What’s On at Govan Music Festival, 2024. 

You are currently viewing What’s On at Govan Music Festival, 2024. 

Words: Nina Halper (she/her)  

Last year, The Govan Music Festival saw a variety of performances and collaborations at the end of March, melting away the winter blues with a sweet dose of community spirit. With acts like Indepen-dance (‘an award-winning inclusive dance company for disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy, express, and fulfil their potential through dance’), school choir collaborations, classical music concerts and performances from Musicians in Exile, the festival showcased local talent, bringing the community together in celebration of their creativity. The festival’s finale even included a project between a classical string quartet and local Govan rappers like Steg G, an ambitious yet inspiring event that took place at The Grand Ole Opry. Paul MacAlindin, the creative director of the festival and charity The Glasgow Barons, is back with another great line-up for the third year in a row for The Govan Music Festival from the 13th-16th of March 2024. I caught up with Paul to ask him about which acts we should look out for this year. 

What does The Govan Music Festival have in store this year? 

We’re celebrating our diverse folk and places with a huge range of events. 

In the Fairfield Club at 13:00 on Wednesday 13th, all the Govan school choirs are singing world music. At 19:30 in the same venue, our community cabaret includes local singer songwriters and dance groups. Thursday 14th is the UK premiere of Courtney Bryan’s saxophone concerto, Carmen Jazz Suite on themes by Bizet, along with a new chamber version of Mahler 4. Friday 15th, The Four Barons String Quartet perform in Kinning Park Complex and FREED UP does a live hip hop and techno rave night with musicians from The Glasgow Barons that’s drug and alcohol free. We finish on Saturday 16th in the new Edmiston House next to Ibrox Stadium with Musicians in Exile and Gaelic folk rock band DLÙ.  

What event are you most excited for? 

I’m tremendously excited about Musicians in Exile and DLÙ because the mash up of world and Celtic folk music in Govan’s new state of the art venue will be electrifying. They’re doing a day trip to Loch Lomond to learn about how climate change is threatening Scottish nature and writing a new song about that. But I have to shout out my own concert with Mahler Four and Courtney Bryan’s new concerto. It’s half tunes from Carmen and half pure jazz improvisation. Lewis Banks, our soprano saxophonist, will rock it!  

It’s the third year for Govan Music Festival. What kind of impact do you think the festival has on the community?   

In three ways. First, it shakes us down and picks us back up after another long winter of cost-of-living crisis. Second, local folk are banding together to showcase the huge range of talent and voices we have here, which then sparks new activity beyond the festival and my charity, The Glasgow Barons. That’s real regeneration as a movement, not a business. Thirdly, it puts Govan on the map at a time ripe for inward investment, as more people move into new flats here and the Govan-Partick footbridge connects Govan subway directly to the Riverside Museum. 

What does the festival mean for the artists performing?  

We get the chance to hear and support each other across a range of events, making community cohesion stronger. Each event is either free, or ultra-low cost for all, and targeted towards very different audiences. We know that an audience member from one event will then try another genre that they’ve never experienced before, and that makes each crowd more dynamic, inclusive and rewarding to perform to. And also, for our many paid artists, this is vital income at a time when arts funding is being squeezed to breaking point. We focus on keeping our spend in Govan pockets, because that’s how you actually reverse deprivation.

To find out more information or buy tickets for any of the events, visit their website at:

website https://www.glasgowbarons.com/govan-music-festival-2024

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