SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY

Step into Christmas in Paisley! We’ll be celebrating all things festive with Santa, his reindeer and a sleigh-load of free, family fun throughout Paisley town centre on Saturday 16 November from noon till 6 pm.

Gus from Pulse FM will kick things off on the live stage shortly before the tinsel-tastic Santa parade gathers, ready to process through the town centre on this year’s new, longer route from 12.30 pm.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY

With Santa in his sleigh and his trusty reindeer leading the way, this year’s 300-strong parade will dazzle spectators with its giant festive floats, costumed characters – including ice queens, delectable sweets, gingerbread men and roller-skating candlesticks – plus choreographed displays from local community groups.

Times for Saturday 16th November

12:00-18:00
Crafty Christmas Market @ Piazza Shopping Centre
12:00-18:00
Winter Roller Disco @ County Square
12:00-18:00
Jolly Kids Zone @ Coats Venue
12:30
Santa Parade
13:30-14:15
Visit Santa’s reindeer @ UWS
13:30-18:00
Live Stage @ Gauze Street
13:45-16:00
Festive Choir Concerts @ Paisley Abbey
14:00-17:30
Santa’s Grotto @ Piazza Shopping Centre
18:00
Lights on!

And speaking of roller skates, we’ll also be operating a new Winter Roller Disco over in County Square. With skating sessions running throughout the day, you can test your balance on 4 wheels with a spin around our roller rink.

Coats Venue will be our jolly kids hub this year; a fantastic, free space that’s bursting like a Christmas cracker with things to do for young children. Head here to write your letter to Santa, make Christmas cards, get a glitter tattoo or take a yuletide selfie.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without carols either, and where better to hear them than the atmospheric Abbey. Make sure you stop in for a mince pie and a rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer before heading to the Piazza for a spot of shopping – courtesy of the Urban Market – and a visit to Santa in his Grotto!

For music and entertainment, head to our live stage. Here you’ll catch performances from Funbox, The Singing Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, special guests Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

With their help (and Santa’s magic!) we’ll countdown to Christmas before lighting up the town with the big switch-on at 6 pm. We hope we’ll see you there!

abbey door 2019

Lisa Kowalski has received funding from Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund (CHEF) to write and record a song that sings Paisley’s praises. The funding will also cover the production of a music video that will be set in and showcase the Paisley area. 

abbey door 2019

The project will start in November 2019, when Lisa will consult with her Paisley buddies about what aspects of the town they think should feature in the song.  Lisa will then use her award-winning songwriting skills to put together suitable lyrics and music and record the track locally. There will be opportunity for local artists to design artwork for the release of the song. 

 

Once the song is completed, the shooting of the video will take place in and around Paisley, with potential for local people to feature in the filming.  The song and video will be released early in 2020 and Lisa will head off to New York’s Tartan Week at the start of April to perform the song at a ceremony in Manhattan’s Bryant Park. 

paisley steps

19-year-old Lisa started her music career 5 years ago, busking on Paisley High Street. She has always valued the support she has received from local people and organisations, having been named as a “woman of influence” by the Provost and “Paisley’s first lady of music” by Mike Dillon, Celtic FM presenter.  Lisa considers her involvement in the Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture Bid and her invitation to New York Tartan Week 2018 to be two of the highlights of her musical journey. Her 2017 “Hearts of Gold” song and video, also about Paisley and also funded by the CHEF grant, attracted the attention of the American Scottish Foundation and resulted in the invite to New York.  She therefore thought it would be wonderful to have a new Paisley song to take with her for her second visit, demonstrating that Paisley’s cultural ambition continues even though the town didn’t win the 2021 bid.

“Hearts of Gold” is a happy, catchy tune that tells the story of Lisa’s busking experiences, but Lisa aims to write her second Paisley tribute song in such a way that everyone can sing along to the lyrics and relate to the message – a real anthem.

Lisa started studying Commercial Music at the University of the West of Scotland this year and continues to pursue a career as a singer song writer. She hopes the music that she plans to release over the next two years will raise her profile as an artist, at the same time elevating Paisley as a town full of talent.

The Culture, Heritage and Events Fund is a cultural grants programme run by Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure. It sets out to raise cultural ambition, enhance participation and unlock creative potential in Renfrewshire.

paisley christmas

Paisley will welcome the festive season in style this weekend at the town’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On event.

The family-favourite, free event will begin at 12pm on Saturday 16 November before Santa and his sleigh ride into town at 12.30pm to lead the 300-strong parade that will greet the gathered crowds.

paisley christmas

The parade will have a new, extended route for 2019 and is set to wow spectators with giant festive floats, costumed characters and choreographed displays from local community groups and professional performers. Following the parade there will be a number of street performers entertaining the crowds.

Visitors can take a spin around the Winter Roller Disco in County Square – a new addition to this year’s event it’s sure to be a family favourite with six sessions taking place throughout the day.

paisley christmas

The live stage will offer plenty of music and entertainment with performances from; Funbox, The Swinging Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, special guests – X Factor stars, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

For those looking for a more traditional Christmas celebration there will be a series of local community and school choirs performing classic carols in Paisley Abbey – a sure way to get everyone in the festive mood.

paisley christmas

There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained as Coats Memorial will be transformed into the perfect Christmas playground bursting with activities to keep the little ones entertained such as writing letters to Santa, making Christmas cards, face painting, soft play and much more.

