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Happy 7th Birthday Barrowland Park Glasgow Music Walking Tours Guest Blog

Our tour guests love Barrowland Park and to celebrate the Park’s 7th birthday we’ve got a great blog from our good friends Fans of Barrowland Park   — and they’ve even managed to pull off a brilliant intro from none other than Bobby Gillespie!  To mark the occasion we’re gifting a copy of Utopian Ashes, the amazing new album by Bobby and Jehnny Beth…Over to Bobby & FOBP…

“To see the difference made to Barrowland Park from an unloved, derelict, needle-strewn alleyway, to an urban art space brought to life by Jim Lambie’s psychedelic pathway of Barras rock and roll glory was a thing of wonder and beauty.

Art in action : A wonderful transformation from a diseased wasteland to a place of contemplation and community. I have one thing to ask of Glasgow City Council : please keep the park open and golden. Celebrate the Barras and the artists from Scotland and all over the world who LOVE playing there. Glasgow audiences are renowned the world over for their commitment and passion for live music. Barrowland being the number one Glasgow gig. Celebrate don’t denigrate.” Bobby Gillespie

a bird sitting on top of a grass covered field

 

a couple of lawn chairs sitting on the side of a road

Bobby sums up the strength of feeling of visitors to Barrowland Park over the past seven years. We’ve teamed up with Bobby and Glasgow Music City Tours to celebrate the Park’s birthday today (19 July), with an album giveaway —details on how to enter are over on Glasgow Music City Tours’ FB page https://www.facebook.com/glasgowmusiccitytours/

Still designated a temporary space since its opening, we have been raising awareness of the Calton greenspace and ‘Album Pathway’ artwork for over four years. Whilst hoping for its permanency, we have had ongoing discussions with Glasgow City Council on its future.  A feasibility study was carried out in March 2020, but we have yet to see a copy of it.  A response to an FOI we eventually requested in March 2021, stated:

“We are of the view that release of this type of information into the public domain, would substantially prejudice the Council’s ability to assess options and make a decision about the works required at Barrowland Park.”

Although the future of the Park remains unknown, we were delighted that an outdoor event took place earlier this month, with the entire space was used as part of the Merchant City Festival. The Surge Festival spanned two days and was attended by hundreds of visitors. It featured performances by duo Whispered Tales    Parasite Street Science and their giant Tsetse fly. Interactive activities included building a home out of recycled materials, and supercharging your own marbles with UN ‘marbleologists’.  It really showed how the space can be used to draw large crowds for a cultural experience in Glasgow’s East End.

Festival Director, Alan Richardson told us:

“Surge used Barrowland Park as its site for Surge Festival for the first time this year. We really like the fact that the park connects the East End to Glasgow City Centre. The Park was ideal for our festival in this year’s format and worked brilliantly for all the theatre, cabaret, music and installations we staged over the weekend. The audience enjoyed the space and all it offered, hopefully we will be back.”

We continue to support Glasgow National Park City in their campaign to make Glasgow’s people, places and nature better connected, and hope to see more organisers choose Barrowland Park to hold their events. We are also watching the developments of the Glasgow City Centre Strategy and the Merchant City area with interest.

Our AGM is being held online via Zoom on Wednesday 25 August 2021, at 7pm. Please get in touch if you’re interested in attending.

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