Govanhill's second International Festival & Carnival will run from 16 - 26 of August in Glasgow, celebrating diversity, creativity and community - and you're invited!

We catch up with Ruby Hirsch, one of the carnival coordinators, to find out more about this community-run festival and how you can get involved . . .

What is the Govanhill International Festival and Carnival and how did it come about?

The GIFC happened for the first time in 2017. Our aim was to pilot a creative approach to combating division and racism, while celebrating diversity.  It was a fantastic success and this year's festival has transformed into an 11-day extravaganza of music, film, talks, walks, dance, food and more.  

What can people expect from this year's festival? 

It will kick off with a peace songs singalong led by Tom Urie. There will be a carnival parade bringing together local drummers, dancers, community groups, jugglers, roller skaters and more, all dressed up to the nines in flamboyant costumes. 

The Govanhill Carnival will see performances from Brass, Aye?, Taiko Drummers, a Kurdish Oud player and many more as well as lots of fantastic activities for children, including karaoke in the park and a chance to learn how to tie a turban with guidance from the local Gurdwara!

The Afghan Kite Festival and Community Sports day will see children beautifying the skies with the kites they have made, as well as football, soft archery, a bicycle skills track and cricket events to get involved in.  

How can individuals and community groups be part of the festival?

We would love for individuals or community groups to join the carnival parade, please contact [email protected] to get involved. Costumes essential! We're also looking for volunteers to support the Festival in lots of different ways - if you're keen to get involved and be part of something special, click here for more information.

What is the best way to stay in touch and find out about the festival programme? 

Like our Facebook page 'Govanhill International Festival and Carnival', take a look at the online programme, email us at [email protected] or drop into the Govanhill Baths, 99 Calder St, to pick up a paper copy of the programme.  

No matter what our background or heritage, we are all Govanhillians - it's diversity that makes Govanhill great so lets celebrate our unique and vibrant community with pride!

[photo credit: Duncan Brown]