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West End Festival celebrates 20th with 400-plus events

By on April 22, 2015

The West End Festival launched today with programme of more than 400 events for this 20th annual event that kicks off on Friday, June 5.

Running until Sunday, June 28 over four weekends, the WEF continues to be the biggest annual event in Glasgow’s calendar.

This year’s programme covers around 80 venues across the greater West End of Glasgow, with  music, theatre, walks, talks and community galas – with many events are free to attend.

The Mardi Gras-style parade is the biggest highlight of the festival and due to the success of our latest winter venture, The Electric Gardens, has ensured the parade can go ahead this year  on Sunday, June 7 and sponsored by the Byres Road Traders Association. And this year, the Gibson Street Gala will take place on Sunday,  May 31.

Highlights of the festival include: John Rutter, one of the world’s most successful composers conducting his own work at the Mackintosh Church (14 June). Aworld premier on opening night (5 June), Louise Macdonald presents Mary Queen of Scots – singing newly commissioned songs by celebrated contemporary composers including Judith Bingham and Eddie Maguire to words from recently found letters from Mary Queen of Scots.

Look out for Elaine C Smith and Christina Dunwoodie in “Torch Song Divas” (June 19 and 20), and the former children’s laureate, Julia Donaldson– one of the world’s best-selling authors – on June 21 in Maryhill.

Our very own national poet (Makar) and dramatist Liz Lochhead appears at Oran Mor on June 9 with Steve Kettley in a new show and folk legend Peggy Seegerwill make a historic visit to Oran Mor on June 27.

Festival Sunday will be bigger and better than ever say organisers with a trio of free concerts in and around Kelvingrove Park and WEF’s closing concert will be at the Kelvingrove Bandstand on June 28.

Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, said:This year we again look forward to the return of the West End Festival, an undoubted highlight of our cultural calendar and a great attraction for Glaswegians and our visitors.  The 2015 festival has a fantastic programme featuring some famous Scottish performers, and I’m sure the parade, with its theme of bloom, will be marvellous!”

The festival is only possible with the voluntary support from local residents, businesses and generous support from Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life. We very much appreciate the continued efforts of everyone involved.

Liz Scobie, chair of the West End Festival board, added: “We’ve now come out of our teenage years and have really demonstrated through this year’s programme, what the West End Festival can do with its collaborations, sponsors, supporters and all the people who attend the hundreds of events.

“As always, the colourful Mardi Gras on Festival Sunday, will see up to 80,000 families and friends line the streets of Byres Road all the way down to Kelvingrove Art Gallery. We’ve got a special treat lined up for after! We’ve been working with community groups across Glasgow helping prepare their costumes; this year’s theme is ‘bloom’.”

This year, WEF is partnered with Yelp Glasgow, encouraging businesses to participate and take advantage of the upturn in visitors to the area.

Festival organisers encourage everyone to visit the West End Festival website westendfestival.co.uk where all events will be listed

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