FOOD at outdoor music festivals usually involves a reluctant purchase of expensive falafel and long lines at the doughnut stand when the late-night “munchies” kick in.

However, this weekend kicks off a completely new approach to the relationship between food and music, with the free-to-attend Dandelion Festival taking place in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park.

Starting today, the three-day event is part of a wider programme that aims to bring us together in a concerted effort to grow our own food. It follows the growing cycle from April to September, and although there have been some smaller-scale events already, this festival hopes to be one of the major drivers of the message.

Throughout the summer and across the country, there will be activities and events to give away seeds, plants and buds, along with advice on how to grow your own. It will culminate around harvest time with a three-day festival in Inverness.

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This weekend is also about music. The event is presented by Glasgow Life & Celtic Connections and curated by music director Donald Shaw. Jenny Niven, Dandelion’s executive producer, has also arranged talks, performances and interactive activities. There will be three stages – the Pavilion, Orchard and Dandelion – on a site in the south of the Kelvingrove Park, next to the entrance from Royal Terrace and Parkgrove Terrace.

At the centre is the Pavilion of Perpetual Light. Standing at 10 metres tall, the pavilion was created from 60 miniature vertical farms (1m x1m accelerated growing cubes) which will form a giant structure, with a built-in stage acting as a backdrop to performances.

The Dandelion Festival is just one of many events being held by UNBOXED, an initiative running across the UK this year to celebrate creativity and bring people together at free large-scale events, installations and digital experiences.

In addition to the Dandelion Festival, other UNBOXED events that are set to take place in Scotland include: Dreamachine and PoliNations (both in Edinburgh), Green Space, Dark Skies at the Cairngorms National Park, and StoryTrails in both Dundee and Dumfries. About Us, a light and sound show, opened UNBOXED’s programme of Scottish events in Paisley earlier this year.

For the Dandelion team, there is a definite connection between the growth cycle of our food and how creativity grows within the artist. The choice of music and performers was made with that in mind.

The musical line-up includes Admiral Fallow, Darlingside, Les Amazones d’Afriques, Newton Faulker, Rachel Sermanni and This Is the Kit, among many others.

Talks and events will cover the themes of sustainability, community growing and climate action with Abi Mordin, Mo Wilde and Pam Warhurst among the participants.

“For me there has always been a community connection between food and music,” Dandelion’s music director Donald Shaw said.

“Even from that experience of being a musician abroad in a place where you’re struggling a little bit with the language.

“If there are two things you don’t need to talk about, it’s food and music. Celtic Connections has had a good while to establish its identity, so getting the message across about the intentions of Dandelion has been a new challenge for the entire team.

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“Also the idea that a garden isn’t required to grow at home. Boxes and grow bags can achieve the same aims. The mission of Dandelion is to show how that can be done.

“You can always come together around the table to share a meal and share a tune. I like that aspect and there’s a parallel with the idea of food sustainability and empowering people to grow ideas.

“We should be empowering people to grow their own food and to be able to play music and perform music at any point.

“We should think of it as a kind of a social healer.”

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