2 July 2024

Merchant City Festival confirms spectacular 2024 programme

A person wearing a colourful knitted costume and a large pom pom hat, smiling with arms outstretched outside a large stone city building

Glasgow's Merchant City Festival has announced a fun-filled programme for this year's weekend-long celebration of entertainment.

The highly popular event will run from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 July 2024 and feature outdoor arts, circus and dance acts, musicians and more. The theme of the festival is Fair: Play, celebrating Glasgow's Fair Fortnight, the traditional holiday when Glaswegians relaxed and had fun.

The Merchant City Festival is delivered by Glasgow Life and offers plenty of free fun for all the family.

Entertainment acts will take to the streets and venues of the Merchant City - including the event sponsors Merchant Square and The Social Hub Glasgow - across the three days of the festival. On the Saturday and Sunday, Merchant Square will host free family days (11.00am-5.00pm) featuring family ceilidhs, BeBop Bairns discos, dancers, puppet shows and roaming characters like the multicoloured Prom Pom Queen. The Prom Pom Queen act is co-commissioned with Scotland's children's theatre agency Imaginate.

The much-loved Merchant City Festival markets will also return, offering craft, farmers' and gift markets and food stalls.

For the first time, Merchant Square will host musical entertainment each night of the festival. The musical evenings kick off with a ceilidh (5.30-7.00pm) and are followed by performances from two bands (7.30-8.30pm and 9.00-10.00pm). A DJ will then keep the party going from 10.00pm-midnight.

Renowned Glasgow festival Celtic Connections will bring folk, roots and world music to Merchant Square on the Friday night. The music programme on the Saturday night celebrates Glasgow Pride, which is also taking place in the city that day, with a Queer-led programme including Megan Black. The Sunday evening features sets by Glaswegian roots trio Awkward Family Portraits and 50s pop outfit The Shivering Sheiks.

As well as the activity taking place in and around the streets of the Merchant City, the 2024 event includes Hip Replacement community disco nights where the 'middle edge' crew can enjoy top tunes on a large dancefloor. The Hip Replacement nights take place at the Old Fruitmarket on the Friday and Saturday (7.00pm until midnight). Tickets are available on the Merchant City Festival webpage.

After sell-out shows at Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Big Angie FireStarter will light up The Social Hub on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 July (8.00-9.30pm). Visit the Merchant City Festival webpage to buy tickets for the Big Angie comedy nights and see the festival programme in full.