Music festival is a hit for the trade

Three-day event brings a welcome boost for Glasgow venues

BBC digital radio station 6 Music brought a welcome boost to trade when it rolled into Glasgow late last month, as the city hosted its annual live music festival for the first time.

• The Shins get things going at the O2 Academy – BBC/ Tricia Yourkevich.

The three-day event, which took place from March 24 to 26, saw the radio station host live music events at the O2 Academy, Barrowland Ballroom, St Luke’s and SWG3 as well as day-time comedy, spoken word and live music at Glasgow’s Tramway; further 6 Music activity came in the shape of the Festival Fringe, running at 20 venues from March 20 to 26.

James Clancy of Gorbals pub The Laurieston, which is near the O2 Academy, praised the event.
“All live music is good,” said Clancy, adding that the blend of music fans travelling from near and far combined with football fans on their way to Scotland’s World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on March 26 brought a “good mixture of folk” into the bar. “It was a right dolly mixture,” he said.

At west end venue Duke’s Bar, director Cheryl Chadha said she and her team upped the ante during the festival.
“We put on something a bit more special – bigger than we normally would,” said Chadha.
“On our open mic night, the boys that run it have a band, so we showcased their band with other musicians. It was a great crowd, bigger than it would normally be.”

Chadha said she thinks the festival was good for the city, but added that such events are not something the trade should rely on.

“Anything that can help encourage people to go out and see live music and events helps,” she said.
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said supporting major events, such as the 6 Music Festival, has been “an important strategy” for Glasgow, “bringing many thousands of visitors and boosting our growing tourism economy”.

“Music is at the forefront of this, from the incredible ongoing success of the SSE Hydro, [hosting events] such as the returning MOBOs, and events with a UK-wide reach like 6 Music Festival,” he said.

“The majority of economic benefit goes to the hotels, restaurants, bars and shops and helps shape the image of the city as a contemporary, creative community.”

Paul Rodgers, head of programmes for BBC Radio 6 Music, said Glasgow was the “perfect host city” for this year’s event.

“The 6 Music Festival in Glasgow was a great success – we loved coming to the city and the audiences at all the shows were fantastic,” he said.

“Across the weekend feedback via social media, etc. from those watching and listening at home was also really positive. It was a brilliant weekend of music, and meeting our listeners in a vibrant and exciting city.”