West End Festival (WEF) today, Wednesday, 22 April, launched its programme for the 20th annual event which takes place in June every year and continues to be the biggest event in Glasgow’s calendar.

Running from Friday, 5 to Sunday, 28 June, over four weekends, the festival will include a programme of over 400 events in some 80 venues across the greater west end of Glasgow, with events ranging from music and theatre, to walks, talks and community galas – many events are free to attend. The 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 taking place on Sunday, 7 June and sponsored by the Byres Road Traders Association.

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). A world 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 Dunwoodiein “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.

As promised, we’ve made Festival Sunday bigger and better than ever! We’ve got a trio of free concerts in and around Kelvingrove Park and because it worked so well last year, WEF’s closing concert will be at the Kelvingrove Bandstand on 28 June.

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’.”

The West End Festival is a celebration of culture, and one that has brought colour and entertainment to the streets of the west end since 1996.  It continues to be a key part of Glasgow’s events calendar, attracting visitors from across Scotland.

This year, the Gibson Street Gala will take place on Sunday, 31 May.

-ENDS-

Further media enquiries and interviews:

Laura Sutherland, Aura PR

M: 07764 936 840 E: laura@aura-pr.com

Notes to editors:

  • Interviews available on request
  • Supporting imagery available on request
  • Full event listings available via westendfestival.co.uk
  • More than 1.25 million visitors have attended the event from its start in 1996
  • 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
  • The West End Festival is also on Facebook and Twitter
  • For further information on the West End Festival, visit www.westendfestival.co.uk