No funds for the Southside Festival

Bad weather at last year's festival has caused a financial shortfall
Bad weather at last year's festival has caused a financial shortfall

The Southside Festival chair has hit out at Glasgow city council following the announcement that the event is cancelled for 2014.

Organisers announced the news on social media, stating financial woes and the impact of poor weather last year.

Chair Andrew Montgomery told The Extra: “The weather last year was horrendous, and left us without any funds to carry over.

“We met with Glasgow Life about the cultural programme for the Commonwealth Games — unfortunately they said they didn’t have the funding to support the festival.

“It’s hard to put into words how disappointed we are.”

The festival chair has questioned Glasgow city council’s interest in community events amid increasing demands.

He added: “The burdens placed upon us grow year by year and, in my view, there remains a bias centred on the city centre and westend.

“Last year we were told that we should spend £6,000 building a fence around the current fence, to count the numbers going in — despite the fact that we were expecting 10,000 people and the recreation ground is capable of holding 60,000.

“Gala days now require a public entertainment licence, and it’s seen as an area for profit. There seems to be an attitude within the council that community events are more bother than they’re worth.”

A GCC spokesman responded: “The council is always supportive of responsibly run community events.

“We always work closely with organisers to ensure that public safety is of the utmost importance and this will always be the case.”

Southsiders have voiced their disappointment that there will be no festival for 2014.

Cathcart MSP James Dornan describes being involved in the 2008 start-up as “one of my happiest times as an elected member.

“I can understand why, with 2014 being such a huge year for Glasgow, the Southside Festival will not go ahead. However, I’m confident that all those with an interest will work hard to ensure that it returns next year.”

Pollokshields councillor Norman Macleod told The Extra: “I am distraught and disappointed that it hasn’t been possible to find a way of enabling the festival to continue — all those involved in organising it are first class people.”

Councillor David Meikle added: “I hope the festival returns next year and offer my support to organisers.”

Commenting on Facebook, Noeleen Toland said: “It was a great family and community weekend. Here’s hoping it returns next year.

Marie McKay commented: “I loved it — not last year because the weather was so bad, but the years before that were great. I bet it’s only the southside that’s cancelled.”

However, Elizabeth Jeffrey said: “In the westend businesses and local groups can get behind it and take part, whereas the Southside Festival is only one side of Shawlands/Battlefield, so 50 per cent of businesses don’t benefit.”

Festival chair Andrew added: “We absolutely want to be back next year, and it’s great to see people saying they want to help the Southside Festival continue.