The arts director taking up the cause for free summer events

Brendon McIlroy
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Mini street festivals will take place in the West End this summer, it has been announced.

Vinicombe Street Community Gala will be on Saturday June 19 and the Mansfield Park Street Festival on June 26.

Both events have been backed by public authorities and will comply with covid restrictions.

And crucially for the organisers, both events will be free to the public.

The drive behind both galas comes from local arts director Brendon McIlroy who runs Halo Arts.

He said he is keen to retain a programme of free-to-access events in the face of pressures to commercialise festivals in the city.

He said: “There seems to be a movement away from free provision in the West End and an increasing number of organisations looking to charge £80-£100 for a family of four to attend. 

“In line with events like the West End Festival, Halo Arts’ community events are and always will be free.

“Money shouldn’t be a barrier when it comes to things like this.”

Brendon has staged a number of theatre and arts events in the past.

He was heavily involved in the running of the West End Festival.

All you need to know about Vinicombe Street Community Gala.

However, there is no expectation that long-running festival will be returning this year, and certainly not in its usual format.

Details of how the two street events will be staged will be announced nearer the dates.

It is likely numbers will be limited and ticketed and booked online – but crucially remaining free of any entry charge.

The Vinicombe Street Gala is supported by Hillhead Area Partnership, EventScotland, and Byres Road BID & Visit West End. 

Mansfield Park Street Festival is supported by Partick East/Kelvindale Area Partnership & EventScotland.

Brendon said: “The Vinicombe Street Community Gala will be an accessible community event taking place on the recently pedestrianised piazza. 

“The day will comprise a community stage featuring a diverse and vibrant programme of performances from live music and samba bands to socially distanced choirs and circus performers.  

‘There seems to be a movement away from free provision in the West End and an increasing number of organisations looking to charge £80-£100 for a family of four to attend’

Brendon McIlroy

“We also aim to use as many local groups and performers as possible. 

“This is very much an event for the community and by the community.”

Street theatre, participatory art, children’s entertainment such as face painting & balloon modelling will also feature.

Local businesses will have stalls for visitors to browse.

Keeping community events free is extremely important to Brendon.

He said: “The Halo Arts team are taking an optimistic but cautious approach to planning for any events and projects this year.

“Our events plan will involve reduced audience, social distancing, signage and other Covid-19 prevention measures.”

  • Watch this space for further announcements about the events.

From our Twitter page