The Arches

The Arches
253 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 8DL

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If you're wondering where the edgy, arty hipsters of the city spend their time, you'll likely find them here. A cavernous underground mish mash of bars and stages, the Arches offers a renowned theatre programme, including its own cutting-edge festivals (Behaviour, Arches LIVE, and Conflux), plus larger-scale indie shows, a variety of club nights and DJ sets and a host of events somewhere in between.

From ground-breaking theatre to huge name DJs and hot new bands, The Arches in Glasgow breaks down any traditional notions of what an arts venue should be.

In 1991, former Arches Artistic Director Andy Arnold realised the potential of the cavernous space underneath Glasgow’s Central Station and received the keys to the space from British Rail. Twenty years on, the Arches has become one of Europe’s leading cultural venues, playing host to some of Britain’s biggest club nights and an eclectic range of gigs, as well as exciting new theatre and visual art exhibitions. People often drop in for lunch or a drink in the café bar and end up staying for the rest of the evening – catching a band, taking in some experimental theatre, or meeting up with friends before heading to the dance floor.

The Arches is unique amongst both Scotland’s bars and clubs and the country’s arts venues because of the unique way our programme is funded. We’re a not-for-profit organisation: our clubbing, bar, café, live music and corporate hospitality revenue is reinvested in our arts programme (constituting 88% of our funding) – allowing us to carry on producing intelligent, ground-breaking productions and offering emergent artists a supportive platform for risk-taking. We like to think that we make the arts accessible to new, younger audiences, but we never dumb down to patronise them.

The Arches patrons are Carl Cox and Liz Lochhead. Although theirs are not necessarily names that fit together, Cox and Lochhead were chosen because they represent the diversity of the Arches’ programming. Andy Arnold founded the venue as a theatre space in 1991, and discovered that putting on club nights was an excellent way to help support his artistic programme. This practice continues to this day; clubbing revenue generating income for the theatre, visual art and live music programme in the building.

Text supplied by third party.

Event times

There are 15 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

Behaviour

The Arches continues its quest to support innovative live performance with five weeks of events representing the forefront of arts practice from the most exciting international artists and their Scottish counterparts.

Thu 24 Apr

Times & prices vary / 0141 565 1000

Fri 25 Apr

Times & prices vary / 0141 565 1000

Sat 26 Apr

Times & prices vary / 0141 565 1000

…and 6 more dates until 2 May

Cain's Book

New play adapted and directed by Alan McKendrick from work by Scottish beat writer Alexander Trocchi. The three hour performance juxtaposes theatre, cinematic projection, formation dance interludes and music from Glasgow rock group Smack Wizards.

Mon 26 May

£12 (£10) / 0141 565 1000

Part of Behaviour.

Tue 27 May

£12 (£10) / 0141 565 1000

Part of Behaviour.

Wed 28 May

£12 (£10) / 0141 565 1000

Part of Behaviour.

Thu 29 May

£12 (£10) / 0141 565 1000

Part of Behaviour.

Dark Behaviour

The closing night of Behaviour Festival presents a showcase of performance art, live music and an anything goes attitude designed to celebrate both the fifth Behaviour festival and the Arches as a whole.

Fri 2 May

£10 (with festival pass £5) / 0141 565 1000

Part of Behaviour.

De La Soul

The legendary fathers of conscious hip hop celebrating the 25th birthday of their classic album 3 Feet High and Rising.

Sat 3 May

£25 / 0141 565 1000

Fatherson

Indie power pop trio from Kilmarnock.

Sat 26 Apr

£10 / 0141 565 1000

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The Forbidden Experiment

Enormous Yes present a piece exploring language deprivation and the forbidden acts that took place on the island of Inverleith by both King James IV of Scotland in 1493 and the British Army during WWII.

Thu 24 Apr

£11 (£9) / 0141 565 1000

Part of Behaviour.

Fri 25 Apr

£11 (£9) / 0141 565 1000

Part of Behaviour.

Future Reflexions Exhibition

A showcase of photographic and video art exploring the images, stereotypes and visions of Africa today.

Thu 24 Apr

Free / 0141 565 1000

Part of Behaviour.

Fri 25 Apr

Free / 0141 565 1000

Part of Behaviour.

Glasgow's Whisky Festival

Glasgow's festival of the national tipple is especially interested in distillers and bottlers from in and around Glasgow itself, but they welcome all, big or small.

Sat 17 May

£30 / 0141 565 1000

Love Club

Infamous New York performance artist Markus Makavellian (OK, he's just too outrageous to be real, it's actually performance poet Drew Taylor) presents a series of relaxed evenings of spoken word, music, knitting, tea and cake, celebrating a different 'occasion' each time.

