The cultural programme will run in parallel to the Glasgow 2018 European Championships

In addition to the much-vaunted sporting spectacle that will spotlight Glasgow to a global audience in August, the city will also benefit from a packed schedule of cultural events.

Hundreds of events are set to take place as part of Festival 2018, which will run in parallel to the inaugural European Championships multi-sport event being co-hosted with Berlin.

Thousands of sports-lovers will descend on the city for a range of events after six European sporting federations decided to co-locate their individual sports with different disciplines, including aquatics, cycling and athletics.

The decision was taken as a way of enticing broadcasters, commercial sponsors and a whole new audience of potentially a billion people across Europe and farther afield.

The theory will be put to the test by Glasgow City Council as the sports and cultural programmes unfold during the first two weeks of August.

None will be more engaged than two women who are directing the cultural programme; overseeing a seven-strong team, which will scale up to 100 during event, will be Jill Miller, Director of Cultural Services for Glasgow Life and Katie Duffy, Senior Programme Manager for Festival 2018.

Katie said: “It’s amazing to be involved with Festival 2018 – we’re working towards delivering a programme of world-class arts and cultural activity that empowers Scotland’s cultural sector and for me that is a really exciting thing to be a part of. Artists, arts organisations and groups across the country have beenso generous with their ideas, passion and creativity and this has really allowed us to bring together such a diverse and exciting programme.”

Through its Berlin partnership, the programme focuses on the creativity of Scotland’s cultural sector and features international names alongside up-and-coming artists and community performers including:

  • 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.

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.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “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.

“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.”