Glasgow’s biggest festival celebrates 18 years in Rio style

 West End Festival Mardi Gras confirmed for 2014

 Festival goers celebrated the West End Festival’s 18th birthday in style with over 600 people participating in Scotland’s Mardi Gras parade today, Sunday, 9 June, as part of the Festival’s month-long programme (31 May – 30 June).

Festival Sunday and the Mardi Gras parade attracts up to 80,000 revellers to the streets and this is the first time the Festival has had sufficient funding to close Byres Road for the Parade since 2008.

Following a public appeal the Festival secured £15,000 of funding towards the costs of its iconic Parade Day from Glasgow based daily deals and events service, ensuring its return this year.

Oli Norman, founder of itison, said:  “We’re really proud to help make the Parade return to Byres Road this year. Over 20,000 itison members in Glasgow have already said they’re coming today so we know it’s going to be a big day.  The weather is great and the itison team will be dancing their way down Byres Road with the rest of the Mardi Gras.  It’s such a fun day.”

The Festival programme includes over 400 events in some 80 venues across the west end of Glasgow, with events ranging from music and theatre, to walks, talks and community galas. The parade is the biggest highlight of the festival and it has today been announced that funding has been secured via Glasgow City Council for its return in 2014 and 2015, assisting the development of the parade in the wider communities of Glasgow.

Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, said: “The West End Festival parade is a well-established fixture of Glasgow’s cultural calendar, and an event that so many people look forward to every year.  I am delighted to say that the council is supporting the parade for three years as we appreciate the significant value, both economic and cultural, that the parade and festival brings to Glasgow and its visitors.  I am sure the parade will be as colourful and entertaining as always on Sunday.”

Liz Scobie, chairman of the West End Festival added her thoughts: “From local communities organising their own galas and our widely anticipated parade, to international musicians and the premier of World War Z, the west end is not only a very cultured area and community, but its location lends itself to significant events and is a fine showcase for visitors from outwith the city and abroad of what Glasgow has to offer.

“The parade has been a labour of love for festival director, Michael Dale, parade co-ordinator, Noel Bridgeman, and the Festival team, but it couldn’t have happened without the generous support of our funders, sponsors and volunteers. I’d like to thank each of them for making this spectacular event happen.”

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 the city and beyond, as well as including internationally renowned musicians and artists such as Pavel Haas Quartet, Brass Jaw and the live screening of Munch 150.


Further information:

Laura Sutherland, Aura PR M: 07764 936 840 E:

Notes to editors:

  • Interviews available on request
  • Supporting imagery available on request
  • Generous funding is given from organisations such as Creative Scotland, Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council
  • Other sponsors and funders include IKEA Glasgow, G1, Hugh Fraser Foundation
  • More than 1 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
  • Scotland’s biggest free multi-cultural festival, the Glasgow Mela, will take place in Kelvingrove Park from 12 noon until 8pm on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June.  Bringing some of the biggest names in      urban, Bhangra and Bollywood music to Glasgow, the weekend promises vibrant tunes, dance, entertainment and live performances on three stages across the whole park.  For more information visit
  • More about is officially Scotland’s #1 deals and events service with 500,000 members in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.  Founded in September 2010, it is one of  the UK’s fastest growing start-ups with more than 40 full time staff in 4 offices across Scotland.