10 June 2024

Glasgow Life announces Summer of Events and Summer of Fun programmes

Glasgow Life has revealed exciting and action-packed Summer of Events and Summer of Fun programmes for 2024.

The programmes offer free and low-cost events and activities throughout the summer and feature everything from arts and music to adventure playground sessions and tennis camps.

Glasgow Life, the charity that leads culture and sport in Glasgow, has confirmed the dates for its 2024 Summer of Events which will see the Glasgow Mela, Merchant City Festival and World Pipe Band Championships wow crowds from June through to August.

The run of highly popular, family-friendly events starts with the Mela on Sunday 23 June in Kelvingrove Park.

The Mela is Glasgow’s multicultural festival of music, dance and arts and is free for everyone to enjoy.

The event features incredible local, national, and international acts. This year's line-up includes Apache Indian, Abira Shah, Gtown Desi, Bombay Talkie, and Bhangra Beatles. Festivalgoers can also sample food from around the world and try out a variety of sports.

The Kelvingrove Bandstand will host a series of Mela workshops and events. These will end with the Glasgow Mela Big Singalong with Glasgow Sitare.            

Glasgow’s Summer of Events will continue with the Merchant City Festival, which will take place from Friday 19 July to Sunday 21 July.

The Merchant City Festival will bring outdoor arts, circus, dance, live music and more to the streets and venues of the Merchant City, including the event sponsors Merchant Square and The Social Hub.

The much-loved Merchant City Festival markets and food stalls will also return. The theme of this year’s Merchant City Festival is Fair: Play – a celebration of Glasgow’s Fair Fortnight tradition when people take time off to rest and play.

Glasgow Life’s Summer of Events will reach a spectacular finale when Glasgow Green hosts the World Pipe Band Championships on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 August.

The city will also host Scotland’s biggest week of bagpipes, with the Piping Live! festival which will take place across Glasgow from Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 August.

An annual event which is always a favourite with audiences from near and far, the World Pipe Band Championships will then bring together the finest pipers and drummers to compete in the ultimate ‘battle of the bands’.

Last year’s two-day showcase of competitive piping featured 190 bands representing 15 nations and resulted in just under 9,000 pipers and drummers playing together before Scotland’s Peoples Ford Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia were crowned 2023 World Champions. To get tickets to be there to see who takes this year’s title, visit www.theworlds.co.uk.

The World Pipe Band Championships will take place in Glasgow in August

On top of this spectacular series of events, Glasgow Life’s Summer of Fun features a host of things for families and young people to do at museums, libraries, sport facilities and community centres across the city during the school holidays.

Tennis camps at Glasgow Club Scotstoun will serve up plenty of fun for children throughout the summer. The camps are led by qualified coaches and give children a chance to meet new friends and learn new skills. Bookings can be made via the tennis webpage on the Glasgow Life website.

Football camps at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow Club Scotstoun and Toryglen Football Centre provide young ones with an opportunity to play the beautiful game and take on board top training tips from qualified coaches. These camps run from July until August – visit the football section of the Glasgow website for more details.

Football camps will run at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow Club Scotstoun and Toryglen Football Centre from July until August

Families can get active for free this summer by swimming together at selected Glasgow Club pools from late June to the end of August.

There is no need to book the free family swim sessions in advance, but parents who would like peace of mind can make bookings from seven days before each session. The programme includes sessions for families with additional support needs. More free family swim programme information is available on the Glasgow Club website.

Glasgow Life Sport is also hosting Summer of Fun ’10 Years On’ Roadshows which offer sports and games for everyone and celebrate a decade of sporting activity in the city following the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The roadshows also give young ones a chance to take on fitness challenges, play on inflatables, have their face painted and visit Glasgow Life venues that hosted the Commonwealth Games. A Summer of Fun '10 Years On' Roadshow event for children with additional support needs and their families will take place at Glasgow Club Maryhill on 7 August (12.00-3.00pm).

Glasgow Life is running inclusive holiday games and sports camps which give children and young people aged five to 17 a chance to try out different activities. The project is run in partnership with Active Schools Glasgow, Disability Sport Glasgow, and Scottish Disability Sport. Sessions will be held at Smithycroft Secondary School (23, 24 and 25 July), Shawlands Academy (30 and 31 July and 1 August) and Glasgow Club Maryhill (6, 7 and 8 August). Search for ‘inclusive holiday games and sports camps’ on www.glasgowlife.org.uk for full details.

