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article imageEverybody know – Glasgow's Southside Fringe Festival is happening Special

By Lesley Lanir     Mar 8, 2014 in Entertainment
Glasgow - Glasgow’s Southside Fringe recently opened its new HQ in Pollokshaws Road and started its crowdfunding appeal towards its upcoming 2014 festivities. Corinna Currie discusses the purpose and aims of the Southside Fringe Festival due to take place in May.
Glasgow’s Southside Fringe was founded by two volunteers, Corinna Currie and Crawford Smith, who work hard co-ordinating the events and venues that form the base of a two week festival packed with quality opportunities for acts, performers and musicians.
After last year’s festival's warm and welcome reception and great success, Corinna and Crawford decided to run the Southside Fringe again. To get the show firmly on the road, the 2014 festival HQ just opened in Pollokshaws Road, based in what was an empty shop that volunteers transformed into an “ace wee drop in creating a funky community space."
The fringe headquarters is "also in a great location for exhibitions, ticket sales, info, diverse performances, and of course a good crack and a cuppa,” in preparation for the run up to the festival taking place May 9th-25th.
But, why hold a fringe festival and what is this festival’s importance to Glasgow’s arts community and the Southside? Corinna Currie explains:
Corinna Currie
Corinna Currie
Southside Fringe
Here at the Southside Fringe Festival we are passionate about our community on the Southside of Glasgow. Primarily we want to give local folks the chance to have a great night of culture, comedy, arts, drama, burlesque, cabaret or music without having to trek into Glasgow’s city centre or West End.
The festival is not just for performing artists though, we also hope to involve as many local venues and businesses as we can with a view to boosting existing custom over the fortnight and to raise the profile of the Southside on the arts landscape and draw new customers, visitors and audiences to the wonderful facilities in Southside.
Who performs at the festival?
Wheeesht - Glasgow s Southside Fringe Festival
Wheeesht - Glasgow's Southside Fringe Festival
Karen Diver
Southside performers are given priority in the programme schedule. We are proud to boast that within our community we have award winning national and international actors, Peter Mullen, Davie McKay, Stephen McCole; internationally known bands such as Cassidy, Simple Minds, famous artists, published authors and musicians like Danny Gillan, Ken Currie and many more acclaimed musicians and talented individuals.
Derek McLean - Glasgow s Southside Fringe Festival
Derek McLean - Glasgow's Southside Fringe Festival
Karen Diver
We’d also love to bring vibrancy and colour to the streets of the Southside in the form of street art and theatre.
Last year we had some acts come up from London to perform in the cabaret and burlesque events, Frank Sanazi and Johnny Strange Sideshow, and this year some of these London acts will return.
Fifty Shades of Blue and Mo Suliman  Glasgow s Southside Fringe Festival
Fifty Shades of Blue and Mo Suliman, Glasgow's Southside Fringe Festival
Karen Diver
We’re also really pleased to have a Royal Shakespeare Company backed production of Hamlet which will be a modern take with an all female cast drawn from Strathclyde Theatre Group who are resident in Govanhill Baths.
As we grow it would be great to not only attract international audiences but also international acts and bring more tourism to the area, we have so much to offer. We’re taking small steps toward this and in our HQ we’re exhibiting artworks from Poland and Estonia side by side with our beloved local artists and photographers.
Where do the performances take place?
Our festival is primarily venue based, cafes, pubs, restaurants and clubs but last year we placed events in unusual places, like Victorian swimming pools, bookshops, shopping arcades; a local cricket ground even became host to fire dancers and a beatboxing harmonica player!
Tales of Jake  Karen Fraser Docherty and Danny Gillan - Glasgow s Southside Fringe Festival
Tales of Jake, Karen Fraser Docherty and Danny Gillan - Glasgow's Southside Fringe Festival
Karen Diver
How successful was last year's festival?
The results last year were awe inspiring and impressive. In our first year we hoped for around 10 venues and maybe around 40 events over the fortnight. The final result was over 110 events in 28 venues. It was amazing and by the end of the fortnight much of the community of the Southside were buzzing. Many of the events premiered with us went on to successful runs in national theatres and at the internationally renowned Edinburgh Fringe.
It definitely draws a community together and it’s great to see young and old working side by side to celebrate their heritage, their culture, their creativity and their community.
We’re realising the benefits of last year’s festival right now as we process all our registered venues and events. The Southside Fringe is growing with an additional dozen or so venues in the family and potentially double the amount of events we hosted last year.
Glasgow s Southside Fringe Festival
Glasgow's Southside Fringe Festival
Southside Fringe
How is the Southside Fringe Festival financed?
On a wing and a prayer! We are all doing this as volunteers and we receive no commercial or government funding. We’ve seen too many funded projects go under due to funds pulled or the inability to develop themselves sustainably. We took the conscious decision from the outset to try and build this as a self-sustaining community business.
In year one, last year, we relied much on goodwill and the organisers put much of their own money into the project. We’ve been really touched by the support of local businesses and groups, with CherryMan Media donating their skill and expertise to us in creating promotional videos; The Glasgow Beer Club and Oddbins Shawlands donated all the alcohol we could ever need for the launch of the HQ, resulting in many hangovers the next day!
Crawford Smith
Crawford Smith
Karen Diver
We raise money by charging folks to register and this year the venue and event registration charges will help us to cover the basic promotion of 40+ venues and 150+ events with the publication of 20,000 printed programmes. Sadly the registration costs don’t cover the day to day running costs of this facility.
So this year we are launching a crowdfunding appeal on Sponsume to help cover some of these costs, we’re optimistic it will help the Southside Fringe grow even bigger on the festival landscape this year.
What happens to the proceeds from the festival?
To date there haven’t been any profits, just a minus in the bank account! As I said, the registration charges cover the production of the printed programme, we try to keep them as low as possible as many folk are priced out of more established festivals and we want to build a real Fringe Family and not profits. Down the line in years to come, once costs are covered and we begin to make a profit we will be putting all the money back into the Fringe to hopefully employ folks via commissioning music, art, comedy, drama and street theatre.
Glasgow s Southside Fringe Festival
Glasgow's Southside Fringe Festival
Southside Fringe
What are the benefits to the performing arts community and to the community at large in Glasgow?
The Southside Fringe offers a platform for the performing arts community to showcase talent and to trial new productions and creations. We’re often asked if there are themes or prescribed criteria for submissions, we feel to leave things as open access as possible stimulates more creativity and allows artists freedom to develop their work organically and without restraint.
What is it like founding and running an event like this?
Some days it can be like watching your child grow with pride, others it can feel like a demanding toddler, always needing your time. But as any parent will tell you, every moment is worth it and there’s never an end result only years of joy rolling into decades of strength. Keep It South!
Glasgow s Southside Fringe Festival
Glasgow's Southside Fringe Festival
Southside Fringe
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