Festival draws 40,000 for ‘world class’ event

24 Sep 2007

Evening Times, by Jonathan Paisley

The Merchant City Festival was hailed as a "world class" event after more than 40,000 people attended a host of shows.

The four-day spectacular boasted its biggest ever programme of arts, entertainment and high fashion.

Highlights included the Glasgow Rocks fashion show at The Corinthian, which featured the catwalk debut of Yasmin Le Bon's daughter Amber, and performances from international street theatre companies, Scottish Opera, and a film programme in association with BAFTA Scotland.

The 2007 event had everything from theatre and live music on the streets to visual art and clubbing.

The Carnival Arts Centre took a Sri Lankan theme this year, showcasing world music and dance from South Asia and Europe, comedy and curry as well as late night DJs.

Comedy highlights included Spymonkey, a hit at the Montreal Just for Laughs festival, at The Tron and Glasgow comic Kevin Bridges.

Glasgow City Council leader Steven Purcell said: "The Merchant City Festival has firmly established itself as a cutting edge, world class event.

"It not only showcases the energy of this thriving and creative district of Glasgow but also enhances the city's credentials as Glasgow: Scotland with Style.

"I am delighted that the festival continues to grow year-on-year and is now a key event within the city's annual calender of major events and festivals."

Neil Butler, artistic director of organisers UZ Events, added: "This year showcased some of the most exciting and original arts and culture in Scotland."

Gordon Matheson, chairman of the Merchant City Festival, said: "The growth of the festival reflects and celebrates this community's ongoing transformation into Scotland's leading residential, cultural and entertainment quarter.

"This year's programme was the biggest and most extensive yet, involving a record number of local venues of all sizes and characters."

  • Street threatre on Bell Street during the festival