Southside Fringe returns for two weeks of mayhem

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The Southside Fringe is back with a bang tomorrow (Friday), with over two weeks of live music, art, cabaret and everything in between around and on the streets of Shawlands .

The Extra covered the fledgling Fringe back in 2013, catching up with co-founders Crawford Smith and Corinna Currie on the need for a dedicated arts fest this side of the river. Now, the Southside Fringe is in its third year, and with events and venues up 30 per cent on last year, it’s officially the biggest yet.

Crawford told The Extra: “The idea behind the Fringe was to shine a light on the best events, artists and venues the southside has to offer. We were really just spearheading a movement that many southsiders had in mind.

“Plenty of great artists live in the southside, but we had to travel out of our own area to perform and to enjoy the arts - now, we can perform closer to home and invite everyone to visit the ace events and venues the southside has to offer.”

This year’s programme includes 170 events over 16 days — and musician Crawford (who plays with southside group Howlin’ Radio) has more than a few music highlights.

He explained: “There’s a house gig by folk star Martin Stephenson (already sold out!), an intimate show with Eleanor McEvoy at The Glad Cafe, and a host of excellent Glasgow party bands at free entry events; The Shiverin’ Sheiks, Daddy Naggins, Papa Shandy & The Drams, to name just a few.

“We’ll also be hosting our first workshop and performance with the excellent Jazz Choir Scotland, and our first Fringe Ceilidh at Loks, plus a hip hop night and an all day music marathon at Jayz Bar.”

Cabaret duo and southside regulars the Creative Martyrs are stepping in with a brand new orchestra, and Fringe organisers are making full use of a new HQ at Govanhill Baths, with events running there throughout — include Wasted, a play by Kate Tempest.

Crawford added: “We’ll have the first ever Southside Mela (a taster event for the Glasgow Mela next month) on May 16, art exhibitions are being held at Art Village in Shawlands and the Steamie Galleries at the Baths, and we’ll have a one-off sneak preview show for this year’s Glasgow Festival of Burlesque (scheduled for May 17).

“Glasgow needs to celebrate the southside.

“Since 2005 I’ve been working on building up the live music scene and, with the help of our ever-growing Fringe 
family, you can be sure that the southside will be known as a cultural hub from now on.”

Watch this space for more Fringe highlights, including details of the big finale on May 24 at Govanhill Baths.

Until then, head to the Fringe website for full programme info.