Tontine Lane transformed into pop-up market for Merchant City Festival


Glasgow's Tontine Lane has been transformed into a bustling street market as part of the Merchant City Festival. Starting tomorrow (25th July), the pop-up market will bring a number of street food stalls, urban bars and live art performances to this historic Glasgow spot.

The team behind Candleriggs Square and Fish Plaice will be in charge of this entire project as they look to replicate the success of their previous food and drink ventures. Seen by many as the perfect location for a lively pop-up market, a number of different attractions will be on display here during the festival.

The iconic Tontine Garage has undergone a facelift before being be reopened as a sleek, trendy metropolitan bar serving a range of Summer cocktails and spirits. The market itself will boast a Belgium Beer café, a number of Scottish Street food stalls, an open-roof cinema, a range of art installations and an elevated stage on which Glasgow's best up-and-coming bands and DJs will be performing. 

Overlooking the entire market will be Douglas Gordon's 'Empire' sign. The Turner Prize winner's sign will illuminate the entire area, surrounded by industrial buildings and factories, giving a 1960s Steel Town feel. The latest addition to the already well-establish Merchant City Festival, it’s hoped hordes of Glaswegians and art lovers will flock in their droves to the city’s newest, urban attraction.

Performances and activity will be held at venues and stages across the Merchant City from Saturday July 25 until Sunday August 2 bringing a mix of entertainment and markets to the streets for everyone to enjoy. 

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Chair of the Merchant City Festival Committee said: “The Merchant City Festival promises to be nine days of outstanding events and entertainment that will deliver something for everyone. Where else can you find dancing JCB’s, the finest food and drink, street entertainment, music and laughter as part of hundreds of live events and performances. The Merchant City Festival is showcasing everything Glasgow has to offer as welcoming and generous hosts over the next nine days and is unmissable for local people and visitors alike.”

Internationally renowned designer Wayne Hemmingway returns to the Merchant City Festival to discuss ‘generous design’ and its benefits for our communities. For the very young there is a Happy Feet dance-a-long and for devotees of Northern Soul, there’s a chance to learn the steps before immersing yourself in Elaine Constantine’s film charting the rise of youth culture which transformed the UK in the1970s.

The first anniversary of the Commonwealth Games will be celebrated with 2 weekends of come and try sports in George Square on the 25th and 26th of July and 1st and 2nd August as part of the Merchant City Festival. Several Commonwealth Games medallists will be appearing at George Square over both weekends.

The Merchant City Festival is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Creative Scotland and Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: "The Merchant City Festival is a fantastic event for all to enjoy.  With attractions showcasing the produce of local businesses and traders, I am delighted that The Scottish Government has been able to support the festival as part of the Year of Food and Drink. Following the huge success of Homecoming 2014 and the Glasgow XX Commonwealth Games, Scotland continues to welcome the world through events such as the Merchant City Festival.  With so many events for everyone to enjoy across the entirety of the Festival from street theatre, music, comedy and of course Scotland’s outstanding natural larder and quality produce, I would encourage everyone to come along and join the celebrations.”

 Leonie Bell, Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland said: “The Merchant City Festival is always a welcome and anticipated event in Glasgow’s festivals calendar.  Spotlighting emerging and established talent the streets will once again come to life with a vibrant and varied programme of exciting theatre, music, visual arts, comedy, dance, film and fashion.  The festival builds on the energy of Festival 2014 during the Commonwealth Games and continues to be one of Scotland’s most engaging outdoor festivals, attracting both local and national audiences.”

 The full programme is available at

Image: Cloaked in history, Tontine Lane will be the home of a new pop-up market, offering delicious traditional Scottish street food and irresistible home-brewed craft beers.

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