Merchant City Festival 2017: What to Check Out

Summertime in Glasgow means a few things are for certain: there’s less chance of you getting soaked as you go about your day (oh, sunshine – how I’ve missed you!), the ice cream van in Kelvingrove Park will do a roaring trade (because any price is reasonable when you’re spending your day basking in the sun, loving life…)  and, finally, Glasgow’s festival season kicks off!

Yup, Glasgow LOVES a summer shindig and, hot off the heels of recent TRNSMT and Mela festivals, we now have Merchant City Festival launching on 22nd July.

This nine-day celebration of arts and culture is jam-packed with events and activities. We’re spoiled for choice with music, comedy, exhibitions, street food, club nights, performances and much more – so deciding what to check out over the festival period is tough! 

I’ve got my eye on a few things and I thought I would share my Merchant City Festival 2017 picks – just in case you need help making your mind up, or if you’re new to the festival altogether and don’t know where to start!

Red Bus Bistro

Hanging out in a 1966 Routemaster bus has vintage style written all over it but throw a tasty afternoon tea into the mix and it’s EVEN MORE appealing! The Red Bus Bistro will be stationed in Wilson Street on the 22nd and 23rd of July serving teatime treats by day and cocktails n’ deli platters by night.

Massaoke

Part gig, part karaoke and 100% party, Massaoke’s events have been sweeping the nation and, for one night only (29th July at the Old Fruitmarket), it’s coming to Glasgow as part of Merchant City Festival. What’s Massaoke? I’m so glad you asked! A live band plays everyone’s favourite hits while the lyrics are displayed on huge screens, inviting the crowd to belt out the words together. It’s so crazy it just might work. I’ve got my ticket – see you there?

Punk Archaeology

Anyone walking around the city can see the spirit of 1970s punk well and truly lives on in Glasgow today and this one-off event delves a little deeper into punk history and culture. With a panel of guest speakers exploring punk in Scotland (and Glasgow in particular of course!), the evening will then be concluded with a special screening of Derek Jarman’s 1978 cult movie, Jubilee. Get in touch with your punk roots on 26th July at City Halls.

Merchant City Photography Tour: Glasgow Doors Open Day with Dreghorn Photography School 

The eagle-eyed (and very loyal!) amongst you may remember I had a class with Dreghorn Photography School a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. I’d recommend learning some tips from these guys whether you’re a beginner or seasoned snapper! They’re running two free classes (places booked via Eventbrite) on the 23rd and 29th, and will be giving their attendees exclusive access to some of the areas beautiful buildings to nail that perfect shot.

Big Feed on Tour

If you love mouthwatering street food and a friendly atmosphere, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of Big Feed’s regular indoor markets which have foodies all over town swooning. Showcasing the very best of Glasgow’s indie food vendors, their events are already becoming pretty legendary so, when I heard they were going ‘on tour’ to Merchant City, I popped their dates in my diary. Catch them on Brunswick Street on the 28th, 29th and 30th of this month.

Phew! Can you believe that I’m only scratching the surface here? You can find out more about these events, plus the ENTIRE Merchant City Festival 2017 programme, here!

Will you be visiting the festival this year? And what are some of your favourite things about Glasgow in summer?

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