The Glasgow festival experience
This article is from 2009.
As Edinburgh takes a well-earned rest, Kirstin Innes turns her attention to the occurrences happening in and around the Dear Green Place this fortnight
It is a truth universally acknowledged that August is dead time in Glasgow. The rest of the year is a different story, of course, and September means the gloves are off, with so many massed gatherings of the city’s creatives that they’re in danger of burying Sauchiehall Street in superlatives.
For a start, Glasgow’s first Twestival kicks off on Thursday 10 September. A ‘Twestival’, for those of you still actually reading this magazine off a physical piece of paper, shaking your sticks at these modern youths with their infernal ‘computers’, is a social event or festival for Glasgow-based fans of the contemporary social networking phenomenon Twitter. They’ve put together a brilliant line-up of local bands and roped some equally brilliant local artists in for contributions, along with a huge selection of prizes to be won from various Tweegies (that’s weegies who use Twitter, that is, and wins our ‘best word use of the fortnight’ award). You can win jewellery by ace Scottish designer Laura Bailey, and a free slap-up meal at the Ubiquitous Chip, and it all benefits local charity No Strings Attached, which works with arts groups to provide opportunities for young asthma sufferers.
One of the biggest stories in Scottish arts in recent weeks has been the closure of the Lighthouse, and Glasgow’s cultural scene is still certainly feeling the shockwaves. Have a look at our news story on page 8 for further information. However, there’s still some hope left: various concerned parties have formed social networking group Lighthouse Alive, looking at ways to say the organisation. Check out the regularly updated site lighthouserenewed.ning.com for up-to-date info about the latest activist gatherings and meetings. And while we certainly don’t want to suggest that the new development at Trongate 103 is in any way a replacement for the Lighthouse – it has its own set of priorities and aims – it’s heartening to see a positive artist-led space opening right now. Open it will, too, over the weekend of 12 and 13 September, with a whole weekend of taster sessions, workshops, tours and exhibitions. Look out for our interview with the organisers in Visual Art next issue.
Finally, it’s impossible to ignore the glossy, glitzy riot of the Merchant City Festival, back once again with street theatre, live music, shopping discount days and a froth of excitement around one of Glasgow’s best-heeled quarters on Thursday 24 September. We’re particularly excited about interactive theatrical installation The Memory Projector, which allows audiences to involve themselves in the area’s history. Check out our Comedy section for a round-up of the best Merchant City Fest funnies, too.
Glasgow Twestival have offered a special promo to Twittering List readers. First four people to tweet "@Gtwestival We love Glasgow Twestival" will receive a free pair of tickets to Glasgow Twestival.
Glasgow Twestival, Thu 10 Sep, Living Room, see glasgow.twestival.com; Trongate 103, free opening weekend Sat 12 & Sun 13 Sep, see www.trongate103.com; Merchant City Festival, Thu 24–Sun 27 Sep, see www.merchantcityfestival.com