Inaugural European Championships accompanied by cultural extravaganza Festival 2018

Inaugural European Championships is accompanied by cultural extravaganza Festival 2018

Accompanying celebration of Scottish arts and culture features Colin Currie, Janice Kerbel, Mischief La-Bas and Scottish Opera

The year 2014 was a momentous one in Scotland's history, but hopefully the long-view history books won't just pore over the Independence referendum when they come to be written. That Glasgow also hosted the Commonwealth Games is well worth a chapter, not only because they brought a sense of perfect summer optimism and capable organisation to the city, but because Scottish arts and artists were well and truly celebrated by Festival 2014, the cultural extravaganza which surrounded the sporting activity.

This year, get ready to do it all over again (although not the referendum part, at least at time of writing) with Festival 2018, the ten-day series of arts and cultural commissions connected to the inaugural multi-sports European Championships. Although co-hosting this debut event with Berlin, Glasgow actually has the lion's share of the sports; aquatics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon will all be held in Glasgow and across Scotland, with athletics taking place in Berlin.

Although not on the scale of Festival 2014, this year's event is the result of Glasgow 2018 investing £750,000 in 34 commissioned events which take in dance, music, theatre, visual art, literature and 'spectaculars'. Nineteen of these will directly relate to Scotland's Year of Young People and many attractions are due to take place in George Square (which will be revamped into a cultural and social hub for the duration) while the regular Merchant City Festival will also tie in closely to Festival 2018.

Announced highlights of the Festival 2018 portfolio include percussionist Colin Currie creating Children's Classic Concerts, the Turner Prize-nominated artist Janice Kerbel working with synchronised swimmers across Scotland and an outdoor performance from Mischief La-Bas. Plus, Scottish Opera's pop-up family show will tour around all 12 sports venues, including the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at Glasgow's Emirates Arena and Gleneagles' PGA Centenary Course.

Festival 2018, various venues, nationwide, 2–12 Aug, glasgow2018.com/festival-2018

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