Arts Preview: West End Festival 2016

There is never an excuse to be bored in Glasgow. If you still find yourself in this lovely city after the hype and adrenaline of the exam period have passed, you may, however, at some point be tempted to make the outrageous claim: ‘there is nothing to do’. If you ever hear those words pass somebody’s lips, including your own, please give them a wee dirty look and direct them to the website of Glasgow’s West End Festival. It conveniently starts after the exam period is over, running from Friday the 3rd until Sunday the 26th of June.

The 21st anniversary-edition of this venerable festival is the perfect occasion to explore Glasgow’s infamously quirky West End whilst having some fun. It once again hosts events ranging from music, film, comedy, theatre and dance all the way to guided walks, exhibitions, talks, food and drink. What more can you ask for?

After an exploration on the website of all of the events included in the festival, it seems like the key feature is variety. The diversity is not limited to the broad range of categories on offer, but extends in the individual categories as well. Thus the music option offers a spread from classical or choral to folk, jazz and rock. So why not take the opportunity to check out Taylor Wilson or homegrown artists like Belle and Sebastian? If you want to delve deeper into Glasgow’s current culture, Refuweegee, a Glasgow-based programme welcoming refugees and asylum seekers, is offering a musical event. Drawing on letter exchanges between volunteers and refugees, a group of talented songwriters has created music to share the experience with us.

Why stop there? You can support the Glasgow University Shakespeare Society and enjoy their rendition of ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’, dance your heart out at the Outdoor Ceilidh at Kelvingrove, feel sophisticated at a gin tasting of Eden Mill’s at Munro’s or explore the West End from an artist’s view during a guided walk. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. With a total of 247 events, 109 of which are free, you can truly never claim to have ‘nothing to do’ this July in Glasgow.

[Kirsty Campbell]

Image – West End Festival 2016


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