MERCHANT City Festival will return this year, organisers have confirmed. 

Streets in the city centre will benefit from a long weekend full of entertainment this summer after the well-loved event was cancelled last year. 

Residents and visitors will enjoy outdoor arts, circus, dance and more as the event is set to take place in July. 

Inspired by a Baroque Venetian theme, the carnival celebration will open the festival in style with pop-up performances in a variety of places.

Glasgow Times:

To mark the launch of the 2021 edition, Merchant City retailers and restaurants are being invited to apply to the festival’s Get Involved Fund - which offers a £500 grant to businesses operating in the area to join in the festival atmosphere.

Premises who are existing licence holders are also being invited to apply to extend their licenced outdoor areas for the duration of the festival so that food and drink provision will be readily available across the festival site.

There will be no markets or additional food and drink provisions aside from what is already in operation in the Merchant City this year.

Glasgow Times:

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life said: “We can’t wait to welcome the return of Merchant City Festival this summer. It is such a warm and welcoming event and with restrictions starting to lift and light appearing at the end of this difficult year we look forward to sharing the programme of engaging and celebratory events with you over the coming weeks.

“The local retailers, restaurant and bars within Merchant City are an integral part of the festival every year and I do encourage as many as possible to sign up to the Get Involved Fund so we can help facilitate them being an even bigger part of what is set to be a feel-good and exciting long weekend of culture and fun.”

This summer's festival is expected to be will be slightly different to previous years to ensure Covid guidelines can be maintained. 

Glasgow Times:

All events during the festival will continue to be free to attend, however due to current restrictions, several of the programmed events will need to be pre-booked online to ensure numbers are managed in the safest way.

Lorenzo Mele, Merchant City Festival Executive Producer, added: "Although the festival offering won’t be the same as previous years, the programme will continue to be centred around a rich cultural experience, with community at its heart.

"The Festival will celebrate the best from Scotland and the UK in outdoor performance, covering circus, dance, carnival, music, outdoor theatre and cabaret.

"While it will look and feel different from previous years, it will still surprise and delight as familiar streets and spaces are transformed by performances and excitement.

"The Festival will continue to support the local businesses in the Merchant City - working closely with them to present performances and encourage a safe return to the cultural heart of the city. We will also continue to explore the difficult history of the area with its roots in the Transatlantic Slave trade and British colonialism.”

Glasgow Times:

The event will take place from Thursday, July 8 until Sunday, July 11. 

Programme details will be announced in the coming weeks.

More information is available at