Linn Park Adventure Playground’s indoor and outdoor play centre can be enjoyed for free by children up to the age of 11 with additional support needs. The park features a sensory room and is designed to be a secure space where children and their family can enjoy time together.

The park will run sessions for children under the age of five from 10.00am to 1.00pm every Monday from 1 July until 5 August. Weekend family sessions are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10.00am until 12.00pm or 1.00pm until 4.30pm. Linn Park Adventure Playground will also be open on extra nights every Wednesday from 3 July until 7 August (5.00-7.00pm). Bookbug activities for children with additional support needs will take place at Linn Park Adventure Playground every Wednesday from 10 July until 7 August (10.00-10.30am and 1.00-1.30pm).

Bookings for Linn Park can be made by calling 0141 633 1493 between 10.00am and 3.00pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Capacity is limited, so it is advisable to book a slot at Linn Park up to a week in advance.

The Summer Reading Challenge will return to Glasgow Life Libraries to fire up children’s imaginations and creativity. The theme of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is Marvellous Makers; children aged four to 11 are encouraged to read six books of their choice between 22 June and 10 August 2024. Young ones up to the age of three can get involved in the Mini Challenge and read at least three books, with help from parents/guardians.

Children can take part in the 2024 Summer Reading Challenge at Glasgow Life Libraries

Regular free library sessions for families will continue this summer. Children under the age of five can enjoy songs, stories, and rhymes at Bookbug classes across Glasgow Life Libraries. More information is available on the Bookbug section of the Glasgow Life website.

There is also lots going on at Glasgow Life Museums this summer. The Glasgow Science Festival tour will bring activities like laser golf, balanced bridge building and virtual reality experiences to Riverside Museum (10-16 June), Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (15 and 16 June) and Kelvin Hall (10-16 June).

The Riverside Museum will host Star Wars character walk-abouts (15 and 16 June) and the ever-popular Fire Engine Rally (20 and 21 July). Mini Museums Explorers activities at Kelvingrove Museum will give three to five-year-olds and their carers a chance to have arty fun as part of ‘What Can You See at Sea?’ sessions (16 August).

The Burrell Collection is putting on Around the World sessions which offer various free, family-friendly arts and crafts and sport activities every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the holidays. More information is available on the What’s On section of The Burrell Collection website.

Craft sessions involving print-making and stained glass window-inspired art creations will take place at St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. You can also take part in activities inspired by days gone by at Glasgow’s oldest house, Provand’s Lordship, throughout the summer. Provand’s Lordship is running weaving workshops, medieval dress-up opportunities, and classes on how to make terrarium using moss and rocks. Visit the Provand’s Lordship What’s On webpage for more.

There are opportunities to see the amazing collections at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre through Hands-on History tours. The tours – held every Tuesday from 2 July until 6 August – allow visitors to get up close and personal with museum objects and discover the stories behind them. All places must be pre-booked by emailing GMRCBookings@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Families can get creative at the Saturday Art Club at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA). The club encourages participants to use the art on display in GoMA as inspiration and try out new materials and techniques, including painting, sculpting, and printing. Mini Museums Explorers sessions at GoMA take children under five and their grown-ups through play and art activities full of music and stories to learn more about the museum’s artworks. Go to the What’s On section of the GoMA webpage for further details.

Kelvin Hall will also host craft activities where people can create animal prints, badges and papercraft elephants. Visitors can also follow the Kelvin Hall emoji trail every day and enjoy its soft play and Clip ‘n’ Climb climbing wall. Visit the What’s On listings on the Kelvin Hall website for more.

Billy Garrett, Director of Culture, Tourism and Events at Glasgow Life, said: “There are so many things to look forward to in Glasgow this summer, and events like the Mela, Merchant City Festival and World Pipe Band Championships show why our city is known around the world for its cultural offering. There is also plenty for families to enjoy over the summer months, including free family swim sessions, Bookbug classes and our Mini Museums Explorers programme. Glasgow’s Summer of Events and Summer of Fun have something for everyone and these programmes also play a major part in improving the mental, physical and economic wellbeing of Glasgow, its people and its visitors.”

To keep up to date with Glasgow Life’s Summer of Events and learn more about the city’s year-round events programme, sign up to the Glasgow Life newsletter.

Visit the Glasgow Life Summer of Fun webpage for more information on the activities taking place across Glasgow.