Glasgow 2014: Mandela tribute concerts planned

Nelson Mandela: Glasgow was the first city to honour him. Picture: Getty
Nelson Mandela: Glasgow was the first city to honour him. Picture: Getty
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MAJOR tribute concerts for the late South African president Nelson Mandela are expected be held in both Glasgow and Edinburgh on the eve of the Commonwealth Games.

Showpiece events featuring acts drawn from around the world are being planned as part of worldwide Mandela Day celebrations.

The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh are understood to be lined up for the events, potentially allowing more than 4,000 to pay tribute to the late figurehead.

They will herald the start of a city-wide cultural festival in Glasgow to coincide with the sporting event and the start of the capital’s annual celebration of jazz and blues, which is the traditional curtain-raiser to the summer festivals.

In 1981, Glasgow was the first city in the world to honour Mr Mandela with the freedom of the city, at a time when he was behind bars and still viewed as a terrorist by many countries.

Talks about the two events were held at the Celtic Connections festival at the weekend, following a guest appearance by one of South Aftrica’s biggest musical acts, The Mahotella Queens, during a gala Burns concert at the Hydro in Glasgow.

Veteran Scottish anti-apartheid campaigner Brian Filling, who is the current honorary consul for South Africa in Scotland, said: “There will be a whole series of events in Scotland in the run-up to Mandela Day on 18 July, but the concerts will be the main centrepieces, and they will feature a mix of Scottish and South African performers.”