Glasgow 2018 festival programme unveiled

Glasgow-born Turner Prize winner Douglas Gordon is to join forces with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to create a special tribute to the historic heart of his home city.

Glasgow's George Square will be transformed into a major events space during the European Championships in August.

It will be unveiled in George Square during an 11-day cultural festival staged to coincide with the biggest sporting event in the city since the Commonwealth Games.

The Celtic Connections music festival, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, electronic dance giants Orbital and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and rock band Mogwai’s guitarist Barry Burns will also be staging special events in the square.

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It will be transformed into a major events space during the European Championships, in August, a new multi-sports event which is being hosted jointly by Glasgow and Berlin in August.

Glasgow-born Turner Prize winner Douglas Gordon. Picture: TSPL

Aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, golf, rowing and triathlon events are being held in Scotland, with venues in Edinburgh, Perth and Kinross, North Lanarkshire and Loch Lomond also being deployed as well as the likes of the SSE Hydro, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

Organisers say Douglas Gordon will be developing a special programme for an event in George Square on 2 August that “responds its rich heritage as the civic heart of the city and where citizens gather for their collective voice to be heard.”

More than 3700 artists will be taking part in Festival 2018, which will also include a carnival procession from the city centre to Glasgow Green and a “civic canteen” which will take over a street in the Merchant City to showcase the best of Scotland’s natural larder.

Other major events taking place across the city include Portal, which will see the Clyde Tunnel transformed by a vast sound and light installation inspired by science fiction and marine mythology.

Sink will see a group of 24 women turn synchronised swimming into a vast work of art at the Western Baths, in the city’s West End, while Super Night Shot will see the people of Glasgow become stars in a film shot live on the city’s streets and then broadcast to an outdoor audience later the same evening.

Circus acts from around Europe will be performing in a huge big top venue on Glasgow Green, a celebration of international street bands will be staged in the Merchant City and a new outdoor show inspired by the city’s most celebrated architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, will combine otherworldly choreography, live music and sculptural costume” when it is staged.

Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop, who launched the full line-up for the cultural programme in George Square, said: “Festival 2018 is an excellent platform to showcase Scotland’s talent and strengthen connections – both at home and internationally.

“There will be something for everyone and people can have a great day or evening out during the European Championships. With this combined offer of elite sport and a vibrant cultural programme they will help further promote Scotland as the perfect stage for major events.”