Article Source: Govan Music Festival
Last Updated: 7 February 2024 13:10
The community-led Glasgow music festival is focused on celebrating Govan in all its diversity and marks the start of spring in the city, 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, set up by Paul MacAlindin to bring diverse communities together in Govan’s magnificent, historic spaces and help people revitalise their neighbourhood through music.
The festival was set up to help get live music back on its feet in Govan after the pandemic, boost Govan’s image and bring incredible homegrown talent to stages across the area.
The festival has become an annual celebration with Govan’s creativity at its heart, with a diverse programme spanning folk, fusion, classical and hip-hop music which earned it a place in the finals of VisitScotland Thistle Awards in the Outstanding Event or Festival category.
Concerts are between £1 and £5, or are free of charge, in a bid to encourage Glaswegians to get out to the area’s historic venues and enjoy its dynamic cultural offering. The festival is a shining example of how music can be used to respond to people’s needs and involving local folk in its running.
With the opening of the Govan-Partick Footbridge this summer, connecting Riverside Museum to Central Govan, 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.
“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’s engaging programme opens with a free School Choirs Concert at Govan’s Fairfield Club. All seven of Govan’s school choirs will come together for the performance at 1pm, Wednesday 13th March, to celebrate music from around the world.
That evening the same venue will welcome Gotta Dance! Gotta Sing!, a stunning showcase from Govan’s finest dancers and singers in a community cabaret which includes VK Dance & Acro Academy, DanceDoc, Govan Allsorts Choir, Kayden White, FIVO and many more.
On Thursday 14th March, 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.
Led by conductor Paul MacAlindin, soprano saxophonist Lewis Banks and soprano Catriona Hewitson, this music is a contemporary take on Bizet’s classic 1875 opera, Carmen, originally written for Branford Marsalis and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. In this version of Carmen, her love and fearlessness triumph in a world where she thrives and wins!
The Four Barons Quartet, a new string quartet for Govan, will perform at Kinning Park Complex on Friday 15th March. The quartet, Aaron McGregor, Emma Donald, Liam Brolly and Marina Sánchez Cabello will stage a performance which marries exquisite romantic folk music with a more modern influence.
The quartet have come together specifically to promote the growing schools strings programmes in Govan and will coincide with a week-long residence and a visit to nearby Riverside Primary School.
Friday 15th March is Freed Up Friday, the launch party for Freed Up CIC, an independent producer of sober adult events specially curated for the recovery community. Scottish hip hop meets orchestral rave for this night at Park Villa Community Sports Hub, with new tracks from Sweet Rogue, Freestyle Master, MOG and Dazza JFT. Popular rave tracks will also be mixed by GBX duo Gonzo and MC Cally accompanied by live strings from The Glasgow Barons.
In the lead up to this event, the festival is delivering an initiative called Recovery Rap, where Johnny Cypher is delivering rap workshops in Maryhill residential rehab, Phoenix Futures. Participants will have the option to perform at Freed Up Friday.
Another collaboration ahead of this show called Lab Raps will see leading Scottish rappers Freestyle Master, Sweet Rogue and MOG work with folk and jazz violinist Roo Geddes, accordionist Neil Sutcliffe and bassist Ewan Hastie, winner of the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2022. The six artists will come together to create a new acoustic set of bare knuckle Scottish hip-hop fusion to present at Freed Up Friday.
Govan Music Festival will wrap up on Saturday 16th March with a double bill concert at Edmiston House from the award-winning Musicians in Exile and Glasgow Gaelic indie trad band, DLÙ.
The exceptional night of world music and Gaelic folk rock will see the two groups team up for a special collaboration to be debuted on the night. Ahead of the festival, Musicians in Exile will travel to Loch Lomond to learn about the impact of climate change on Scottish nature. They will then work with DLÙ to create a new song. The project gives New Scots the chance to connect with Scotland’s transition to zero carbon.
Govan Music Festival venues are all fully accessible venues, located close to southside subway stations. Tickets for this year’s festival are on sale now at www.glasgowbarons.com
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