay tuned!

DD healthy food

Do come along for competitions, samples and a fresh outlook on delicious, nutritious food made without gluten, wheat, soya, dairy, lactose, egg or nuts!

Check out our website for more information.

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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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