Glasgow Goes Green

 

Glasgow Goes Green

 

Bringing sustainable living facts, fun and food is the pop up festival Glasgow Goes Green. Running 15 February in SWG3 from 5– 11pm, the event is part of UK Go Green Week.

Festival lead organiser Sarah Bacom explained: Go Green Week is the largest week of student climate action. Glasgow Goes Green comes as part of it, bringing together the city’s four universities in the common cause of environmentalism.”

Although student led the festival welcomes people from all walks of life, with daytime family activities and an 18+ after party.

Bacom said: “The festival will be running in two stages; from 5- 8pm it will be family friendly, with stalls, activities and acoustic music. Then from 9 – 11pm the stalls will close and a DJ from the IM Project will lead the party.”

The venue has disabled access and guests can book free tickets from Eventbite website.

We want the festival to show that environmentalism is accessible to everyone,” the organiser added.

This sentiment will ring throughout the day’s activities.

Bacom said: “The festival will have food, arts, crafts, lifestyle and biodiversity strands. Some people will have stalls and some will host workshops. The arts strands will see interactive sessions, such as live mural painting, where the crowd can come forward and feed into the artists’ work.

“There will be art displays that people can pass and admire, but most of the art will have an interactive element.”

Getting everyone involved is the aim of the game.

Bacom explained: “This year’s festival theme is ‘What does Green Mean to You’; so we are trying to engage with people who might not identify themselves as environmentalists and change their perspective.”

She added: “Environmentalism means different things to different people; some people think of gardening while others think of protesting. Some people are very passionate about human rights, but don’t associate this with environmentalism, however we are working to show that climate justice is social justice.”

With its food for thought the festival also brings food for sustenance.

Bacom promised: “There is going to be lots of vegan, as well as gluten free food. Some of the more unusual food will include honey from the Glasgow University Beekeeping Society. The beekeepers will even be hosting honey tasting sessions!”

Honey can also be found in some of the festival’s drinks, as it will include Plan Bee a company that flavours its beer with locally sourced nectar.

Bacom enthused: “There are so many eco-friendly start- ups, niche organisations and projects in Glasgow! This shows that Glaswegians have a real desire to make their city better and empower others too.” 

This desire was reflected in the strong turn out of last year’s Glasgow Goes Green festival, which boasted over 800 attendees.

This year’s festival looks to follow suit, with 2/3 of the tickets snapped up within the first few weeks of going live.

Bacom concluded: “Come and explore Glasgow Goes Green! We have something for everyone. You never know what you might do or who you might meet!”

Glasgow Mela Festival

Mela pic

 

Bringing the world to Kelvingrove Park is Scotland’s biggest multicultural arts festival, Glasgow Mela. Taking place on 17 July – from noon until 8pm – the event celebrates Scotland’s diversity.

Glasgow Mela Steering Group Chair, Councillor Soryia Siddique said: “We have artists coming from India and Pakistan, as well as acts who will perform sets based on Roma, Polish, Chinese, African and Scottish Culture, to name just a few. It is truly a multi-cultural celebration of Glasgow and all its communities. “

With live music, dancing, workshops and food, Glasgow Mela has something for everyone.

Siddique added: “Mela is a family event so everyone – from the very young to the very old – can come and enjoy it and they often do. One of the real pleasures of working on the event is to see so many families.”

40,000 people attended Mela 2015, as the festival celebrated its 25th year.

Siddique recalled: “Last year was brilliant, amazing, fantastic. I don’t imagine anyone who saw the headline collaboration of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and The Dhol Foundation will ever forget it. We enjoyed a glorious day.”

This year’s festival looks to continue the trend, with Pakistan’s Pop Idol Asad Abbas; UK Bhangra star Lehmber Hussainpuri; and the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band all headlining.

Siddique added: There will also be several Glasgow based musical collaborations that I am very excited to see performed live for the first time.”

As well as music, Mela 2016 will host interactive workshops.

Siddique said: “We have a dedicated area which will allow younger people to give new sports a try and there is also an area dedicated to global games. As well as this, there is a Children’s zone that includes an Indian puppet show and a place to make and fly kites.”

After working up an appetite revellers can take respite from Glasgow Mela’ s many food and drink stalls.

Siddique explained: “The Glasgow Mela is always held shortly after the end of Ramadan and so we aim to have a broad range of food, much of it locally sourced, for people to enjoy.”

The Councillor concluded: “If you’ve never been you have to come and give it a try. There’s a whole world of entertainment happening on your doorstep. Come and join us as we celebrate the many cultures that make Glasgow the vibrant and distinct city it is.”

