This year (October 26 to November 23), Glasglow is back, and this year’s theme is The Land That Time Forgot.
This features dinosaurs, fires and wildlife. The path around the city’s Botanical Gardens is decorated with lights and items that are presented in a showcase way that tells a story on your journey.
What is Glasglow?
Glasglow is a 60-minute outdoor adventure with showcases throughout, including interactive shows.
Moreover, the route contains an area named Marshmallowland, where you can roast marshmallows over a fire. They also provide gourmet street food next to a sheltered area with hay bails, benches and, of course, lights.
The idea of Glasglow began in 2010, but it took until 2018 to come to fruition. This was due to funding and creative decisions to ensure the show went ahead as envisioned.
Oli Norman is the founder of Glasglow-based itison, and a West End local resident. Not only is he responsible for the creation of Glasglow, but he also writes the production each year.
Now in its fifth year of running, the production has had loads of excellent reviews and each year, it is sold out. The show is loved by the people of Glasgow and by visitors from all around.
Each year Glasglow’s theme and design concept change, and each year, the showcases are designed to take visitors on a journey into another world. This year’s theme is Land That Time Forgot.
Why is Glasglow Good?
While the show takes place in Botanical Gardens, the production begins after the normal closure of the Botanical Gardens, minimising the effect on the community.
The last two years of production have given over 4,000 tickets to local charities and hospitals.
Additionally, the itison pumpkin fund (established in 2019) has done many things to help the community, such as:
- donate a mini-bus to Ruchill Primary LCR
- funded a new sensory glow room for Eastpark School
- committed a five-figure sum to help develop the Children’s Garden within the Botanics
Further, Glasglow improves the local economy by contributing an estimated £6 million and providing 150 jobs locally. Moreover, they help with the fees for remedial works to the gardens.
Glasglow is run by itison and a team of creative and production individuals.
As mentioned previously, the writer/director is Oli Norman. The producers responsible for Glasglow 2022 are Amy Dolan and Toni Lally.
They worked with the production manager and deputy production manager, David Graham and Suzie Normand.
Phil Supple, Claire Halleran and Kevin Murray are the lighting, set and sound designers, respectively.
Moreover, the production’s graphic designers are Lindsay Robertson and Arryn Ross; the video producer Richi Craib.
Finally, the last of the team is the technical manager – Dan Quayle, and the creative assistant – Megan McGill.
The Light & Showcases
Oli Norman said, “I wrote this year’s story whilst on a family trip to the Isle of Skye during the pandemic. Discovering the dinosaur fossils on the North of the island with my kids was amazing. This year’s show imagines what would happen if those dinosaurs roamed Glasgow today.”
The production features many activities and showcases: lights, screens with videos, interactive activities, and pathways you need to actively choose and journey through.
As you walk in, you are presented with stunning lights and projections of dinosaur feet leading the way to a food and drink stall called ‘fossil fuel’, which is all very on-brand for this year’s theme.
Walk on further, and you walk through a beautiful light tunnel that blows out smoke creating an amazing atmosphere.
At the other end of the tunnel, you see flickering lights lighting the pathway until more projections of dinosaur feat lead you up to a leaf curtain you must walk through.
This leads you to the path that leads to the ‘Land That Time Forgot’ main sign.
After walking through this, the path is lined with giant dinosaur fossils and light projections lighting the walkway.
This leads to a smaller bush pathway that forks into two possible walkways. The way I went was full of spiderwebs and featured a man sitting on a bench fully mummified in spider silk.
Furthermore, there is a display of hundreds of lights that move. These lights are spread over a large area and lead from an erupting volcano to a pterodactyl on a nest with its three eggs that are lit up.
You go round the corner to a video presentation animation of a dinosaur and, finally, to the food and drink area.
After you’ve had food, you walk over to the prettiest light area with loads of hanging lights.
Over the barrier of this light area, you can see a beautiful lit-up path that illuminates the areas around many dinosaurs that move, imitating eating smaller dinosaurs.
Following this, there are many set-up areas for photo opportunities.
Finally, this is the end of the ‘Land That Time Forgot’ journey, where many local primary school children’s pumpkins are on display, the botanical garden’s building is lit up, and a ‘The People Make Glasglow’ sign is right by the exit.
Food & Drinks
The food village has many street food stalls, including Loop & Scoop, Fries Guys, Mangiamo Pizza and Brigston & Co Artisan Hotdogs.
As mentioned before, there is a Fossil Fuel stall near the beginning providing snacks such as candy floss and hot drinks.
Moreover, a Glow Bar looks over the beautiful scenes of ‘The Land That Time Forgot’. This bar provides many hot drinks (with booze and normal), so adults and children can enjoy it!
Finally, the Marshmallowland allows you to experience more Glasglow while roasting marshmallows over a firepit. This experience has many options, such as the campfire classic, roll toasty trio or vegan campfire classic.
To make the event as inclusive as possible, they offer a detailed sensory guide to help those with sensory issues. They aim to make the event as accessible as possible and so they also have carer tickets.
Regarding disability access and facilities – the route is fully hard-standing so prams, wheelchairs etc., will be fine going around. However, it is important to note that some paths may have gradual inclines.
Disabled toilets are available at this event, and on certain dates, there will be a Pamiloo.
Regarding parking, there are many Blue Badge parking spaces in front of the venue. However, these are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
This sentiment is so lovely. I know so many people who look forward to the light show every year.
Such a beautiful experience to share with people you walk around with. Whether it is with friends, your partner or children, this is an experience you can all enjoy.
Featured Image Credit: Samantha McBride
Final year Biology & Psychology student with a keen interest in music, food and lifestyle pieces.
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