What’s on(line) in Glasgow

It might be an understatement to say that Welcome Week at RCS looks a little bit different this year. With coronavirus restrictions in place, the usual blur of new places and people has been largely replaced by livestreams and Zoom calls. Many of the cornerstones of Glasgow’s famed arts, culture and nightlife are, for the time-being, off-limits: sweaty club nights, packed-out theatres, and crowded gigs in basement venues are unthinkable in times of hand sanitising and two-metre distancing.

Despite this, the resilient organisations and people that comprise the city – including our very own Students’ Union – continue to provide amazing events online. To help you navigate through them, we have put together a handpicked list of some of the best to come in September and October.

Glasgow Women’s Library – Collecting in the Time of Coronavirus

(1 September – 17 December)

The unique and locally beloved Glasgow Women’s Library has recently reopened for in-person visits. However, their exhibition of donated materials documenting women’s experiences of lockdown is still available to view online.

A selection of lockdown related items. There is a black and white photograph of a locked door, a floral patterned face mask, a pink and black badge which reads "WOMEN ZADE", a black t-shirt with white text which reads "The London Rockin Rollers", a bottle of perfume, a printed perfume advert and a black and white zine titled "Nuclear Resisters".
Collecting in the Time of Coronavirus exhibition at Glasgow Women’s Library. Image credit: Becca Lewis via GWL website.

Take One Action Film Festival

(16 – 27 September)

Though it is already underway, there are still a few more days to catch Take One Action’s online programme of world-changing films. Timely, urgent and inspiring, the 2020 program explores the social issues of the day: from climate justice to systemic racism.


Heisk Live at Hands Up for Trad Music Club

(26 September)

Ceilidhs are out for the foreseeable, but you can still get your trad music fix with a live performance from Scottish contemporary folk six-piece Heisk, featuring RCS alumni Sally Simpson and Lauren Macdonald, at the Hands Up for Trad Music Club.

Six women stand in a line against a blue and orange backdrop. They are covered in paint powder which is also lingering in the air.
Heisk. Photo credit: Somhairle MacDonald. 

Scottish Queer International Film Festival

(5 – 18 October)

The move online hasn’t slowed down this stalwart of Glasgow’s LGBTQIA+ arts community. Alongside an eclectic film programme, SQIFF will host live online watch parties, workshops, Q&As, discussions, parties, and a closing night quiz.

An illustration of aliens dancing and playing. Alongside it is text reading "Online Scottish Queer International Festival 2020, 5th-18th October". Below this are the logos for closed captions, subtitles, sign language and audio description. Beneath this are the funders (Screen Scotland and Creative Scotland) logos.
SQIFF 2020 poster. Image credit: SQIFF.

World of Film International Festival

(8 – 11 October)

WOFF goes online in its seventh year of promoting independent international cinema. The festival, which highlights exciting new voices from around the world, has divided its diverse programme into three main sections: First Features, The Female Perspective & Focus on Balkan Cinema.

Two figures in yellow hazmat suits cuddle in an empty cinema with a bucket of popcorn. The background is pink. The text reads "World of Film International Festival".
WOFF 2020 poster. Image credit: Steven Affleck.

Mull Theatre – Emergence

(13 – 27 October)

Though based further afield, it would be remiss to omit Mull Theatre’s online autumn production Emergence, consisting of two new plays, from this list. The team behind this specially developed digital presentation is stacked with RCS alumni including actors Ashley Smith and Simon Donaldson; cinematographer and lighting designer Jamie Wardrop; and playwright Anita Vettesse.

Two hands are entangled on a turquoise background. The text reads "Emergence".
Emergence promotional image. Image credit: Mull Theatre.

Scottish Album of the Year Awards

(29 October)

Glasgow isn’t necessarily synonymous with glamorous awards shows, but in recent years the SAY Awards have become a major fixture in the Scottish music events calendar. For the first time, the usually exclusive event will be broadcast online for the masses. Tune in to see if the £20,000 grand prize will go to Bathgate behemoth Lewis Capaldi, otherworldly electronic duo Free Love, or Glasgow’s own scrappy industrial upstarts Comfort.

Header image of students at Welcome Week 2019 © Robert McFadzean / RCS

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