 

Picture: Copyright to Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Mela.
(L-R) Amisha Mandaniya, Gayatri Dixi, Pragati Malhotra, Consellor Soryia Siddique, Dhuwaraha Rajathelakan, Thurgajini Srikaran and Dagshagini Taylor.

Summer Movies at Loch Lomond Shores

Summer Movies

 

Nothing says summer like open- air cinema and that’s what is coming to Loch Lomond shores this July 2 -3.

Organised by the events arm of alfresco caterers Firedog; the Summer Movies will show two days of free family-films, on the big screen.

Firedog Events partner Jonathan Stipanovsky explained: “We are going to have a 60m screen – one of the biggest in the UK – pulled down onto the beach. The top half of the beach will host a 18 by 6 meter bar tent, cornered off with white picket fencing, leading down to a deck chaired area by the screen.”

Launching at 10am Saturday with cartoons; Summer Movies will continue with Finding Nemo at noon, Jamanji at 2pm, Back to the Future at 5pm and Jurassic Park at7.30pm.

These box office classics were chosen so that families could enjoy the films without loosing the plot, should they stop for a break.

Stipanovsky said: “We choose films that were good action films that everyone has seen and loved. The idea is that people can arrive at any point of the film, sit with some food and drink and enjoy their favourite bits.”

Easy viewing continues on Sunday with another 10am cartoon start; followed by Toy Story at noon, The Goonies at 2.30pm, Dirty Dancing at 5pm and The Lost Boys at 8pm.

All of the showings are free to attend, but seating is likely to fill up fast.

Stipanovsky added: “We have deck chairs and picnic benches at the front of the cinema. It’s first-come- first- served on seating, but being at the beach people can bring their towels.”

As well as two seating areas, Firedog Events has organised food to compliment the films.

Stipanovsky said: “Firedog will be there – in our fire engine catering van – serving gourmet hotdogs, fries, nachos and Aberdeen Angus burgers. Joining us will be Bowl Food, offering a range of hot treats from a converted ambulance. Firebird will also be on hand, serving up stone-baked pizzas; as well as The Buffalo Truck, who will be cooking up fired chicken.”

To wash all this down the bar has a range of treats.

Stipanovsky listed: “The licensed area will have Jaw Brew and Estrella beer, Rekorderlig cider, Daffy’s Gin and a cocktail bar.”

The bar tent will be open from 12pm till late.

With trains every 15 minutes from Glasgow to Balloch, it’s the perfect excuse to leave the car at home. Or – for the designated drivers – the Charlie Mills coffee truck is open from 10am till 10pm.

Stipanovsky concluded: “It’s a free event with a stunning backdrop, massive screen, great films, beach bar and some of people’s favourite food. What’s not to love?”

Festive Foraging

Foraging

Sprucing up spring – with an egg hunt alternative – is the Queen’s Park Herb Foraging Walk. Led by Green Health Glasgow on April 3, the walk will start at 11am at the Glad Café.

Green Health Medical Herbalist, Catriona Gibson said: “The walk will last up 2 hours, depending on the group and a little bit on the weather. The end point will be the Queen’s Park Glasshouses, which have toilets, a café and play area.”

Gibson explained that the walk is open to all ages, offering a beginners guide to foraging.

She continued: “The focus of the free walk is plant identification and confidence building.

“I will advise people how to harvest sustainably, respecting the plants and other organisms that rely on them. We will discuss when and how to harvest and any issues around mis-identification of species.”

Identifying plants comes as second nature to Gibson, who regularly hosts workshops and herbal health consultations. However, she encouraged walkers to bring along any foraging books and tips they wished to share.

She said: “The walks are really participative, with the chance to learn common species and try some recipes.”

Gibson rhymed off some of her favourite wild herb ingredients.

She said: “Wild Alliums, Ramsons and Few-Flowered Leek can substitute onion or garlic; and plants such as Lady’s Smock or Bittercress can be make Wild Green Pesto.”

Gibson explained food foraging is becoming a growing movement.

She added: “There’s been a real increase in food bloggers and artisan producers looking for innovative ingredients. I’ve worked with micro-brewers to make foraged beer, and with artists to examine how people and place influence and food.”

This conscientious approach reduces food miles and encourages awareness of seasonal produce.

Gibson said: Foraging connects people to their environment and fosters an appreciation of the natural world.”

The natural world, she said, was good for the body as well as the soul.

Gibson explained: “Many wild plants can be used medicinally for common ailments such as coughs, colds and headaches.”

There are also sociable benefits of foraging walks, as Gibson concluded: “The walks are a lot of fun. There’s always a diverse bunch of people looking to live more sustainably; from young families wanting their children to be more involved in the outdoors; to bloggers who are interested in food foraging or gardeners looking to enhance their skills.”

