A massive programme of ‘unmissable events’ has been launched as part of a ‘cultural festival’ running alongside the Glasgow 2018 European Championships this summer.

Hundreds of events will take place at sites across the city, including a ‘mass kareoke night’ in George Square, described as the ‘beating heart’ of Festival 2018, a sound and light show in the Clyde Tunnel and a huge carnival wending its way from from the City Centre and Merchant City, finishing in Glasgow Green.

Around 3,700 artists and performers will keep crowds entertained at multiple venues across the city in the extensive programme, mostly comprised of free events, which runs for two weeks from August 1st. The city will at the same time play host to the first-ever multi-sport championships, which are being delivered by the city in partnership with Berlin.

It will be biggest sporting event to be held in Scotland since the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and will see some of the continent’s leading sports come together, including the existing European Championships for Aquatics, Cycling, Gymnastics, Rowing and Triathlon with a new Golf Team Championships.

According to organisers, the cultural programme’s ‘breadth, depth and accessibility of the programme ensures that there’s something for everyone to enjoy’.

“Through this inclusive and innovative programme, Festival 2018, is an excellent platform to showcase Scotland’s talent and strengthen connections – both at home and internationally,” said Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

“There will be something for everyone and people can have a great day or evening out during the Championships.  The Festival 2018 Carnival Procession that is taking place on the first Saturday will be a very special moment when community groups from across Scotland come together to weave through the streets of Glasgow, rubbing shoulders with home-grown and international performers.

“With this combined offer of elite sport and a vibrant cultural programme The Glasgow 2018 European Championships will help further promote Scotland as the perfect stage for major events, enhancing its reputation for inclusiveness, cultural brilliance and creative thinking.”

Glasgow City Council’s Depute Leader, Cllr David McDonald said: “George Square has been the venue for some incredible art and entertainment over many decades – and Festival 2018 will again welcome huge crowds as the Merchant City Festival gets underway nearby.

“As a UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow is incredibly proud of its vibrant and world-class musical landscape and it’s fantastic to see that the Festival 2018 music programme brings together so many of its talented artists.

“The fun won’t just stop at George Square and Merchant City. Go Live! at the Green at Glasgow Green will be packed with activities and entertainment as well as being home to a Big Top showcasing the best in contemporary circus. Glasgow is the place to be this August.”

A highlight of the culinary offering of Festival 2018 will be ‘Civic Canteen’ on John Street in Glasgow, a series of events and workshops with the shared goal of using delicious food as a vehicle to promote cultural exchange. With the help of Scotland’s National Chef Gary MacLean, who will be exploring seasonal food, this foodie hub encourages visitors to learn a little more about the food they’re eating and who they’re eating it with.

The full programme includes:

  • Wednesday 1 August – The Big Opening Party will kick off the first ever European Championships to thousands of people in George Square, featuring some of Scotland’s finest musicians including Scottish duo The Ayoub Sisters, SAY Award-winners Sacred Paws and Mercury Music Prize-nominated C Duncan. More artists are still to be announced.
  • Thursday 2 August – The first day of the sporting action will open with the best and brightest young musicians in Scotland, with performances in George Square all day featuring young talent aged 14 to 19 who have come through the Hit the Road and Behind the Noise programmes.
  • Thursday 2 August – George Square will also host an exceptional collaboration between internationally renowned visual artist Douglas Gordon and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra with one of the cornerstones of the programme being a re-working for orchestration of a Mogwai composition entitled Music For A Forgotten Future (The Singing Mountain) which is to be performed live for the first time in George Square.
  • Saturday 4 August – Around 800 community and professional performers will take part in a vibrant carnival procession through Glasgow’s City Centre and Merchant City, finishing in Glasgow Green.  Participants will come from across Glasgow and Scotland, representing the venues of the sporting action– East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, North Lanarkshire, Perth & Kinross and Stirling – as well as Glasgow schools and Karneval Der Kulturen in Berlin
  • Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August – inclusive circus company Extraordinary Bodies, fill the Big Top on Glasgow Green with their new show “What Am I Worth.” A circus show with original live music and groundbreaking physical moments, with diverse skills and ways of communicating stories to audiences.
  • Tuesday 7 August – Glasgow Meets Berlin – a gala celebration – will see the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland collaborate for the first time ever with Europe’s largest arts institution, the Universität der Künste, to perform a live-linked concert between Glasgow and Berlin.
  • Friday 10 August – Orbital, Britain’s giants of electronic music, will deliver a rare performance in George Square featuring new material.
  • Saturday 11 August –  Mogwai’s Barry Burns will curate an evening in George Square of the best in modern music, featuring Berlin-based musicians with links to Glasgow in George Square, including Barry’s SUMS group playing their first ever gig in the UK.
  • Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 August – Catalonian radical make-over artists Osadia return to fashion sculptural and dramatic creations with members of the public. Are you brave enough to sit in the barber’s chair?
  • Sunday 12 August – Celtic Connections will close the European Championships and Festival 2018 in George Square with an evening of the best Scottish and world music.