The latest event produced by the West End Festival, The Electric Gardens, has come to a close, after 22 days and a successful inaugural year. Festival organisers have announced the event will return next winter.

More than 15,000 tickets were sold for the event which ran from 23 January to 15 February. It saw residents from Glasgow and beyond – as far as America and Australia – attend to enjoy Glasgow Botanic Gardens in a different light. Visitors took part in a self-guided walk through specially staged light and sound and live actors performed with fire and instruments within the well-loved surroundings.
Not all the visitors were quite so far flung. Many travelled in from areas such as Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and Stirling, to name a few, as bookings came in from 168 different postcodes in Scotland and England. Bars and restaurants in the west end also benefited from the surge in visitors to the area in what can typically be a quiet time of year.

Courtesy of Julie Bee

Courtesy of Julie Bee

Festival organisers hope this will spur increased support and sponsorship from the surrounding area for next year’s The Electric Gardens, in order to increase its offering.

Michael Dale, festival director, said; “It’s fantastic to be able to say we are going to be able to bring The Electric Gardens back to the west end next winter. The area has so much to offer especially in terms of restaurants, bars and local shops, it’s been encouraging to be able to draw more people into the area.

“We’re already thinking of the new things we can try next year to make it even bigger and better, feedback from visitors this year is essential to this process.

“Our focus, looking forward, is now on the much-loved annual West End Festival itself, which takes place this year between 5 – 28 June. It’s in its 20th year! The deadline for submissions to the line-up is 16 March and I’d encourage potential applicants to send theirs in as early as possible – all details are available on the website.”

The Electric Gardens is in its first year but has had some fantastic feedback from visitors online;

Jenny, said: “Had a really good night! Our 3 year old thought it was magical!”

Margaret, said: “Just home after a lovely walk in the park, great to see so many families enjoying a beautiful night in the Botanics, loved it!”

Gillain, said: “We took plenty of cool pictures and in general it was a sensory experience I thoroughly enjoyed. Families of all ages around us were having a great time too, it was magical.”