Media Release: Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme launched for Glasgow

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Glasgow to host extraordinary cultural events as part of

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games nationwide Cultural Programme

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GLASGOW will provide the setting for some fantastic and innovative cultural events taking place as part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games nationwide Cultural Programme, which was unveiled today.

Glasgow will see the culmination of Perch, a spectacular international collaboration high above the streets. The satirical spoof News Just In will be set in the Glasgow 2014 media office. Tramway will host GRIT, a vibrant international collaboration, directed by Cora Bissett and based on the inspiring life and music of one of Scotland’s most influential musicians,  Martyn Bennett.  The Empire Café will be based in Merchant City and provide the setting for a number of events around Scotland while Big Big Sing will stage a massed singing event in Glasgow as one of many events around the country to get people singing.

Big Big Sing

Big Big Sing is a nationwide celebration of singing produced by Glasgow UNESCO City of Music. It will inspire thousands of people to sign up and get singing in the lead up to and during Games Time. Kicking off this autumn, Big Big Sing will provide a wide range of opportunities to participate in the Cultural Programme.

A spokesperson explained: “With the Big Seven Community Choirs across Scotland, a range of live Song Stages in and around Glasgow, and a free Song Book of newly commissioned songs to be made available all over Scotland, why not to join in and get singing?”

The spokesperson continued: “There’ll also be a massed singing event in Glasgow, and an online choir combining singers and songs from around the Commonwealth. No experience is required to take part.  Simply register your interest in Big Big Sing via and learn about more opportunities at throughout the coming months.”

A new national framework of information and training will underpin Big Big Sing.


Perch is described as “a spectacular global performance on multiple stages.” High above streets in three countries – Scotland, Australia, and Brazil – Perch will offer audiences aerial theatre, street theatre, community participation, choirs, orchestras and media broadcast.

An international collaboration from Conflux, Legs On The Wall, Lume Teatro, and composer Stephen Deazley, Perch will grow from small musical and theatrical interventions in each country to a spectacular finale in Glasgow. Audiences will experience aerialists overhead while street performers mingle amongst them. An orchestra will perform a live score and buildings will be transformed before one’s very eyes, while performances are screened live from Australia and Brazil.

News Just In

News Just In by Random Accomplice will be a continually evolving, satirical comedy set in the media office of Glasgow 2014. Part live theatre, part online content, News Just In will offer a direct response to the events that take place each day.


GRIT is an ambitious new multi-form, site-specific, international collaborative theatre production based on the inspiring life and music of one of Scotland’s most innovative, pioneering and influential musicians, Martyn Bennett.

Multi-award winning Director, Cora Bissett (Olivier Award winning RoadKill/ Whatever Gets You Through the Night and hit new political musical Glasgow Girls) and one of Scotland’s most provocative playwriting voices Kieran Hurley will work with a team of International and Scottish dance, circus and theatre artists including Canada’s renowned choreographer, Dana Gringas (Animals of Distinction), and technical director of Cirque Du Soleil, Andrew WatsonGRIT is produced by Pachamama Productions in an association with Tramway and Mull Theatre. It will be staged firstly at Tramway then as part of the Midsummer weekend in Mull.

The Empire Café

The Empire Café will be based in Glasgow’s Merchant City for seven days and will explore Scotland’s involvement with the North Atlantic Slave trade via tea, coffee, sugar and cotton.

At first glance the café will look like a traditional tea room, but closer inspection will reveal furnishings patterned with symbols of the slave trade. The Empire Café will host a series of debates, academic papers, literary readings, films, workshops and art installations themed around Scotland and slavery. The project will also commission poems from Commonwealth and Scottish poets on the same theme, which will be published in an anthology in co-operation with the Scottish Poetry Library and Scottish PEN. The free poetry anthology will be distributed via The Empire Café and selected libraries. The work is led by author Louise Welsh and Jude Barber of Collective Architecture.

The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme will be a key part of the Games experience for spectators and visitors. Running from the ‘One Year to Go’ milestone in July 2013 until the end of August 2014, it will showcase the best of Scottish culture alongside creative work from across the Commonwealth and be a nationwide celebration of the Games, reaching its peak as Glasgow bursts into life at Games time.

The programme features theatre, dance, music, visual arts, comedy and multi-media; intimate shows and outdoor spectaculars; work in theatres, community centres, on bicycles, by rivers, in botanic gardens, art galleries, cinemas, public spaces and much more.

Eileen Gallagher, independent director on the Glasgow 2014 Board and chair of the Ceremonies, Culture and Queen’s Baton Relay Committee, said: “With just over a year to go, Glasgow and Scotland are on a global stage – and our best artists and performers are about to showcase the very finest of Scottish and Commonwealth culture to the world.

“As we count down the days to Glasgow 2014, the entire nation can celebrate and be part of the Games, with an ambitious programme of performance and entertainment which will touch every corner of Scotland. Then as all eyes turn to Glasgow, the city will burst into life with a massive celebration which will provide an entertaining and memorable Games time experience, for citizens, spectators and visitors alike.”

There are two strands to the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme – itself a collaboration between the Organising Committee, Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life. These are:

  • Culture 2014 will kick off this year and is the Scotland-wide cultural countdown to the Games, extending beyond the Closing Ceremony. Many events will happen from mid-June to tie-in with the Queen’s Baton Relay – the global precursor to the Games – as Scotland’s towns and communities celebrate as the baton passes through.
  • Festival 2014 is the massive Games-time celebration in Glasgow running alongside the sporting action, transforming the city from 19 July to 3 August with an invigorating mix of entertainment, culture and enjoyment filling the streets, spaces and stages of Glasgow.

Over the coming weeks and months, more detail about the projects outlined in this press release and additional projects yet to be announced, will be revealed.

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Notes to Editors

  1. The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving 71 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years. Glasgow 2014 will be the XX Commonwealth Games and will be held from 23 July to 3 August. It will feature 17 sports in 11 days of competition with 250 medal events on show. The Games will play host to 4500 athletes and sell 1,000,000 tickets with the event aided by an army of 15,000 volunteers. Glasgow 2014 Ltd is the official name for the Organising Committee tasked with delivering the Games in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland.
  2. The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, which is being developed both as a Scotland-wide Culture 2014 and Glasgow-focused Festival 2014, is a creative collaboration between the Organising Committee, Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life. As the organisation responsible for delivering the Games, Glasgow 2014 will oversee and provide the unifying brand for the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme which will be delivered by Glasgow Life in partnership with Creative Scotland.
  3. To keep up to date with all the information and sign up to receive a newsletter visit
  4. Glasgow 2014 family of official sponsors is Longines, SSE, Emirates, Virgin Media, BP, Harper Macleod, Search Consultancy, Ernst & Young, Atos, Dell, Toshiba TEC, A.G. Barr, NVT Group, Cisco, RGS, Trespass, Riedel and Ticketmaster.
  5. Glasgow 2014, the Commonwealth Games Federation and UNICEF are working together in an exciting partnership that will transform the lives of children in Scotland and throughout the Commonwealth. Using the power of sport and culture this unique partnership aims to inspire, enable and empower the children of the Commonwealth to be the best they can be.
  6. For further information please contact Stephanie Todd at Glasgow 2014 on 030 2014 0611 or / Brian Maycock at Creative Scotland on 0131 523 0046 or / James Docherty at Glasgow Life on or 0141 287 5970.

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Contact: Sophie Bambrough