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Glasgow's Kelvingrove Park to host new Dandelion Festival

Glasgow's Kelvingrove Park to host new Dandelion Festival

A major free outdoor festival is taking place in Glasgow this summer as part of Dandelion, an ambitious creative programme which dares to reimagine our relationship with food and the planet.

Running from Friday 17 June until Sunday 19 June 2022, the first Dandelion Festival will take root at the heart of Kelvingrove Park, with the second based in Inverness' Northern Meeting Park from Friday 2 September until Sunday 4 September 2022.

This summer, Kelvingrove Park will be transformed with live music, interactive walkabout theatre, science and creative activities for all the family, talks, participatory workshops and food as part of a unique festival that follows the arc of the growing season with the aim of inspiring people to ‘sow, grow and share’ food, music, knowledge and ideas.

The Friday evening and Saturday of both festivals in Glasgow and Inverness will be devoted to live music from Scottish and international artists across two stages, presented in partnership with Celtic Connections and Glasgow Life.

In Glasgow, the music line-up includes performances from Rura, Les Amazones d’Afrique, Newton Faulkner, Niteworks, This is the Kit, The Orchestral Qawwali Project with Abi Sampa, Admiral Fallow, Darlingside, Hannah Rarity, Jason Singh, National Youth Pipe Band, LYRE LYRE, Glasgow African Balafon Orchestra, Lisa Rigby, Baque Luar, Hen Hoose featuring Tamara Schlesinger, Emma Pollock, Elisabeth Elektra, Suse Bear, Pippa Murphy, Karine Polwart, Carla J Easton and Jayda, Amandah Wilkinson, with more special guests to be announced.

Sitting at the heart of the festival site will be the spectacular ‘Pavilion of Perpetual Light’, a striking 10-metre-tall art installation.

The Pavilion is created from 60 miniature vertical farms - 1m x 1m growing cubes specially created for Dandelion, brought together to form a giant structure, with a built-in stage acting as a backdrop to performances.

The installation will host an abundance of plant life, tended to by ‘performer technicians’ to create a spectacular focal point. The site will host a further two stages, including the circular ‘Orchard Stage’ presenting artists in the round, allowing people to gather 360 degrees around the stage to see bands in a close-up, intimate setting.

Alongside the live music sits a creative programme of activities for all ages. Over the three days, scientists, activists, technologists and writers will come together with chefs, musicians, artists and performers to spark conversations around Dandelion’s core theme of how people can creatively engage with topics such as food poverty, climate action and sustainability.

A series of Dandelion ‘Potting Sheds’ dotted across the park will host artists, performers and community organisations, whilst Dandelion’s team of student horticulturalists will be on hand to answer questions about plants and growing.

There is the chance to get up close and learn more about Dandelion’s growing cubes, whilst children under the age of five can discover the world of plants and nature in 'The Nursery'.

On Friday daytime, the Dandelion Festival will welcome local schools to take part in science activities, talks and creative workshops. The event will culminate on the Sunday with a special long table community meal share and mass free plant giveaway to inspire the public to grow at home.

Commissioned by EventScotland and funded via the Scottish Government, Dandelion is Scotland’s contribution to UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a nationwide programme of creative events and engagement. Dandelion brings together artists, scientists, performers, and technologists to present a six-month series of events and programmes throughout Scotland, starting on Thursday 28 April.

Dr Bridget McConnell, Chief Executive of Glasgow Life, said: "Set against the spectacular backdrop of Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow’s exciting Dandelion Festival will bring a rich mix of world-class music, presented in partnership with Glasgow Life’s Celtic Connections team, and inspiring immersive cultural experiences to the city this summer. The Dandelion programme is an innovative and ambitious approach to community growing and engagement; one that’s rooted in bringing people together to celebrate food, music, sustainability and diversity as well as showcasing the power of collaboration and collective action. Projects like Dandelion, as part of the wider UNBOXED collective, are hugely important to Scotland’s social and economic recovery, and the recovery of our creative industries, and Glasgow Life is delighted to be working with partners to champion and support its delivery."

Donald Shaw, Music Director of Dandelion, said: "We’re delighted to reveal the first artists for Glasgow’s Dandelion Festival. It will be a very special environment with performances on unique stages within the iconic splendour of Kelvingrove Park. We’re also very excited to be able to host the premiere performance of Hen Hoose, a brilliant new collective of Scottish female and non-binary musicians. All of the musicians who feature on our line-up have a passion for the values of Dandelion, sharing our beliefs in environmentalism, individual action against climate change and the need to address issues around food poverty. The Dandelion Festivals tell the Dandelion story in creative, accessible, powerful ways and make the connections between growing and cultural experiences. These are truly family-friendly events with interactive demos, talks and discussion about art, science and music for everyone at all levels of interest."

Tamara Schlesinger, Hen Hoose founder, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be playing our debut Hen Hoose live performance at Dandelion Festival this year. Hen Hoose was formed to highlight the talent of female and non-binary songwriters and producers in Scotland and I can't think of a better environment for us to have our first show. It is fantastic to have the opportunity to bring all of us together on one stage, to play at an event with such important values."

Paul Bush OBE, Visit Scotland Director of Events, said: "The Dandelion Festivals promise to be an exciting addition to Scotland’s events landscape this summer, bringing together a creative programme infused with the collaborative spirit and environmentalist ethos of the Dandelion project. It’s wonderful to see artists, scientists and food specialists coming together to create a bespoke festival experience for audiences and visitors across Scotland, and we’re proud to support a project that aims to connect creatively with the widest range of audiences in this way."

Dandelion is one of ten major creative projects commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, which is taking place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in 2022. The UK’s most ambitious showcase of creative collaboration includes free large-scale events, installations and globally accessible digital experiences, and an extensive learning programme, which aims to reach millions of schoolchildren. Five other projects from the UNBOXED programme will present activities in Scotland, in addition to Dandelion.

Martin Green, UNBOXED’s Chief Creative Officer, said: "UNBOXED is about bringing people from across the UK together in a celebration of creativity. The Pavilion of Perpetual Light exemplifies what is possible when artists, scientists and technologists work together to imagine possibilities for the future. The Dandelion Festivals will be a brilliant moment this summer to bring people back together to celebrate live music, food and ideas."

The festivals in Glasgow and Inverness are subject to licensing. Both dates are free to attend and non-ticketed. For further information on the festivals or the full Dandelion programme, visit dandelion.scot.