Govan Music Festival begins today

Govan Music Festival

The forward-thinking Govan Music Festival opens in Glasgow today as it gears up for four days of progressive performances and inclusive cultural participation at venues across the historic district.

As the city gets set to enjoy the first days of spring, the event will see the south west corner of Glasgow blooming and brimming with freshly curated cultural activities which reflect and celebrate the diverse communities of Govan.

Now in its third year, the festival runs until Saturday 16th March and is part of a community-led regeneration strategy showcasing all that the neighbourhood has to offer including homegrown, Scottish and international talent across folk, fusion, world, classical, jazz and hip-hop music.

Over the coming days the festival, which is run by Govan’s regeneration orchestra The Glasgow Barons supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, is set to demonstrate how music can enhance people’s lives and revitalise an area.

Performances range from a unique collaboration between Scottish rappers and folk and jazz musicians, to an exceptional night of world music and Gaelic trad rock.

Friday 15th March will see Freed Up Friday, the launch party for Freed Up CIC, an independent producer of sober adult events specially curated for the recovery community. Scottish hip hop meets orchestral rave for this night at Park Villa Community Sports Hub, with performances from leading Scottish rappers Sweet Rogue, Freestyle Master, MOG and Dazza JFT. Popular rave tracks will also be mixed by GBX duo Gonzo and MC Cally accompanied by live strings from The Glasgow Barons.

The night will also see Freestyle Master, Sweet Rogue and MOG work with folk and jazz violinist Roo Geddes, accordionist Neil Sutcliffe and bassist Ewan Hastie, winner of the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2022, to present a brand new acoustic set of bare knuckle Scottish hip-hop fusion.

A coming together of trad and world music will take place on Saturday 16th March at Edmiston House as the award-winning Musicians In Exile and Glasgow Gaelic indie trad band DLÙ put on a special double bill concert. The musicians will debut a new song they have composed for the festival, inspired by Scotland’s natural environment. Musicians In Exile travelled to Loch Lomond before beginning work with DLÙ, giving New Scots the chance to connect with climate change and Scottish nature.

Classical music and jazz will also be celebrated when The Glasgow Barons host a UK premiere of Courtney Bryan’s music in the form of Carmen Jazz Suite on Themes by Bizet at Govan and Linthouse Parish Church On Thursday 14th March.

Led by conductor Paul MacAlindin, soprano saxophonist Lewis Banks and soprano Catriona Hewitson, this music is a contemporary and triumphant take on Bizet’s classic 1875 opera, Carmen, originally written for Branford Marsalis and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

The Four Barons Quartet, a new string quartet for Govan brought together to promote the growing school strings programmes in the area, will perform at Kinning Park Complex on Friday 15th March. The four-piece, consisting of Aaron McGregor, Emma Donald, Liam Brolly and Marina Sánchez Cabello, will stage a performance which marries exquisite romantic folk music with a more modern influence.

Elsewhere, a free School Choirs Concert will open proceedings on Wednesday as all seven of Govan’s school choirs come together at Govan’s Fairfield Club to celebrate music from around the world.

Dance and community cabaret is also represented on the programme with Gotta Dance! Gotta Sing! – a stunning showcase from Govan’s finest dancers and singers including VK Dance & Acro Academy, DanceDoc, Govan Allsorts Choir, Kayden White, FIVO and many more.

Paul MacAlindin, Artistic Director of The Glasgow Barons and Govan Music Festival, said: “Spring is in the air and when we think of this season, we think of rebirth, regeneration, growth and budding new possibilities – this is exactly what Govan Music Festival represents. It’s brilliant to be getting the third edition of this warm, exciting and diverse festival underway and we can’t wait to share some incredible music and performance with audiences over the next few days.

“The festival allows us to show Govan off and celebrate some incredible talent across a huge range of music genres. Whether the festival is on your doorstep or you haven’t spent much time in Govan, we would encourage you to come out and experience this eclectic and energised part of Glasgow that is on the up.”

Concerts are between £1 and £5, or are free of charge, to make the festival welcoming and accessible to all. With the opening of the Govan-Partick Footbridge this summer, connecting Riverside Museum to Central Govan, organisers hope the event will welcome new visitors to the area.

Govan Music Festival venues are all fully accessible venues, located close to southside subway stations.

The event runs until Sunday 16th March. Full event details and tickets are available from


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