MERCHANT City Festival will mark its return this summer with a packed programme of events.

The well-loved festival, delivered by Glasgow Life, will kick off with a Covid-safe version of the popular Carnival party on Thursday July, 8.

The carnival has been a mainstay at the festival and a crowd-pleaser for many years.

It will also see George Square used for performances from 11.00am until 6.45pm from Friday July, 9 to Sunday July, 11.

2021 marks the return of the Merchant City Festival after it was forced to cancel the 2020 edition due to coronavirus restrictions.

READ MORE: Glasgow hospital has been named top in Scotland

Lorenzo Mele, Merchant City Festival executive producer, said: “This year’s programme is centred around providing a rich cultural experience for everyone attending Merchant City Festival.

"We’ve got music, outdoor theatre, cabaret, circus, dance and carnival, celebrating the best outdoor performances that Scotland has to offer.

"We’re continuing to support local businesses in Merchant City and can’t wait to safely bring these performances back to the cultural heart of Glasgow.”

Other events as part of the festival include cabaret performances at Surge Festival at Barrowland Park and Walkabout in Merchant City, which will showcase acts on the city streets.

Covid will still restrict some of the Merchant City Festival's normal festivities, with markets, food trucks and live music stages excluded from the programme.

Festival visitors are also being encouraged to pre-book tables for pubs and local restaurants to avoid disappointment ahead of the festival beginning.

Councillor David McDonald, chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “We’re delighted to be able to share the programme for this year’s Merchant City Festival.

"It is a fantastic line-up of events and I’m certain it will spark some much-needed joy and excitement after such a difficult year.

“Merchant City retailers, restaurants and bars are right at the heart of the city, and I can’t wait to see the area light up with colour and entertainment next month.

"We’re looking forward to welcoming people from Glasgow and beyond to enjoy the long weekend of festivities.”

All events, with the exception of the Walking Tour, will be free-to-attend to the public, but spaces for performances at George Square and Barrowland Park are required to be booked in advance.

For more information and a full list of event, visit