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West End Festival … in the pink

By on May 1, 2013

The much-loved Mardi Gras Parade will be back in all its glory as the main event on the West End Festival programme on June 9. A public appeal helped the Festival secure funding for the Parade Day – and the closure of Byres Road for the first time since 2008.

The West End Festival Parade Day used to attract up to 80,000 revellers to the streets and its return to the heart of the action could produce record visitor numbers. There are more than 400 events – music, theatre, walks, talks and galas – across 80 West End venues. 

Local resident and founder of itison.com Oli Norman pledged £15,000 to the public appeal to ensure the event goes ahead this year. The West End Festival also attracted funding from Creative Scotland and the Integrated Grants Fund from Glasgow city council. Glasgow Arts is also providing support to arts-led community projects in the run up to the parade.

West End Festival chair  Liz Scobie said: “We asked for help and got it – which shows how much affection there is in the community for the Byres Road Parade.

“The festival brings everyone out to have fun with friends and neighbours and it’s impossible to put a price on that. The Parade and the Gibson Street Gala are very special local events where people take over the streets they walk along every day of their lives. Everyone just relaxes and enjoys the neighbourhood.

“Securing funding for the 2013 Mardi Gras was hugely important for the city.  With the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow next year, there are exciting times ahead and our ambition is to ensure the West End Festival and the communities and organisations involved are an integral part of that.”

The Festival takes place from Friday, 31 May to Sunday, 30 June this year and it’s set to be the best yet!

Highlights of the Festival –  from Friday May 31 to Sunday June 30 – include the opening Torchlight Procession, Glasgow Mela, Cottier Chamber Project, Gibson Street Gala, Big Band Festival, Bard in the Botanics. See  westendfestival.co.uk for details.

* A crowd funding project has been started to raise money and reward pledges and finishes on May 6.

Picture: John Linton

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