Glasgow’s favourite festival, which celebrates its 18th birthday this year, has launched a fundraising campaign to raise £50,000 to be able to progress the much loved Mardi Gras Parade on Festival Sunday, 9 June.
Festival Sunday is always a favourite for people who attend the festival, particularly the parade. However, given the recession and as sponsors tightened their belts, festival organisers decided not to progress Festival Sunday last year. Instead it focused on the strengths of the Festival; culture and community, limiting any financial impact.
Liz Scobie, the Festival’s chairman, comments on the work and finance that goes into organising the parade: “This year we will celebrate the festival’s 18th birthday! That’s testament to the support we’ve gained over the years and the success of the festival in the west end.
“Last year we didn’t have our usual parade and some people were disappointed, but we need to be realistic why it couldn’t go ahead. It comes at a price and the costs of road closures, security and clearing-up have sharply risen. Although we have generous funding from organisations such as Creative Scotland, Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council, that alone, is not enough to put on such a show. So we would ask for early support this year to ensure the success of the Mardi Gras Parade. The message is; “Get involved!”
Capitalising on the huge support already given online, a crowd funding project has been started on BloomVC so that the festival can raise money and reward pledges. The L.K. Bennett fashion and fizz event on 7th May will also help raise funds and Lancôme has just confirmed it will be the make-up partner for the evening.
Liz Scobie finished: “The Festival is an opportunity for the whole community including local businesses to get involved. Community festivals like the WEF survive because they are by the people, of the people, for the people. We also want to continue to offer free events as part of the festival making it accessible to all.”
The new website will launch early May and the programme will be widely distributed as normal.
There were an estimated 1,800 artists and performers at the 2012 festival. It continues to attract visitors into the City from beyond the City boundaries, last year making up 30% of all visitors. Festival organisers are aiming for the Parade to be one of the main events which attracts thousands to line the streets as it dances down Byres Road along to Kelvingrove.
For further information:
Laura Sutherland – Aura PR
T: 0141 337 6712, 07764 936 840
Notes to editors:
- Interviews with Liz Scobie available upon request
- More than 1 million visitors have attended the event from its start in 1996 and last year there were over 400 events in 80 venues across the west end of Glasgow
- 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
- It is anticipated that there will be close to 500 events taking place in the west end across the four weeks and five weekends of the festival. A fashion fundraiser with L.K. Bennett is taking place on 7th May at Hotel du Vin to kick off the festival fun.
- The West End Festival is also on Facebook and Twitter
- For further information on the West End Festival, visit www.westendfestival.co.uk