Keep it south for the return of the Fringe

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Arts and music fans, start your engines — because May marks the return of the Southside Fringe.

Now in its third year, the two week-long arts fest aims to put the southside on the map — and organisers promise that “2015 is going to be the biggest festival the southside has ever seen”.

The Southside Fringe kicks off on May 8 with 170 events crammed into the programme, launched this week.

But before all that, co-founder Crawford Smith (who kicked off the fest in 2013 with burlesque compere Corinna Currie) has taster events running at The Shed on April 18 and May 2.

Crawford told The Extra: “These are free entry and designed to give a wee taste of things to come at the Fringe — 10 minute performances from a wide range of music acts, extracts from plays, poetry recitals and cabaret acts in full costume.”

From there, it’s on to the Fringe mantra of keeping it south with 86 live music shows, including a new hip hop night and an all day musical marathon at Jayz Bar, as well as the first Fringe Ceilidh and shows from Glasgow bands The Daddy Naggins, Shiverin Sheiks, Papa Shandy and The Drams, Howlin’ Radio (to name a few).

Comedy fans are catered for by The Greater Shawlands Republic while Govanhill Baths covers fashion with Rags to Riches presenting another This Is Not a Fashion Show, and theatre (from WASTED to Strike a Light: The Story of the Matchgirls’ Strike of 1888).

Crawford added: “Our cabaret section is bursting at the seams this year, including a couple of events with The Gatsby Club.”

Food and Drink Glasgow’s Emma Mykytyn is back with Pastaval; a taste-off battle for the mac and cheese cup — and the team are delighted to welcome a taster of June’s multicultural fest, the Glasgow Mela, to Tramway on May 16.

Tickets to the launch party — this year teaming up with Friday Reggae Shack at the Rum Shack — are flying fast. Crawford added: “Our grand finale this year will be at our new base in Govanhill Baths on May 24. Full details to be confirmed - but this will be one hell of a knees up!”

Much like the rest of the Southside Fringe, then — all that’s left to do is grab a programme from www.southsidefringe.org.uk.