f you only attend this year‘s West lind Festival

for the music. chances are you‘ll be

overwhelmed by the diversity of what‘s on offer. much of which is open to you free of charge. But then. diversity is what makes this inner city festival one of the jewels in (ilasgow‘s cultural crown. The celebration encompasses theatre. live comedy. literary events. local history symposia. a massive carnival. tours of f‘amous West lind buildings and institutions. events l‘or children. DJ sets and a live music programme: a world in itself. Local heroes Belle and Sebastian punctuate a wonderful line-up with a free concert in the sleepy environs of the Botanic (iardens on Saturday 12 June.

the warren-like llillhead area: it permeates Partick and it makes good use of Kelvingrove Park. The Midsummer (‘arnival on l2 June dominates the programme. and this paroxysm of colour and sound is usually a good place to hear some trademark (ilasgow cheek. lilsewhere. check out the myriad theatrical productions being put on. especially Michael Marra and Lil. l.ochhead in a new show entitled In Flagrant Delft/it. at (‘ottier‘s Theatre. (ilasgow‘s West lind (particularly Partick) has long been known as a hub for (iaelic culture. The festival heralds the opening of a new venue at the top

the Celtic-flavoured musical activity. ()ranmor aims to becotne a spiritual centre for (ilaswegians wishing

contemporary and traditional Scottish music. The

are kicked off by a double header of shows from (‘apercaillie on ll) & l 1 June. and other notable

The festival gets into every nook and cranny of

of Byres Road. ()ranmor. which will host much of

to delve into the vibrant. intertwined worlds of

newly introduced 'Mcliwan Sessions‘ at ()ran Mor

Belle and Sebastian

Johnny Regan discovers local heroes Belle and Sebastian are just one of the treats on offer at this year’s West End Festival

performances at that venue come froin the Peatbog Faeries. Jo Mango and Declan ()‘Rourke. the Trashcan Sinatras. John McCusker and Kate Rusby.

()n the subject of the outdoor stage that he and his band have organised as part of the festival. Belle and Sebastian front man Stuart Murdoch says: ‘The band have never looked forward to a gig so much. perhaps because it is our idea. our conception. We‘re going for a vibe like the one in Richard Linklater‘s Drain! and (‘un/iisvd. where the kids ramble from one place to the other. taking in a gig here and there. generally enjoying themselves. All the bands on our stage. (‘amera ()bscura. Trashcan Sinatras. Mother and the Addicts and V-'l‘win. are playing for free. which is great. We are putting on a ceilidh—type dance event at the Queen Margaret Union after the gig. too.‘

A bona tide West linder. Murdoch knows about the occupational hazards that come with the position of Kelvingrove indie icon: ‘Kelvingrove Park is my favourite place in the world. but I‘ve never been able to afford my own place in the West lind. All of the bloody hipsters have priced me out of the market. They all want to shake my hand and buy me a cup of expensive coffee. but I‘d rather they just handed me a fiver. We are considering employing a team of neds as security at the gig. in case it gets out of hand. I can foresee a line of white tracksuits at the front.‘

The West lind Festival 2004 is expected to build considerably on the 70.000 people who took in the events over the festival‘s 14 days last year. Murdoch encapsulates the atmosphere surrounding the celebration: ‘lt‘s all about having an idea. getting a vibe and running with it.‘

I The West End Festival runs from I 7—27 Jun. See pane/ (page 22).

24 THE LIST L’.‘ Mal. .llll‘t: 200.1

I Feis an Eilein: The Skye Festival (13-23 Jul) An array of music. song. dance. film and more. Various venues, Skye. 07477 844207, prices vary.

I ButeLive Music & Arts Festival (16-19 Jul) The Isle of Bute enjoys its second ButeLive festival. Organised by the charity of the same name. the fest promotes live performances for locals and visitors. Various Venues. Isle of Bute. O I 700 50275 7, prices vary, I Paxton House Summer Music Festival (16-25 Jul) Berwick Upon Tweed hosts this classical exploration. and this year’s festivities include a commemoration of the centenary of the death of Antonin Dvorak. Paxton House, 07289 38629 I. prices vary.

I The Wicker Man Festival (23-24 Jul) As the ultimate alternative Scottish festival, the WM showcases an eclectic brew of Cult and world music. East Kirkcarswe/I Farm. Dundrennan, Kirkcudbright, ()7 738 449430, prices vary.

I Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (30 Jul-8 Aug) Over 120 events in ten days With visiting acts from across the world, with styles ranging from avant garde to New Orleans across the city. Various Venues. Edinburgh. 0737 467 5200. prices vary.

I The Edinburgh Military Tattoo (6—28 Aug) A landmark Cultural event With a unique blend of music. ceremony. entertainment and theatre. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, 08 707' 555 I I88. 89—572850.

I Edinburgh Festival Fringe (14-30 Aug) The largest cultural festival in the world. with hundreds of companies performing comedy. theatre. music. dance and much more. Various Venues. Edinburgh, 0/3 I 226 0026. prices vary.

I Edinburgh International Book Festival (14—30 Aug) The juggernaut of book fests celebrating big names across the genres. Charlotte Square Gardens. 0737 (524 5050, prices vary.

I Edinburgh International Festival (15 Aug-5 Sep) One of the world's most famous arts festivals. focusing on classical music. opera. dance and theatre. Highlights this year include Antont