Merchant City Festival & VELOCITY
Since preparations began for Glasgow to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games there has been a keen interest in the redevelopment of the Barras Market – the key gateway from Glasgow City Centre towards the East End and Commonwealth venues. This has led to a number of regeneration projects of varying scales and new arts and culture businesses setting up within the area.
The Barras Banchetto was a theatrical dining experience which invited participants from all walks of life to discuss the regeneration of the Barras Market. Artists and cultural organisations newly working from within the Barras Market sat side by side with traders and residents who have occupied the area long before the Commonwealth Games. Over a specially curated lunch; each course designed by a Glasgow based artist in collaboration with a business in the Barras Market, the guests explored the perceptions and impact of the regeneration and, most importantly, discussed how the newly forming community could work together to retain the unique history and heritage of the Barras Market.
The Barras Banchetto provided an example of how the incoming arts and culture community could positively impact on the local economy of the Barras Market by using the event as an opportunity to engage with and support existing businesses and traders. All food was sourced locally and, where possible, all materials and tools were bought from local traders.
The project explored the process of regeneration through participatory experience and demonstrated the importance of an artist led approach in creating new ways to discuss and deliver placemaking projects.