FINGERS are crossed for sunny weather this month as the Southside Festival returns to Queen’s Park recreation ground for its sixth year.
The annual event drew a massive crowd in 2012 – thanks, in part, to bright blue skies – with 25,000 people turning up on the Saturday alone.
But, come rain or shine, the show will go on, this time on May 18 and 19 – starting with a parade through southside streets.
Organising chair Andrew Montgomery told The Extra: “Last year went so smoothly, and it was fantastic to see so many different cultures coming together in one place.
“Ultimately, that’s what we want to see – people coming out and meeting their neighbours.
“The only other thing we need – and can’t organise – is the weather, so fingers crossed that it stays dry.”
This year’s procession starts at 11am, leaving from Pollok Social Club and working its way through Kilmarnock Road, Pollokshaws Road, Allison Street and Victoria Road.
Upon arriving at the rec ground, there are the usual children’s activities, sports tasters and entertainment from the main stage – as well as a young bands stage, promoting up-and-coming southside talent.
Art in the Park returns to the Glasshouses, and Scottish Fire and Rescue will be on hand for community safety and fire displays, alongside vintage engines courtesy of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Heritage Trust.
On the music front, Sistema Scotland’s project the Big Noise Orchestra, from Govanhill, will appear on the main stage as well as performing pop-up shows around the festival, and Glenn Tilbrook (of Squeeze fame) is expected to headline on the Sunday.
The Southside Festival joins the Southside Fringe and the Southside Film Festival in putting the area on the cultural map, with each taking place in May.
Andrew added: “I hope the Southside Festival can continue to go from strength to strength.
“The arrival of the Fringe has kicked off a festival vibe, and with the film festival happening the same weekend, there’s lots going on in the southside.”
The festival team will be handing out programmes at Queen’s Park farmers market this Saturday – and top of their to-do list is recruiting more volunteers for the big weekend.