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West End Festival dates announced – June 3-26

By on March 22, 2016

The West End Festival – Scotland’s biggest community festival – celebrates its 21st anniversary this year with a packed programme of events from Friday, June 3 to Sunday 26.

But the festival’s hugely popular Mardi Gras parade will not be winding its way down Byres Road – with organisers promising its return in years to come.

A full programme of festival events will focus on Kelvingrove Park, making full use of the refurbished Kelvingrove Bandstand. A massed samba event, a festival of singing, a big band concert and a series of rock concerts are some of the highlights.

In recognition of the West End Festival’s anniversary, the festival looks to the future to ensure it continues to be one of the most valued events in the Glasgow calendar. Focus will be placed on working more closely with partners in both the public and private sectors to design and deliver a fresh programme of activities, increasing the opportunity for community participation and engaging a wider audience.

West End Festival  chair Liz Scobie said: “Our 21st birthday is a truly significant milestone. We have evolved from a few events to a programme of more than 400 and the participation of hundreds of thousands of people of all ages supported by a small army of volunteers.

“WEF remains a charity and we are extremely grateful to all the unsung heroes who give their time and energy to make our festival happen. As we take time to develop our new-look festival, we have decided that there will not be a parade in Byres Road this year, whilst making plans for it to return bigger and better in the years to come.

“WEF’s award-winning commitment to community impacts on the quality of people’s lives and helps provide a sense of belonging, neighbourliness and cohesion.”

Festival director, Michael Dale, added: “We continue to have a packed programme of events organised by west end businesses, venues and promoters. These will include Oran Mor’s “All Dayer”, the Queen Margaret Drive and Gibson Street Galas and a large “Festival of Singing” featuring some 20 choirs and choral groups.”

In particular, WEF is supporting The Big Lunch on Sunday, June 12 as part of a nationwide community project to get as many people as possible to have lunch with their neighbours in streets, gardens and parks throughout the UK.

An Eden Project initiative, last year’s event attracted over seven million people in a simple act of community, friendship and fun. This year it hopes to have 1 million participants across Scotland. Funding of £150 is available for The Big Lunch for anyone who organises individual events.

Advertising and sponsorship opportunities remain available for businesses interested in supporting the development of WEF, the area and the people who live, work and visit the west end.

The full programme will be launched in April. Picture: John Linton Photography

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