Merchant City Festival celebrates 10 years

14 Jul 2011

Visitors to Glasgow’s Merchant City are in for a treat next week as the Merchant City Festival returns with its most extensive, colourful and diverse programme of the decade, including several world premieres and specially commissioned performances.

Topping 70,000 attendances over four days last year, organisers are celebrating the Festival's tenth anniversary with its most ambitious programme yet - incorporating 130 events across 54 venues under various 'strands' including dance, music, street arts, theatre, visual arts and comedy - and new for 2011, a sports strand in anticipation of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the city's hosting of eight Olympic football matches at Hampden as part of London 2012.

This year's Merchant City Festival runs from 21 - 24 July.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, Chair of Merchant City Festival and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau said: "I am very proud of the Merchant City Festival. Its growth over the last ten years in terms of both its programming and its ability to attract visitors has been phenomenal and it now serves as a true summertime celebration of the fantastic music, culture and artistic passion which is so palpable all around the Merchant City - demonstrable through the area's wealth of cutting-edge arts organisations and venues, the majority of which feature heavily in the Festival programme.

"Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Glasgow City Council invest in the Merchant City Festival every year because of its ability to bring in tourists and hard currency to Glasgow as a destination. In 2011, it attracted 70,000 attendances, half of which came from outside Glasgow, bringing over £640,000 into the local economy."

The new sports strand reflects important developments going ahead in Glasgow to incorporate the countdown to London 2012 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Merchant City Festival last year moved to a new summertime slot to coincide with Glasgow 2014, and this year will provide a taster of what is to come with a major dance piece - Get Set GlasGOw - choreographed by Natasha Gilmore and funded by Creative Scotland as part of London 2012 Open Weekend. The commission will involve 100 local dancers from three local dance companies Dance House, Indepen-dance and YDANCE.

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