Glasgow 2018’s cultural programme unveiled.
Having lunch with a stranger, watching seminal electro giants Orbital, trying an instrument made out of bike parts, walking under the Clyde through an immersive art installation, or taking part in a mass karaoke night in George Square are just some of the events on offer as part of Festival 2018.
The Festival 2018 programme includes hundreds of unmissable events at festival sites and communities across the city, involving around 3700 artists and performers with the vast majority of events free for all ages. The breadth, depth and accessibility of the programme ensures that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Festival 2018 is part of the first ever European Championships, a brand new multi-sport event being staged over 11 days this August, and has established a ground-breaking cultural partnership with Glasgow’s co-host, Berlin with joint events occurring in both cities.
Glasgow’s city centre will be buzzing with activity and George Square will be the beating heart of it all. Alongside the entertainment there will be delicious Scottish food & drink to enjoy, as well as the opportunity to catch up on the day’s sporting action on the big screens.
Programme of events
Through its Berlin partnership, Festival 2018 is truly European in outlook and has something for everyone. The programme focuses on the creativity of Scotland’s cultural sector and features international names alongside up-and-coming artists and community performers including:
- Wednesday 1 August – The Big Opening Party will kick off the first ever European Championships to thousands of people in George Square, featuring some of Scotland’s finest musicians including Scottish duo The Ayoub Sisters, SAY Award-winners Sacred Paws and Mercury Music Prize-nominated C Duncan. More artists are still to be announced.
- Thursday 2 August – The first day of the sporting action will open with the best and brightest young musicians in Scotland, with performances in George Square all day featuring young talent aged 14 to 19 who have come through the Hit the Road and Behind the Noise programmes.
- Thursday 2 August – George Square will also host an exceptional collaboration between internationally renowned visual artist Douglas Gordon and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra with one of the cornerstones of the programme being a re-working for orchestration of a Mogwai composition entitled Music For A Forgotten Future (The Singing Mountain) which is to be performed live for the first time in George Square.
- Saturday 4 August – Around 800 community and professional performers will take part in a vibrant carnival procession through Glasgow’s City Centre and Merchant City, finishing in Glasgow Green. Participants will come from across Glasgow and Scotland, representing the venues of the sporting action- East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, North Lanarkshire, Perth & Kinross and Stirling – as well as Glasgow schools and Karneval Der Kulturen in Berlin
- Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August – inclusive circus company Extraordinary Bodies, fill the Big Top on Glasgow Green with their new show “What Am I Worth.” A circus show with original live music and groundbreaking physical moments, with diverse skills and ways of communicating stories to audiences.
- Tuesday 7 August – Glasgow Meets Berlin – a gala celebration – will see the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland collaborate for the first time ever with Europe’s largest arts institution, the Universität der Künste, to perform a live-linked concert between Glasgow’s George Square and Berlin’s European Mile on Breitscheidplatz
- Friday 10 August – Orbital, Britain’s giants of electronic music, will deliver a rare performance in George Square featuring new material
- Saturday 11 August – Mogwai’s Barry Burns will curate an evening in George Square of the best in modern music, featuring Berlin-based musicians with links to Glasgow in George Square, including Barry’s SUMS group playing their first ever gig in the UK.
- Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 August – Catalonian radical make-over artists Osadia return to fashion sculptural and dramatic creations with members of the public. Are you brave enough to sit in the barber’s chair?
- Sunday 12 August – Celtic Connections will close the European Championships and Festival 2018 in George Square with an evening of the best Scottish and world music.
- A highlight of the culinary offering of Festival 2018 will be ‘Civic Canteen’ on John Street in Glasgow, a series of events and workshops with the shared goal of using delicious food as a vehicle to promote cultural exchange. With the help of Scotland’s National Chef Gary MacLean, who will be exploring seasonal food, this foodie hub encourages visitors to learn a little more about the food they’re eating and who they’re eating it with.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said:
“Through this inclusive and innovative programme, Festival 2018, is an excellent platform to showcase Scotland’s talent and strengthen connections – both at home and internationally.
“There will be something for everyone and people can have a great day or evening out during the Championships. The Festival 2018 Carnival Procession that is taking place on the first Saturday will be a very special moment when community groups from across Scotland come together to weave through the streets of Glasgow, rubbing shoulders with home-grown and international performers.
“With this combined offer of elite sport and a vibrant cultural programme The Glasgow 2018 European Championships will help further promote Scotland as the perfect stage for major events, enhancing its reputation for inclusiveness, cultural brilliance and creative thinking.”
Glasgow City Council’s Depute Leader, Cllr David McDonald said:
“George Square has been the venue for some incredible art and entertainment over many decades – and Festival 2018 will again welcome huge crowds as the Merchant City Festival gets underway nearby.
“As a UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow is incredibly proud of its vibrant and world-class musical landscape and it’s fantastic to see that the Festival 2018 music programme brings together so many of its talented artists.
“The fun won’t just stop at George Square and Merchant City. Go Live! at the Green at Glasgow Green will be packed with activities and entertainment as well as being home to a Big Top showcasing the best in contemporary circus.
“Glasgow is the place to be this August.”
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said:
“Sport and the performing arts are both powerful ways in which we can all share great moments and celebrate together, so we’re absolutely delighted that our students and staff are part of this wonderful European occasion that’s centred in Glasgow.
“Again, like the best of sport, this special cultural festival is a great example of collaboration, teamwork and inspiration and we look forward to playing our part in making this a winning experience for individuals and communities across Glasgow, Scotland and far beyond.”
Gabriele Freytag, Senate of Interior and Sports in Berlin, said:
“Glasgow Meets Berlin – a gala celebration will provide a perfect opportunity to build a cultural bridge between Berlin and Glasgow, the two Host Cities of the inaugural European Championships. Embedded in the new multi-sports event the project perfectly showcases Berlin’s sporting and musical diversity.”