Glasgow Subway Festival

Underground, overground

Glasgow Subway Festival

Anyone for a game of Stations? Kirstin Innes goes behind the scenes at the first ever Glasgow Subway Festival

The weather might, finally, be on the upswing, but underground at the Clockwork Orange they’re praying for rain. The first ever Glasgow Subway festival is set to launch on Thursday 10 April, with a packed out programme of events, underground in the stations, and roving musicians, comedians, clowns, choirs and performance poets on and off the trains, all day Saturday and Sunday.

‘We’ve been thinking for some time on how to create a buzz on the subway. And, how we could reward regulars and encourage people who wouldn’t usually travel underground to try it,’ says Bob Watt, one of the directors of SPT. ‘Everyone associates different things with the different areas in Glasgow so it made sense to build on that. We have some great attractions in the city, all within easy reach of the subway, so we’ve set up themes at some of the stations, all linked to places you can visit after enjoying the festival.’

So what is happening at each individual station? It’s a proven fact that a gourmet deli or upmarket cocktail bar is 20 times more likely to succeed if it’s within the shadow of Byres Road (this may not be an actual proven fact), so it’s only fitting that Hillhead will fill up with food tasting stalls and cocktail demonstrations. Meanwhile, Saturday shoppers venturing into town will find themselves besieged at all sides at Buchanan Street, with a proliferation of accessory and make-up stands, and hourly Buchanan Galleries catwalk shows up and down the moving walkways – so try not to be running for a Queen Street train at the time.

Kelvinbridge is appealing to the high proportion of hipper-than-thou students in the area with a ‘street style’ theme – local urban art gallery Recoat has organised graffiti art workshops and artist Sam Bates is set to create an all new mural for the station, while IndepenDance and all-girl samba group SheBoom will be making the good people of Great Western Road move, mamma!

Cessnock station is taking advantage of its proximity to the Science Centre to conduct a series of experiments – not on the general public, we’re sure – and Kinning Park is set to fill up with circus performers, face-painters, falconry demonstrations and clowns, all in the name of ‘family fun’. Finally, Cowcaddens, local station for the Glasgow Film Theatre, will be staging recreations of classic movies on the upper levels and underpasses. You might want to bring a brolly anyway, just in case you get caught in their Singing in the Rain homage . . .

Most events take place on Sat 12 & Sun 13 Apr. See for full info.

Glasgow Subway Festival

For the second year running Glasgow's Clockwork Orange gets a festival all to itself as artists, performers and musicians head underground for shows at eight stations and a performance on the last carriage of every train (sat 10am-8pm; Sun 10am-5pm).


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