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Home Arts, Music and Cultural Venues

Merchant City Festival is back!

Home Arts, Music and Cultural Venues

Merchant City Festival is back!

The Merchant City Festival is back from July 25. Executive producer Lorenzo Mele shares his picks from the programme.

It’s almost that time again when a wander around the Merchant City will surprise and delight you! The Merchant City Festival starts on Thursday 25th July and this year we kick off with a Carnival street party inspired by Venice carnival traditions.  Together with the wider Arts and Music team, we programme work that celebrates our great urban realm in this historic part of the city, which has always been focused on innovation and interaction, at home and overseas. The Festival is all about having a great, inclusive time out on the streets in the best European traditions. Despite not having a strong outdoor celebratory tradition and sometimes unreliable weather, Glasgow has developed a considerable outdoor summer calendar which Merchant City Festival is proud to be part of.

Alongside the carnival party, we are also curating a full family day on Friday 26th July. We’ve teamed up with the world leading Edinburgh International Children’s festival with exciting performances and interactions in Merchant Square, and out on the streets we have performance from the Whalley Range All Stars and Tim Cassan Dance. In the Old Fruitmarket you and the wee ones can sing and dance along to The Greatest Showman during the day. In the evening Hip Replacement, the club night for the Middle Edged returns again – great tunes from 7.30pm so a good night doesn’t have to be a late night!  

At the weekend we once again welcome our programme partners Surge, and Streetband Encontro. Surge is Scotland’s street arts agency and brings the best of emerging and established street performance to MCF. Encontro, now in its third year, has quickly established Glasgow as a premier destination for street bands from all over Europe to come and play. This year sees a band joining us all the way from Chile, La Tromba, (catch them at the Old Fruitmarket on the Saturday night)  and also an expanded workshop programme. On Sunday we celebrate all things Circus with Aerial Edge taking over Merchant Square and also our Gaelic Song and Literature trail, which also launches the city’s Gaelic Poet Laureate, who will be in place until the Mod.  

Besides all this there is the delicious food from Big Feed and great gift ideas from the Urban Market traders. Make sure you experience some of these delights between 25th and 28th July!