Merchant City Festival 2015 gets underway
  • You are here: Home
  • News
  • Merchant City Festival 2015 gets underway
Glasgow life

Merchant City Festival 2015 gets underway


The stages are set for the start of nine activity packed and fun filled days for the 2015 Merchant City Festival. Performances and activity will be held at venues and stages across the Merchant City from Saturday July 25 until Sunday August 2 bringing a mix of entertainment and markets to the streets for everyone to enjoy. 

With outdoor performances, live music, fashion and design, comedy, dance, family events, film, visual arts, markets and outstanding produce and dishes as part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, the Merchant City Festival truly has something for everyone.

The Merchant City Festival will feature the world premiere of Fragile, a new work by Motionhouse, Conflux, The Merchant City Festival and Gulbenkian, University of Kent which will involve performers interacting with three JCBs on Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th of July.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Chair of the Merchant City Festival Committee said: “The Merchant City Festival promises to be nine days of outstanding events and entertainment that will deliver something for everyone. Where else can you find dancing JCB’s, the finest food and drink, street entertainment, music and laughter as part of hundreds of live events and performances. The Merchant City Festival is showcasing everything Glasgow has to offer as welcoming and generous hosts over the next nine days and is unmissable for local people and visitors alike.”

Tontine Lane has been reopened to the public and features the Heverlee Belgian Beer Cafe Bar, the very best in pop up dining, art installations and cinematic projection with a street food festival. The whole Tontine experience will be sound tracked by a host of local & globally recognised DJs, live music and acoustic performances across various stages in the lane adding to the special festival atmosphere.

Merchant Square will be a hub for a series of performances and events during the Merchant City Festival including the chance for future star spotting at the Emerging Talent Stage each evening from Tues July 28th to Fri 31st July and every day from Monday to Friday, Merchant Square will also host the hugely popular family zone.

Internationally renowned designer Wayne Hemmingway returns to the Merchant City Festival to discuss ‘generous design’ and its benefits for our communities. For the very young there is a Happy Feet dance-a-long and for devotees of Northern Soul, there’s a chance to learn the steps before immersing yourself in Elaine Constantine’s film charting the rise of youth culture which transformed the UK in the1970s.

The first anniversary of the Commonwealth Games will be celebrated with 2 weekends of come and try sports in George Square on the 25th and 26th of July and 1st and 2nd August as part of the Merchant City Festival. Several Commonwealth Games medallists will be appearing at George Square over both weekends.

The full programme is available at

Throughout the Merchant City Festival, outstanding food and drink will be served by local businesses and traders. Speciality craft, design and food markets will also be on site to help deliver the unique atmosphere of the Merchant City Festival.  

Company Chameleon return after their hugely popular visit last year with ‘Of Man and Beast’ which will receive its Scottish premiere at the Merchant City Festival. It is a co-commission between the festival, Without Walls and Ageas Salisbury Arts Festival. Osadia return with their own interactive hair sculpting show giving those brave enough the opportunity to have their hair styled into an artwork.

This year sees the expansion of the Brunswick Street Live stage, in a new and enlarged location at South Brunswick Street. The Brunswick Street Live Stage will offer a rich and diverse programme of established artists and breaking bands, DJs, kids’ entertainment and cinema and will be one of the main entertainment hubs of the Merchant City Festival. The programme goes live from the 25th July and the full programme is free to enjoy and is un-ticketed.

Comedy will feature on every night of the festival at Blackfriars featuring a whole host of comedians with two performances on many of the nights of the festival. Fashion Cultures as part of the wider fashion strand at the Merchant City Festival will explore the tools of adornment including perfume, hair and make-up while Glasgow designers are being showcased in a series of events which discuss their processes and work. 

The Merchant City Festival is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Creative Scotland and Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: "The Merchant City Festival is a fantastic event for all to enjoy.  With attractions showcasing the produce of local businesses and traders, I am delighted that The Scottish Government has been able to support the festival as part of the Year of Food and Drink. Following the huge success of Homecoming 2014 and the Glasgow XX Commonwealth Games, Scotland continues to welcome the world through events such as the Merchant City Festival.  With so many events for everyone to enjoy across the entirety of the Festival from street theatre, music, comedy and of course Scotland’s outstanding natural larder and quality produce, I would encourage everyone to come along and join the celebrations.”

Leonie Bell, Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland said: “The Merchant City Festival is always a welcome and anticipated event in Glasgow’s festivals calendar.  Spotlighting emerging and established talent the streets will once again come to life with a vibrant and varied programme of exciting theatre, music, visual arts, comedy, dance, film and fashion.  The festival builds on the energy of Festival 2014 during the Commonwealth Games and continues to be one of Scotland’s most engaging outdoor festivals, attracting both local and national audiences.”

Glasgow Life Logo