What's On

Merchant City Festival venue and show information


Outdoor performance venues for Merchant City Festival this year will be George Square and Barrowland Park (10 St. Andrews Lane, Gallowgate, Glasgow G1 5BG), click here to find exact location. Both venues are standing event venues. 

All events are ticketed. Outdoor performances are free to attend. The walking tour ‘In the City Still’ is the only charged event which is £5 per ticket. Walking tour start point will be - City Hall Stage Door - 87 Albion Street, Glasgow G1 1NY

Carnival Party  Thursday 8 July, 4:00pm – 8:00pm (Free)

Merchant City Festival opens with a carnival party celebrating the Baroque Venetian carnival traditions. The festival is working with Bridgeman Arts and Aerial Edge to bring you fountains, archways and saints in alcoves that will appear, adding to the already beautiful streetscape of the Merchant City accompanied by stilt walkers and dancers.

The carnival is best enjoyed from a seat in one of the outdoor areas of any hospitality business on Hutcheson Street, Brunswick Street, Wilson Street, Candleriggs or Bell Street.

George Square – Friday 9, Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 July (Free)

MCF takes over the iconic centre of the city to bring you the best in dynamic performance, dance and circus from leading companies in Scotland and the UK.

Show information: 

Swings (All or Nothing Aerial)   11:00am, 2:00pm, 4:30pm

Show runs 15 mins plus an opportunity to have a go on swings after, our first come first served queuing system. Watch as aerialists swing, climb, play and perform for you. Then the Swings are open to experience.

Your swinging will activate a soundscape full of memories of being on a swing. Feel the rush of air past your face, and be inspired by our aerialists with what you can do with a swing!

A 5m high giant swing set, 2 swings, 2 aerialists and a sound installation where you can play, watch, and listen. An interactive event for all the family.

Catch Me (Upswing) 12:15pm, 3:15pm
Catch Me is an intimate and surprising take on age, race and gender. An older woman and younger man dance together through a landscape of abandoned chairs, discovering joy, risk and unexpected connections in a poignant duet. A poetic mix of dance and acrobatics, Catch Me asks how we see each other and who we value.

Wild (Motionhouse) 1:00pm, 5:45pm
WILD, the daring dance-circus production from Motionhouse, explores our disconnect with the natural environment. In our modern lives, is the wild still shaping our behaviour?
WILD creates an urban forest in the everyday of the city. Performers use powerful physicality and incredible feats to move through a forest of tall poles. From the top, life in the canopy looks down onto the forest floor - a dangerous world of unknown meetings.


Surge Festival at Barrowland Park - Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 July, 12:30 – 5:00pm (Free) 

Surge Festival returns to the Merchant City Festival with a superb line up of weird and wonderful acts on a rolling schedule, so you can see everything over an hour and a half visit. It’s like Supermarket Sweep but in a zoo! You can build a nest, watch live digital sculpting and fill marbles with inspiration, while bonkers cabaret acts vie for your attention in a Covid-secure festival space in Barrowland Park, Glasgow.

Book tickets now for Surge Festival click here

Walking Tour - ‘In the City Still - Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 July, 12noon and 3:15pm

Ticket price: £5

Start point - City Hall Stage Door - 87 Albion St, Glasgow G1 1NY

Feathers Ensemble uses movement, musicality and projections to create original striking imagery of a poetic nature in interactive acts exploring current societal and psychological issues with a view to provoking thoughts and sharing a journey with the audience.

Walkabout acts within the Merchant City

Look out for some amazing and uplifting walkabout acts on Merchant Square and in the surrounding streets between 12pm and 5pm. To enjoy the walkabout acts, please book a table at one of the many restaurants and bars within the Merchant City area.

Acts include:

The Fizzicals (Mischief La Bas)
Mischief La-bas' new work, Fizzicals – Mind the Gap sees three alien bodies go on a walkabout in streets, parks and town centres in a show which asks, how do we bridge the gap between ourselves and others, across the great divide of socially distanced space? The Fizzicals are curiously shaped visitors who engage visually in a Covid safe way with passers-by, in an uplifting experience for all ages, abilities and backgrounds, intended to ease people back into the joy of live performance, through a safe, playful and, by its nature, fleeting, shared event. 

The Concreatures are curious concrete creatures. Big fans of architecture (the more brutalist the better) they have an unusual way of celebrating stillness. The Concreatures are envious of anything that moves faster than a statue and have been known to enjoy a dance battle

A group of very old turtles move slowly through the streets, they have made it their business to return all the items them have found in the sea that have been lost by humans to their owner.