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West End Festival kicks off fun and culture-packed month of 400-plus events

By on June 3, 2016

The West End Festival kicks off today with Scotland’s largest community festival again set to deliver a packed month of 400-plus events in more than 80 venues.

Artist – and hut designer – Adrian Wiszniewski joined West End Festival chairman Liz Scobie at the launch of the Ideal Hut Show in the Botanic Gardens to mark the start of this year’s programme.

Part of the Festival of Architecture 2016, the Ideal Hut Show is included in the West End Festival programme and will run throughout from today (Friday 3) to Sunday June 26.

As the WEF celebrates its 21st, Glasgow favourites Belle and Sebastian celebrate their 20th anniversary, with a special line-up of events throughout the festival month, including screenings at the Grosvenor Cinema and gigs at Oran Mor and the GUU.

The Kelvingrove Bandstand will also play host to some special music events including Glasgow Life presents the Summer Arts Community Stage on Sunday (June 5), Voice@ The Bandstand and the West End Festival Fiesta.

Local gala days include the Gibson Street Gala on June 19, Vinicombe Street party on Sunday (June 5), Wilton Street Garden Fete on June 11 and Queen Margaret Drive on Sunday (June 5). Queen Margaret Drive will also hold its Big Lunch on June 12.

Glasgow Fiddle Workshop will also hold its annual outdoor ceilidh on Sunday June 12 at Kelvingrove Art Gallery – last year over 200 people attended!

As always, the WEF features a great line-up of singing events, including City of Glasgow Chorus presents Come and Sing tomorrow (Saturday 4 June) at Hyndland Parish Church and The Mackintosh Choir – Sing into summer on Sunday June 19 at St. John’s–Renfield Church.

Liz Scobie said: “Our 21st anniversary programme is truly fantastic. Of course, this year we’re disappointed not to have our annual Festival Sunday on Byres Rd featuring the Mardi Gras parade.

“However, we launched our fundraising campaign for members of the public and local businesses to donate to help bring back Festival Sunday next year. We aim to reach £50,000 by March 2017.”

Festival organisers have stressed that as the festival is a charity and run by volunteers the community needs to work together to help bring back the much loved day, normally held on the opening weekend of the festival.

Michael Dale, festival director, added: “Who can believe it’s been a continuation of wonderful summer events since 1996! I have fond memories of the first Belle and Sebastian concert we ran in the Botanic Gardens in 2004!

“This is a special year for us but it’s also fairly significant in the way we look to run a sustainable community event going forward.

“The Ideal Hut Show is a fantastic major travelling exhibition which will run throughout the festival in the Botanic Gardens. We’re excited to see what the designers and architects have come up with!”

The quirky installation includes 18 garden sheds, transformed by top architects and designers from across the UK including Kelpies designer Andy Scott.

Other highlights include a tartan hut and an ‘exploded axonometric’ which is just as dramatic as it sounds. The hut by the late David Mackay (1933 – 2014) is a poignant reflection on the refugee crisis.

Picture by Martin Shields


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