As part of the diversity of Glasgow's cultural scene, Glasgow hosts an annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Arts Festival in November, organised by GALA Scotland Ltd.
Glasgay! was founded as an annual arts festival in 1993. The operating Company, GALA Scotland Ltd, was established in April 1995. Glasgay produces a multi-art form festival of professional work by LGBT performing artists. The programme encompasses theatre, dance, literature, film, music and comedy events in venues throughout the city of Glasgow, Scotland. It is one of the UK's largest multi-arts festival for LGBT people (and their friends), celebrating artistic talent and diversity as well as providing a platform for aspiring artists.
Glasgay! is Scotland's annual celebration of LGBT culture. The festival was founded in 1993 by Cordelia Ditton and Dominic D'Angelo. The Company operates from its new base at Rose & Grants, 27-29 Trongate Glasgow G1 5EZ, located in the heart of Glasgow's Merchant City and a growing cultural quarter.
The festival is managed by a small team, led by Steven Thomson, Producer. Appointed in 1994, he has grown the festival to a large month-long celebration at nearly 20 venues attracting up to 25,000 visitors annually. He has grown public funding, increased private sponsorship, and diversified the income base growing the average turnover to circa £1/4 million per annum.
The festival is presented annually from mid October to mid November. The festival programme consists of specially commissioned works from invited artists, regular partners and newly emergent talent. The festival programme is made up of mixed genres of work including comedy, music, film, theatre, visual art, performance art, literature, club nights, education events and the occasional community arts project.
The Producer, the festival, and the city Glasgow have been given numerous awards since 2005 ... gay.com Top 4th gay destination; Fodors and Frommers top destination of 2006 and the Producer listed as one of top 100 cultural movers and shakers of year (2005, 2006 & 2009) in Scotland.
Glasgay! has been regularly funded since its inception in 1993 in its first ten years as mainly as presentation festival and latterly as commissioning and producing organisation. Under the artistic leadership of its Producer, Steven Thomson since Feb 2004 the company has commissioned 16 new works for theatre and funded 40 co-productions since 2006. It has worked with over 400 artists in its lifetime and regularly engages both established mature talent as well as championing emergent talent.
In its history the festival has worked with many of the top gay and lesbian artists in the world. Names such as Sir Ian McKellen, Simon Fanshawe, Donna McPhail, Edwin Morgan, Jackie Kay, Rhona Cameron, Annie Sprinkle, Penny Arcade, Bette Bourne, Diamanda Galas, Neil Bartlett, Scott Capurro, Pam Ann, Four Poofs and a Piano, Lypsinka, Louise Welsh, Marc Almond, Alan Carr, Zoe Strachan, Stewart Laing, and John Waters are amongst the many others that have graced our stages.
The work of the festival is dominated by the prevailing social climate in terms of acceptance, tolerance and understanding of LGBT rights, equality and the march of progress. That social progress has resulted in the repealing of Section 28 of the Government Act 1998; the Civil Partnership Act (2004) and The Equality Act (2010), culminating in a Public Sector Duty from April 2011.
The festival continually reflects social attitudes, behaviours and experiences of the LGBT community. Glasgay! has always been a place where LGBT life is acknowledged, celebrated and understood.
The festival works from its base in Glasgow at the heart of a vibrant LGBT community located in the Merchant City of Glasgow. It produces its work in the autumn at up to 20 arts venues across the City of Glasgow over a four to five week season.
Commissioned Work (Year) Writer/Creators
1. DONALD DOES DUSTY (2006) by Diane Torr
2. TAMBURLAINE MUST DIE (2007) by Louise Welsh
3. ELYSIAN FIELDS (2008) by Derek McLuckie
4. INSIDEOUT (Exhibition) (2009) by Dani Marti
5. JESUS QUEEN OF HEAVEN (2009) by Jo Clifford
6. A CHILD MADE OF LOVE (2009) by Matthew McVarish
7. MEMORY CELLS (2009) by Louise Welsh
8. PLAYING HOUSES (2009) by Martin O'Connor
9. THE MAW BROON MONOLOGUES (2009) by Jackie Kay
10. PANIC PATTERNS (2010) by Louise Welsh
11. THE BRIDGE (2010) by Wendy Miller & Rachel Amey
12. EDWIN MORGAN'S DREAMS AND OTHER NIGHTMARES (2011) by Liz Lochhead
13. CURED (2013) by Stef Smith
14. THE NEW MAW BROON MONOLOGUES (2013) by Jackie Kay
15. WILFUL FORGETTING (2013) by Donna Rutherford with Martin O'Connor
16. CARDINAL SINNE (2014) by Raymond Burke
Venues include the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), the CCA, Tron Theatre, Citizens' Theatre, The Arches, King's Theatre, Theatre Royal, RSAMD, St Andrew's in the Square, Art School, The Stand, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and Glasgow's gay scene.