Tue 17 Jun

£3 / 0141 565 1000

A celebratory interactive performance night in honour of Glasgow’s LGBT asylum seekers. Told through poetry and song this special edition Love Club provides an insight into the lives of local LGBT asylum seekers and the organisations that support them.

Wed 2 Jul

Times to be confirmed / £12 (£10) / 0141 565 1000

Theatre and dance performance 44 Stories highlights LGBT experiences from 44 countries, in an athletic, poetic exploration of visibility, activism, and the right to wake up next to the person you love.

Thu 3 Jul

Times to be confirmed / £12 (£10) / 0141 565 1000

Theatre and dance performance 44 Stories highlights LGBT experiences from 44 countries, in an athletic, poetic exploration of visibility, activism, and the right to wake up next to the person you love.

…and 2 more dates until 5 Jul

Poetry Café [Seeds of Thought]

Pick a poem from a menu and have it delivered to your table, right from the poet who wrote it.

Fri 20 Jun

Free / 0141 565 1000

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ScHoolboy Q

American rapper and member of hip hop group Black Hippy.

Wed 28 May

£16 / 0141 565 1000

Scottish Ensemble: Seavaigers

Sally Beamish's Seavaigers, performed with ace Scottish/classical/improvisation fusion-meisters Catriona McKay (clarsach) and Chris Stout (fiddle).

Wed 30 Apr

£13 (Students £5; accompanied under 16s free) / 0141 565 1000

Also, Bach's Concerto for Two Violins, the group composition Scottish Variations, and new work Sunstone from McKay and Stout.

Solomun and H.O.S.H.

Two German talents playing house and electro.

Sun 4 May

£18 / 0141 565 1000

The Sonics

60s garage rockers.

Fri 9 May

£20 / 0141 565 1000

Swans

Michael Gira's influential no wave band return with their harsh mix of proto-industrial rock and atmospheric acoustica.

Sat 24 May

Prices to be confirmed / 0141 565 1000

With Jenny Hval.

Reviews & features

The Arches: 21 defining moments

18 Oct 2012

The cutting edge venue turns 21 this year - here are some of the stand-out moments in its history

1. Cafe Loco October 1991 First set up as an experiment by Arches founder Andy Arnold to bring theatre to clubbers, Cafe Loco showcased numerous emerging and experimental performers including early sightings of performance company Mischief La…

Underneath The Arches

8 Jan 2009

Glasgow’s Arches, as anyone who’s worked there will tell you, is the sort of place that doesn’t so much defy your expectations as consistently confound them. Audiences might marvel at the sort of building that can stage a theatre show, art exhibition…

The Arches

1 Oct 2008

From underground electro to avant garde theatre, the Arches offers a creative haven for every taste. David Pollock explains the appeal of this cavernous venue.

Comments & ratings

2. Catcher /The Smoking Sundays8 Oct 2008, 1:54pm4 stars The Arches Report

6 bands 6 quid cant really argue with that can you.Except sometimes a set flies past you and you cant really remember it.On to the mainstay of the Glasgow scene CATCHER.Well you cant argue that they rocked the joint and you cant argue that they have the songs.
35 Appearances at King Tuts.You wonder if they missed the boat somehow.But ironically they dont seem to care.tonight they finished with the anthem of Different City described by the singer as their entry for the Commonwealth games theme tune.Well Glasgow could do worse.Finally a racous version of white riot no doubt as a warm up for the Joe Strummer anniversary.gig in December.

The Smoking Sundays from Livingstone are young ,very young.Their set is good and their following is very vocal.If they are not the finished article yet then believe me they have plenty of time on their side and to their credit they havent embarked on the talent show, beauty contest of the miserable X factor.

1. Catcher /The Smoking Sundays6 Oct 2008, 12:16pm4 stars The Arches Report

6 bands 6 quid cant really argue with that can you.Except sometimes a set flies past you and you cant really remember it.On to the mainstay of the Glasgow scene CATCHER.Well you cant argue that they rocked the joint and you cant argue that they have the songs.
35 Appearances at King Tuts.You wonder if they missed the boat somehow.But ironically they dont seem to care.tonight they finished with the anthem of Different City described by the singer as their entry for the Commonwealth games theme tune.Well Glasgow could do worse.Finally a racous version of white riot no doubt as a warm up for the Joe Strummer anniversary.gig in December.

The Smoking Sundays from Livingstone are young ,very young.Their set is good and their following is very vocal.If they are not the finished article yet then believe me they have plenty of time on their side and to their credit they havent embarked on the talent show, beauty contest of the miserable X factor.

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Average rating 4/5 from 2 reviews of The Arches.

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