Glasgow University’s ARC Building is hosting a free festival

University bosses are opening a new campus community area with a two-week free festival designed to make visitors say “wow.”

Glasgow University’s newly opened Advanced Research Center or ARC will host the ARCadia Festival of Ideas next month.

Visitors can enjoy marching bands, a retro video arcade, comedy and drag shows, an outdoor ceilidh, art exhibits, a Robert Burns virtual reality celebration, and more.

Jane Cowie of The Annexe Healthy Living Center said: “To have something where the university welcomes the community is absolutely tremendous.

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“The combination of community, university and research is wow.”

ARCadia, which runs from 16th to 30th September, aims to establish ARC as a significant contributor to daily life in Glasgow’s West End.

The ARC’s ground floor, which will include a cafe and restaurant later this year, is open to the general public.

It will host more than 65 free events for all ages during the festival, hosted by students and staff from Glasgow University and community partners.

These events include tours of the ARC during the Glasgow Doors Open weekend on 17th and 18th September and a family-focused program the weekend after.

Local Marching Band, Brass, Aye? will be performing outside the ARC on September 18th.

The ARC hosts events nightly including film screenings, comedy shows and live music for an adult audience.

On opening night, the atrium will be transformed into a cinema showing the classic Mars Attacks! from the 1990s, followed by a discussion with scientists involved in Mars exploration.

Local community groups will contribute to the festival, including storytelling sessions for children curated by The Children’s Wood, hands-on booths from the Partick Community Growing Project and The Annexe Healthy Living Centre.

Music collective Hen Hoose will be curating a music evening for the closing night.

The ARC will also bring together voices from communities underserved or underrepresented at universities with events bringing together the Maryhill Integration Network, local charities and the Africa in Motion Film Festival.

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There will also be events led by LGBTQ+ and Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showmen and Boater communities.

The £116million ARC building, on the site of the former Western Infirmary, is home to a multidisciplinary group of researchers tackling a range of global issues, from climate change to healthcare.

A wide range of research will be showcased during the festival, including the university’s response to the pandemic, including a specially commissioned play and exhibition

ARCadia festival manager Dr. Zara Gladman said: “The ARC is a stunning new building but it is the people who will bring it to life.

“ARCadia is an invitation to the entire community to get involved and this is reflected in our diverse program.

“At ARCadia you can meet a cute robot, see comedy and drag, immerse yourself in the latest health research, explore virtual reality and even dance in an outdoor ceilidh.”

To view the full ARCadia program and book tickets, see

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