'If we can make someone smile, we're winning': the Southside Festival may be gone, but the Southside Fringe thrives
- Gareth K Vile
- 17 April 2018
Open-source curated fringe festival offers diverse and imaginative fun in uncharted territory
'Until recently, the Southside and all it has to offer tended not to feature in the city's tourist maps,' says Corrina Currie, one of the founders of Southside Fringe. 'We love the Southside and somebody had to shout about it.' Developed in response to the Southside Festival that ran until 2014, the Fringe has an open-source curation programme, bringing together comedy, cabaret, music and performance that supports local artists but also includes events from around the country.
Since its inception in 2013, the Fringe has developed an atmosphere that Currie describes as 'quirky, imaginative, fun, experimental. We strive to encourage folks' imagination and encourage the use of spaces not often associated with the arts or live events – for example we've had fashion shows in swimming pools, comedy and music gigs in living rooms, we even had a show for dogs at a cricket club.' This year's events include a poker night in a barber shop. Currie is emphatic that the arts are an 'essential part of the human experience. The arts landscape is looking bleak under the current UK government and if we can make someone smile or use their imagination, we're winning.'
Although the Southside Festival has disappeared, the Fringe retains its name to reflect the spirit of the programme: diverse and open to experimentation, with works in progress, trial runs for the Edinburgh Fringe and familiar Glaswegian performers, including an evening from the Gatsby Club, a cabaret and burlesque event that celebrates the golden age of gangsters, molls and the speakeasy. From its original incarnation as Further South, which presented Bruce Morton's satirical Greater Shawlands Republic, the Southside Fringe has always managed to represent both the eclectic communities of artists who live across the Clyde and a sparky, countercultural wit. For Currie, there is no limit: 'The more unusual an idea the better!'
Southside Fringe, various venues, Glasgow, Fri 11–Sun 27 May.