How will Glasgow sound after Covid-19?

The question hangs over a city famous for its live music. Thriving venues have been closed and silent for over a year.  But, welcome signs of life returning begin to grow with most Covid restrictions lifting on Monday 9 August.  

First, this week’s news that Trnsmit can go ahead in September with 50,000 people and no social distancing on Glasgow Green. Second, Jason Leitch, Scotland’s National Clinical Director  confirms that clubbers can go maskless on the dance floor.

‘Fun nights out are on the way back…’ tweets Donald MacLeod MBE, of Garage and Cathouse. His MBE awarded in 2020 for services to music and charity, MacLeod is outspoken in his calls for ‘common sense’ to ensure the survival of the night time economy and the venues that support it.  No-one underestimates the challenges that lie ahead.

A changing culture?

The Barrowland sign ablur with dazzling light, picture Andrea McCarthy


Nothing can quench the creative spirit of Glasgow. Once the city fully opens up again, we know we will have to explore and discover a changed landscape. But music is an inescapable part of the past, present and future of Glasgow. And that is what we celebrate here on the audio tour we first published in 2012, launching with a party in the joyfully crowded confines of King Tuts.  It is so good to see them tweeting this week: “We’re back!”


Live music has been an essential, unchanging part of Scotland’s largest city, Britain’s first UNESCO City of Music.

Yet change is also part of any city. Even before Covid, new forces were reshaping the city’s night time economy. For better and worse. Fires, dereliction, property development and regeneration all made their mark on the streets our guide DJ Jim Gellatly leads us round.

Download Glasgow Music Celebrated, if you haven’t already taken the tour this is a good time to rediscover and remember how our city of music sounds.

Memories of how things were can help to ensure new life will return with energy, collaborative commitment and confidence. Streets echoing with the sounds and memories of names like Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai, Hue and Cry, Simple Minds… social history built into bars, basements, concert halls … and of course Glasgow Green.  Now preparing for September.