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‘This is about bigging up Govan’: Festival seeks to reimagine historic district

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The community-led Glasgow music festival is focused on celebrating Govan in all its diversity, creating a welcoming space for all and encouraging participation and cultural exploration.

The festival was launched in March 2022 by The Glasgow Barons, Govan’s regeneration orchestra, which was set up to bring diverse communities together in Govan’s historic spaces. 

The festival was set up to help get live music back on its feet in Govan after the Covid pandemic, boost Govan’s image and bring homegrown talent to stages across the area.

READ MORE: The 10 most exciting concerts in Scotland this month

Concerts will be free of charge or cost between £1 and £5, in a bid to encourage Glaswegians to get out to the area’s historic venues and enjoy a programme spanning folk, fusion, classical and hip-hop music. 

With the opening of the Govan-Partick Footbridge this summer, connecting Govan to the Riverside Museum, organisers hope the event will also welcome new visitors to Govan and show the rest of the city what the area is all about.

Paul MacAlindin, Artistic Director of The Glasgow Barons and Govan Music Festival, said: “Govan Music Festival is all about bringing diverse people together and helping everyone live better through music. Govan is eclectic, energising, edgy and gallus – our festival reflects this personality. 

“Our programme has been built from the streets of Govan up – we have a deep connection with local musicians, venues and audiences, and the music and dance we’re sharing six events over four days encapsulates the cultural diversity and potential of our home, emerging from our ongoing regeneration work in the area.

The Herald: Aref Ghorbani of Musicians in ExileAref Ghorbani of Musicians in Exile (Image: Govan Music Festival)

“This event is about bigging up Govan. We want people across Glasgow to come out as we move into Spring and explore and support this fantastic menu of music on their doorstep. We also hope to welcome newcomers to reimagine this historic district and hope the low ticket prices will make this festival accessible to all.

“There’s a real sense at the moment of Govan’s ability to thrive and with an important new connection to the rest of the city now opening imminently, we know this is the time to take advantage of the excitement around our corner of Glasgow and help amplify the sense of pride in the area.”

The festival opens on Wednesday, March 13, with a free School Choirs Concert at Govan’s Fairfield Club, with all seven of Govan’s school choirs coming together for the performance to celebrate music from around the world.

The next evening, Govan’s regeneration orchestra, The Glasgow Barons, will host a special UK premiere of Courtney Bryan’s Carmen Jazz Suite on Themes by Bizet at Govan and Linthouse Parish Church.

The Four Barons Quartet, a new string quartet for Govan, will perform at Kinning Park Complex on Friday, March 15, the same night as the launch party for Freed Up CIC, an independent producer of sober adult events specially curated for the recovery community.

Govan Music Festival will wrap up on Saturday March 16, with a double bill concert at Edmiston House from award-winning Musicians in Exile and Glasgow Gaelic indie trad band, DLÙ.  

Tickets for this year’s festival are on sale now at www.glasgowbarons.com.

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