Street Art Festival In Glasgow, Scotland, 6th and 7th May 2017
YardWorks Festival 2017 is an International celebration of street Art, Graffiti and Design. This new street art festival will be spread throughout the SWG3 Complex in Glasgow with a focus on the new Galvanizers Yard.
Showcasing the skills of 25 of the best Graffiti and Street Artists from across Europe and over 50 of the best Scottish Artists to bring this concrete playground to life!
I asked Gaz MacKay, SWG3 general manager, to tell us more about this new and ambitious Street Art event in Scotland.
Hi Gaz, can you tell us a bit more about you and Yardworks festival ?
“My Name is Gaz Mac, born & bred in Glasgow.
I have been writing graffiti since 1983-84…I first started around the same time as everyone else took it up in the UK; with the whole New-York explosion of Hip Hop. Along side this a few friends and I started off a Notorious Bboy crew… the ‘Glasgow City Breakers’. This continued for many years, although throughout this time I was always more interested in the Graffiti side of things.
The 1980’s in Glasgow was truly grimey and I soon ended up covering the whole neighborhood, I did also venture out to the usual spots that are still rich pickings to this day.
I started working commercially due to my son Billy being born in 1990, I had to make money, so as well as my regular job, I would paint night clubs, pubs etc, then local workshops in and around the Glasgow housing Schemes (estates). I even had regular visits to Aberdeen, Newcastle & Manchester as graffiti became more mainstream.
Later… much later I took myself off to college and trained in all Graphic Design and Illustration, this put me in good stead for more commercial work. After leaving 4 years of college I ventured out into the world of design and worked for a few design beaureu’s as a freelancer, I even ended up teaching back at the college that taught me. Through design I ended up at Monster Colors; I spent a couple of years there until it was time to move on again but through working at Monster Colors I realised the Graffiti world had stepped up a gear and was ready to get back on track.
Around 2004, I met up with a young arty looking character called Mutley, he was different to the usual guys I had done some graffiti jams with, he had this big idea for an old tobacco warehouse on Glasgow’s Riverside. One of Mutleys’ first ideas was to have a graffiti Jam on the top floor of this building and later to build Artist Studios etc. No money was involved and seemed as if it was something that would be a spot to paint during the winter months. Since the first event we have now had many more, I have also had larger and larger commissions through the support I have received at SWG3. In turn trying to get as many local writers, artists, illustrators even sign writers involved with my commissions, to the point where I have managed to include 25 writers on the one job; it doesn’t make you a millionaire but it does help to gel the scene together.
I am now General Manager at the old tobacco warehouse which is now firmly established as SWG3. Through years of building studios and venues etc, SWG3 has now become a pillar amongst the Glasgow music, art & design community, it has also added 3 successful venues to its name and transformed the local railway arches. We continue to re-develop this old industrial part of Glasgow’s Clydeside and have recently purchased the former Clydeside Galvanizers Yard, hence the Yardworks Festival.
We now continue as how we started and staying true to our passions, we have managed to fund and create a safe working environment for graffiti art / street artists alike. Glasgow has had a couple of spots over the years that were deemed legal to paint but always came with the usual harassments, so it is long over-due for individuals, crews etc to develop their skills without fear of incrimination.
The Yardworks Festival has been created as much as an awareness to the City’s talent and also a chance for the local Artists themselves to work alongside some of the best talent from around Europe. The Event will take place over the weekend of the 6th & 7th May 2017. At the moment we are currently rendering smooth concrete walls, which were in bad condition, installing shipping containers and sheeting them out with galvanized steel; we are also constructing a large maze structure for 50 artists to paint.
Over the course of the weekend we will also have a creative spot for kids and adults alike to try their hand out at painting. There will also be adult workshops for those looking to go more in-depth with some of the best graffiti artists in Europe. Local Skateboarders will be putting on a display over the full weekend and on the Sunday afternoon we have over 15 BBoys displaying their moves with mock 1vs1 battles. We also have a selection of Street Food and Drink.
I have tried to pick a wide variety of skills amongst the Artists that received a personal invite.
Steve Locatelli & Bart Smeets from Belgium…The skill of these guys combined is awe-inspiring, I was delighted when they accepted. I also have a large Bristol based group, some of whom I met on my trip to Bristol’s Upfest last year. Cheo, Inkie, Sokem & Voyder who’s talents and skills with paint are second to none, my personal favourite is Cheo, who has mastered the epiphany of the Graffiti character.
Astek, Bonzai & Tizer from London, to stand out from the crowd in London you got to be good. Snub23, Brighton, his geometric designs alongside his futuristic characters. Treze from Barcelona is a really exciting prospect, my friend Mark Worst has painted with him on a few occasions now and he has also recently painted in Aberdeen, so no stranger to the Scottish weather!
On a home front, we have our very own Smug one, I don’t think there is much to say about this guy and his internationally renowned work. Not to forget our Celtic friends & local artists: Rogue One, Akme, Makone, Asone, Ejek , Mark Worst, Rask etc, we have a whole East Coast contingency from Edinburgh & Dundee including Elphone, Trench and Krime Styles etc. There is too many to shout out and brag about but together they will put on a display of which Scotland has never had the pleasure of. The event itself is in unchartered waters as the largest gathering of its kind in Scotland.
If successful (which it will be), we do plan to extend the festival. The graffiti / street art movement in Scotland is as strong as it has ever been, this can only increase public popularity and in turn we would hope to gain additional support from local government and local businesses to increase the size of Yardworks Festival in 2018. ”
Thank’s Gaz. See you in Glasgow in May.
For More Informations:
Yardworks Website: Yardworks Festival
Yardworks 2017 Artists:
Acid Collapse (Barcelona) – Akme (Glasgow) – Asone (Glasgow) – Astek (London) – Bart Smeets aka Smates (Antwerp) – Bonzai (London) – Cheo (Bristol) – Conzo (Glasgow) – Ejek (Glasgow) – Elph (Edinburgh) – Gazmac (Glasgow) – Inkie (Bristol) – Krime (Dundee) – Makone (Glasgow) – Mark Worst (Glasgow) – MS Shyne (Dundee) – My Dog Sighs (Portsmouth) – Paco (Dundee) – Rask (Ireland) – RogueOne (Glasgow) – Smugone (Glasgow) – Snub23 (Brighton) – Sokem (Bristol) – Spore (Glasgow) – Steve Locatelli (Antwerp) – Tizer (London) – Trench 1 (Edinburgh) – Vera (Dundee) – Voyder (Bristol) – Vues (Glasgow)
They’ll be in Glasgow :
All pictures by courtesy of the artists