Media Release: Merchant Square dances into the heart of Merchant City Festival


THE Merchant City Festival celebrates its 11th year with street art, music, dance, theatre, heritage, design, film, visual art, comedy and food and drink in Glasgow’s cultural quarter from 25 – 29 July – and Merchant Square has danced its way into the very heart of the festivities!

Already renowned as one of Britain’s most vibrant public spaces, now Merchant Square in Merchant City, the heart of Glasgow’s cultural, fashion and food quarter, is set to bring the Merchant City Festival to life with a series of free dance performances open to all.

The new, specially created Merchant Square Stage will be the place to see exciting and diverse home-grown dance performances.

That’s where, on Saturday 28 July at 1:45pm – 2.15pm and 4pm – 4.30pm, Dance House and Making Music Scotland celebrate the Cultural Olympiad with new choreography by Rosina Bonsu to the Making Music Overture by Orlando Gough, performed live by Helensburgh Orchestral Society (conductor Robert Baxter) as part of Big Dance 2012 and Get Scotland Dancing.

Also on Saturday, at 3pm, ydance Fresh Faces will perform an exciting programme of contemporary dance from some of the best youth dance companies in Scotland.

On Sunday 29 July, from 11 – 11.40am and 12.00 – 12.40pm, members of the public are invited to enter into the festival spirit at Get Dancing! with Dannsa in a Scottish Step Dance workshop with live music.

Then, at 2pm, Dance Juke Box will feature an exciting selection of favourite dance and music styles as part of Big Dance 2012, with audience participation encouraged.

At 3pm the dance community stage in Merchant Square will feature the best dance performance from Glasgow’s dance community, including Indepen-dance Youth Company – Young 1’s presents its latest inclusive dance production and Desi Bravehearts performs a colourful selection of Bollywood inspired dance choreographed by Pratap Shetty.

Finally, from 5pm till 6pm offers the perfect end to the perfect weekend with great live music and dancing at the Get Dancing! family ceilidh led by Dannsa.

Jenni Morrison, of Merchant Square, said: “Merchant Square has been a committed supporter of the Merchant City Festival since its inception and this year we’ve introduced a dedicated Merchant Square Stage for the first time, in recognition of the fact that the festival gets bigger and better every year!”

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of the Merchant City Festival, said: “The fantastic music, culture and artistic vision on show across the five days are a reflection of the brilliant arts organisations and venues our city has to offer, like Merchant Square with the addition of the new Merchant Square Stage.

“If you haven’t experienced this exciting festival, 2012 is the year to relish in all that it has to offer.”

In addition to playing host to a free series of dance events, Merchant Square will also show the live screening of the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday 27 July from 9pm – midnight on its special big screen.

Furthermore, the popular Merchant Square craft market, an intrinsic part of the festival, is on Saturday 28 July from 11am – 9pm and Sun 29, from 11am – 7pm.

And instead of its usual location in the Square itself, this year’s craft fair is going al fresco with stalls offering one-off, specially made pieces and quality products including cards, jewellery, paintings, aromatherapy products, home-made jams and chutneys, photography and fashion accessories set out along Bell Street and Albion Street.

Merchant City Festival 2012 is the biggest and best yet, with 300 events and performances across 75 venues and featuring several world and UK premieres.

The Merchant Square is Glasgow’s most vibrant venue for a worldwide selection of cafes, bars and restaurants, including: Arisaig; Bar Square; Beer Café; Boudoir Wine Bar; The Chophouse Brasserie; Fanelli’s; Mercado and Metropolitan.

Located on Candleriggs, Merchant Square, once part of the old Glasgow Fruit Market, is imbued with the history of the area’s dominating Victorian architecture, although today this sense of history blends seamlessly with the distinctly cosmopolitan ambiance that pervades the surrounding cobbled streets that bring the outside in.


For further information on Merchant Square please contact Jenni Morrison on tel 0141 552 3038

For more information about Merchant City Festival please contact:

Suzanne Rough, Glasgow Life Phone 0141 287 3575 Mob 0777 540 7443


Or Hannah Matheson, Glasgow Life Phone  0141 287 3565 Mob 07825 864 631


Issued on behalf of Merchant Square by Liquorice Media tel 0141 561 4018

Date 18th July 2012

Notes to editors:

  • The 2012 Merchant City Festival runs from 25 to 29 July, the festivities will continue until 3 August with the unique 2012 Experience when Glasgow will host eight Olympic football matches at Hampden as part of London 2012.
  • This is the 11th festival offering 300 events and performances spread across 75 venues.
  • Merchant City Festival is funded by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Creative Scotland and the Merchant City Townscape Heritage Initiative. It is also supported by Glasgow City Council and sponsored by Merchant Square and Fraser Suites.
  • Merchant City Festival programming is organised by Glasgow Arts

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Contact: Susan Christie
Phone: 0141 561 4018