Updates on the April walk and similar events throughout the year can be found on Green Health’s Facebook page.

StrEAT Glasgow

 

StrEAT Glasgow pic

Combining Glasgow’s love of arts and eats; StrEAT food festival is coming to the Briggait on September 26 -27, and the best part is it’s free!

After witnessing the success of its London events, StrEAt organisers: Nicky Modlin, Simon Foy, Donald MacLeod and Vanessa Gilpin brought it north of the border.

Vanessa Gilpin explained: “A lot of culinary festivals just focus on food, but this one will include music and visual arts.

“There will be craft workshops throughout the day for kids and adults, including a live art session, where members of the public can use materials provided to get inspired.”

StrEAT Glasgow will also have artists playing between 2 and 9pm; with music ranging from folk to acoustic and jazz.

Gilpin said: “We are still confirming the full line up, but we have arranged a live jam session on Sunday for musicians to turn up and preform.”

She added: “There will be lots of seating for people to take in the atmosphere while enjoying their food.”

The festival will have an area of cold stalls, with chocolates, cakes and artisan beers; as well as a vendor catering area, where visitors can grab a hot bite to eat.

Gilpin said: “StrEAt Glasgow will feature food traders already quite popular in the area, such as Babu Bombay Street Kitchen,  Mighty Mexican, and Smoak.

“Then to wash this down there will be lots of craft beer and cocktails.”

Gilpin explained that people can follow StrEAT Glasgow on social media, to discover the traders as they are revealed. She vowed the festival would appeal to all tastes and ages.

From noon – 5pm there will be a chilled vibe and we expect a lot of families to attend at this time. Then, toward the end of the night, as the DJs hit the stage, there will be more of an adult feel to the festival.”

She concluded: “StrEAT festival is an exciting new concept for Glasgow; it will showcase great food and arts that no one should miss out on!”

Merchant City Festival

Merchant City Festival

Preparations have begun for this year’s Merchant City festival and it promises to be the biggest yet. Running twice the length of previous events, the 2015 bill will span July 25 – August 2.

Festival Executive Producer, Lorenzo Mele, said: “The 2014 Festival was exceptional because it supported the Commonwealth Games, acting as the cultural centre for the programme. Last year’s festival brought the city alive with outdoor content and that will continue this year.”

The outdoor content is expected to include acting, circus performances, and of course music.

Mele said: “The festival will include lots of different art forms, but its central element will be music. We have two outdoor stages every year and this year they will host a variety of artists, playing everything from rock, to RnB, and dance music.”

The Brunswick Street Stage will have a marquee with large screen and bar area; while the Emerging Talent Stage will showcase new bands.

Indoors, the Blackfriars Stage will once again feature music acts, but this year it will also become a comedy hub.

Headline comedy and music events will be cost ticketed, however Mele explained the majority of festival events will be free.

Bargain-seekers can enjoy a variety of performances and workshops throughout the day.

Mele said: “We want the festival’s daytime schedule to appeal to as much as the night; so we are hosting a weekday family zone, in Merchant City Square, from 27 –31 July.

“The festival will have interactive workshops for toddlers and parents; music for adults; and this year – for the first time – a programme for those 55 and older.”

Mele welcomed guests from all ages and walks of life.

He said: “The Merchant City Festival is good at bringing the focus on art, but also at attracting members of the public who wouldn’t usually go to gigs.”

He described plans to attract shoppers with interactive fashion and beauty events.

Mele said: “The team are examining ways to make the fashion element of the festival interactive, with things like upcycling and accessorising workshops.”

He added: “We have a Barcelonan act coming to the festival, called Osadia. This group create fantasy makeovers, taking people from the audience and transforming their look with hair and make- up sculpture.

“Osadia performed at the festival last year and they were hugely popular, so we look forward to having them back.”

Another international act Mele anticipates being a hit, is Dutch musician-come- chef: The Screaming, Cooking Prince; whose act does what it says on the tin.

As well as international acts, the festival will showcase home-grown talent.

Mele explained: “One of the highlights will be a UK dance performance called Fragile; a world Premier show from the Motionhouse dance company. It will involve around 25 performers dancing in, on and around JCB diggers. It should be quite spectacular.”

He concluded: “The Merchant City Festival really does have something for everyone. As well as great acts there will be stalls selling food from around the world.”

The festival’s themes include: Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, and Glasgow’s Year of Green; these themes provide inspiration for organisations hoping to participate.

Organisations hoping to participate in Merchant City Festival can apply for grants of up to £500, through the Get Involved Fund.

Proposals should include specially planned activities that incorporate city space.