Glasgow & West Scotland

West End Festival: £50,000 needed for Byres Road parade

Byres Road Street Parade Image copyright West End Festival
Image caption The Byres Road Street Parade attracts up to 100,000 people

Organisers of Glasgow's West End Festival want to raise £50,000 so they can reinstate the popular Byres Road street parade at next year's event.

The Mardi-Gras-style celebration is one of the festival's biggest draws and attracts up to 100,000 people.

It was previously dropped in 2012 after rising costs could not be met.

Organisers say they need to raise the £50,000 by early next year if the parade is to return and have set up a webpage for suggested donations of £5.

'Sustainable' festival

Festival chairwoman Liz Scobie said: "We took our time this year to think of how best to go about making sure the festival is sustainable in the future.

"We've come to realise that as the public are so enthusiastic about the parade and businesses in the west end increase takings on Festival Sunday, we need to start to ask for help and support in future years.

Image copyright West End Festival

"We've never been able to ticket the event, so we can't charge for attending the parade, plus we've always wanted to ensure a real family day out for everyone to enjoy.

She added: "As a charity and organisation run by volunteers we now have to ask the public to contribute to helping ensure we can make Festival Sunday happen."

Organisers said the decision not to stage this year's parade was taken due to the increasing costs for licensing, road closures, cleansing, security and policing, and cuts of funding across the board in the arts.

'Fundraising campaign'

Michael Dale, who founded the festival back in 1996, said: "It's just not possible to organise and run such a huge public event for free anymore.

"We're launching a fundraising campaign online and we're going to ask people to donate money through our website.

"We need to raise £50,000 by early next year if we're going to put an event on like Festival Sunday."

Mr Dale said organisers were also asking for people to give their thoughts on what Festival Sunday - the day of the parade - could look like.

He added: "It might not be as it has been in previous years, firstly depending on funds and secondly, the public and businesses have the opportunity to shape something really special and potentially new."

The West End Festival marks its 21st anniversary this year and runs from 3-26 June.

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