Glasgow bands Sambayabamba and BrassAye will have the West End on its feet this weekend.
The big beat outfits will be playing pop-up gigs at the programme launch for Glasgow’s newest cultural festival this Saturday (April 22).
WestFest will bring together more than 100 cultural and community events from June 2-25 in more than 50 venues.
Ahead of that, this weekend's free outdoor performances by Sambayabamba and BrassAye will take place at Kelvingrove Park, Ashton Lane and Glasgow Botanic Gardens (see times and place below).
At the pop-up shows, the first of 50,000 festival brochures will be handed out ahead of full distribution next week.
WestFest features a colourful mix of concerts, performances, recitals, galas and exhibitions across music, theatre, comedy and visual art.
Special highlights include Luke Jerram’s Gaia at McIntosh Queens Cross, the Glasgow Mela, the Glasgow Vintage Open Bus Tour and the return of the annual Kelvingrove Outdoor Ceilidh.
The jewel in WestFest’s crown will be the free programme of community events across every weekend in June: The Big Sunday at Kelvingrove Bandstand, Vinicombe Street Gala, the Mansfield Park Street Festival and the annual Queen Margaret Drive Festival.
WestFest’s director Brendon McIlroy founded the festival in 2022 to meet an “overwhelming demand” for community and cultural events in the city.
The terrific attendance and overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received for our events last year, demonstrates more than ever that there is a big demand for accessible events and activities in the West End.
Brendon said: “It’s hugely exciting that we are finally able to launch WestFest this year.
“It’s been four years since there was a proper festival in the West End and after a very challenging few years people need events, arts and culture in their lives more than ever.
“The terrific attendance and overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received for our events last year, demonstrates more than ever that there is a big demand for accessible events and activities in the West End.
“It would be hugely disappointing if there wasn't some form of festival again this year.”
Brendon said: “At the end of the day this is all about responding to community need and giving people what they want.
“Events programmes are becoming increasingly difficult to deliver in light of funding cuts and if WestFest don’t fill the void- who will?
“People need a bit of levity and fun in their lives more than ever and we are uniquely placed to deliver that.”
As well as the events programme, WestFest has a commitment to outreach and education with a range of workshops and projects for community groups and schools.
A separate event which ran for many years, the West End Festival, has not been staged since 2021.
Pop-up show times and locations:
Sambayabamba: Kelvingrove Park Fountain (12.30pm); Ashton Lane (1.30pm); Botanic Gardens (2.30pm)
BrassAye: Ashton Lane (12.30pm); Kelvingrove Park Fountain (1.30pm); Kelvingrove Galleries Steps (2.30pm)