Merchant City Festival announces fun filled 2021 programme

Merchant City Festival has launched its programme for this year's exciting long weekend of entertainment from Thursday 8th - Sunday 11th July 2021!

Merchant City Festival announces fun filled 2021 programme

Article Source: Merchant City Festival
First Published: 28 June 2021 11:43
Updated: 29 June 2021 11:15

The well-loved event delivered by Glasgow Life, the charity that inspires people to lead richer and more active lives through culture and sport, will showcase outdoor arts, circus, dance and more – with events happening in and around the streets and venues of the Merchant City area of Glasgow.

The Carnival Party will kick the festival off in style on Thursday 8 July with stilt walkers and dancers celebrating Baroque Venetian traditions. Walkabout in Merchant City will have amazing acts around Merchant Square and the surrounding streets across the weekend with performers dressed as limestone creatures, turtles and aliens. Surge’s In the City Still - Feathers Ensemble will use music, movement and projections to take the audience on a thought-provoking journey on the Saturday and Sunday.

The festival will take over the iconic centre of the city, lighting up George Square with dynamic dance and circus performances like Swings (All or Nothing Aerial), an MCF commission, where aerialists will take to giant swings with an interactive soundscape. World class company Motionhouse bring their breath-taking show Wild – a daring tour de force dance-circus performance exploring our relationship with the natural environment.

Meanwhile, Surge Festival at Barrowland Park will showcase bonkers cabaret performances with weird and wonderful interactive activities for the whole family, including nest building, marble filling and digital sculpting.

All events will be free to attend, with the exception of the Walking Tour which has a small charge, but tickets to outdoor performances at George Square and Barrowland Park will need to be pre-booked online at merchantcityfestival.com to ensure numbers are managed in the safest way.

George Square will hold performances from 11am - 6.45pm from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 July and Barrowland Park will hold performances from 12.30pm - 5pm on Saturday 10 to Sunday 11 July.

Merchant City Festival continues to work in partnership with Merchant Square to showcase pop-up events – attendees should book tables at their favourite bars, cafes and restaurants to secure their spot at pop-up events taking place in the square.

The 2021 festival will be slightly different to previous years due to COVID restrictions, which means it will not feature markets, food trucks or live music stages.

Mharsanta, Madha and Koolba successfully applied for the festival’s Get Involved Fund – securing visual enhancements such as new festive coloured lighting, special Merchant City Festival menus and outdoor street barriers with the £500 grant. Kadampa Meditation Centre is also offering a selection of free short meditation classes with the fund.

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “We’re delighted to be able to share the programme for this year’s Merchant City Festival. It is a fantastic line-up of events and I’m certain it will spark some much-needed joy and excitement after such a difficult year.

“Merchant City retailers, restaurants and bars are right at the heart of the city, and I can’t wait to see the area light up with colour and entertainment next month. We’re looking forward to welcoming people from Glasgow and beyond to enjoy the long weekend of festivities.”


Lorenzo Mele, Merchant City Festival Executive Producer, said: “This year’s programme is centred around providing a rich cultural experience for everyone attending Merchant City Festival. We’ve got music, outdoor theatre, cabaret, circus, dance and carnival, celebrating the best outdoor performances that Scotland has to offer. We’re continuing to support local businesses in Merchant City and can’t wait to safely bring these performances back to the cultural heart of Glasgow.”

Tickets for Merchant City Festival events will be limited to comply with capacity levels and social distancing. Attendees should ensure they read all the guidelines on the website before booking tickets.

Members of the public should make sure they have booked tickets or have a pre-booked a table with their favourite local restaurant, café or bar before travelling to the festival.

Full programme information is available here: merchantcityfestival.com

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