Kids can meet Santa at his Grotto in The Piazza Shopping Centre to tell him what’s on their Christmas list, while those looking to do a bit of Christmas shopping can head to the festive Urban Market offering plenty of fabulous gift ideas.

A Creative Craft Trail will be taking place as part of the event in some of the town’s fantastic local cafes and businesses, where visitors can learn to make festive jewellery, decorations and fascinators among other activities.

The big finale moment of the day will be the switch-on moment which will take place at the Live Stage at 6pm.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY

This year the lights will extend to the top of the High Street leading to a giant illuminated Christmas bauble, delivered in partnership with Paisley First. The bauble will be located in the grounds of Coats venue offering the perfect festive selfie spot.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron said: “Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On is a fantastic family day out with plenty of opportunities to get the whole family in the festive mood.

“This year’s event is even bigger with a longer parade route and children’s activities taking place in the stunning Coats venue.

“It’s sure to attract lots of visitors to the town centre and encourage people to see what fantastic festive goodies they can get their hands on in some of our great local businesses.”

There will also be a funfair at the event located on Bridge Street with smaller rides on Gilmour Street.

To find out more about future events taking place please visit: https://paisley.is/list_event/.

Tickets for the Roller Disco are £2 including booking fee and e-ticket charge and skate hire is included in this charge. Children under 8 years-old must be accompanied by an adult.

Sessions are limited to 40 places.

You can purchase tickets in advance here: https://paisley.is/winter-roller-disco/

A quiet space will be located in POP inside the Piazza Shopping Centre and Coats Venue -this will be an autism friendly space with soft lighting, comfortable seating and noise cancelling headphones.

diane mitchell
The Diane Mitchell Music School offers one to one lessons in any instrument and group classes in theory, musicianship, guitar, piano, and more!
diane mitchell
The school is currently taking names for The Junior Gospel Choir. which will be starting after the new year!
For children and young people ages 8-16 Interested in singing and performance.
If interested contact the music school on 0789668916 or info@dianemitchellmusicschool.com
Fireworks2019

More than 16,000 turned out in Paisley town centre on Saturday to watch a dazzling display of fireworks be set off against the backdrop of the town’s iconic Abbey.

Fireworks2019

The crowd wrapped up in the thickest woollies to watch the magnificent array of Catherine wheels, rockets and sparklers on display backed by a soundtrack of popular 90s classic hits.

The event started with Gus from Pulse FM welcoming crowds with music and banter at 6.30pm before the main event at 7pm.

Fireworks2019

Paisley’s winter events programme will continue with the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-On on Saturday 16 November. There will be plenty of Christmas family fun including the popular Santa Parade in the town centre, Christmas Choir concerts, Santa’s Grotto and much more.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy exciting street artists, fantastic performances on the live stage and even head along to the festive roller disco.

The festive fun will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday 23 November and Johnstone on Saturday 30 November.

The town centre also sees the return of the WinterFest event from 23 November until 30 December, run by Paisley First, featuring an outdoor ice rink, LEGO Paisley Penguin Parade Trail and plenty of festive fun.

For more information about Renfrewshire events, visit: https://paisley.is/list_event/

Paisley Fireworks 2016

A dazzling display of fireworks will be set off in the skies above Paisley Abbey on Saturday 2 November.

Paisley Fireworks 2016

Crowds will gather in Paisley town centre to watch the magnificent array of Catherine wheels, rockets and sparklers on display backed by a soundtrack of popular 90s classic hits.

Gus from Pulse FM will welcome crowds with music and banter from 6.30pm before the fireworks get underway at 7pm lasting approximately 20 minutes.

Paisley’s winter events programme will continue with the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-On on Saturday 16 November. There will be plenty of Christmas family fun including the popular Santa Parade in the town centre, Christmas Choir concerts, Santa’s Grotto and much more. Visitors will also be able to enjoy exciting street artists, fantastic performances on the live stage and even head along to the festive roller disco.

The festive fun will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday 23 November and Johnstone on Saturday 30 November. The town centre also sees the return of the WinterFest event from 23 November until 30 December, run by Paisley First, featuring an outdoor ice rink, LEGO Paisley Penguin Parade Trail and plenty of festive fun.

For more information about Paisley Fireworks Spectacular, visit: https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-fireworks-spectacular/

Paisley Halloween Festival 2019

Paisley’s annual Halloween Festival launched tonight with plenty of thrills and chills for visitors.

Paisley Halloween Festival 2019

The two-day spectacular is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the UK. This year’s event has a Dark Circus theme and promises to be the biggest and best yet with internationally acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou, helping to transform the entire town centre into the perfect Halloween playground.

Paisley Halloween Festival 2019

The festival continues on Saturday with a whole host of frighteningly fun, free activities for everyone to enjoy including the spectacular Mardi-Gras style parade, with the entire town serving as the stage.

To find out more visit: www.paisley.is/halloween.

diane mitchell
The Diane Mitchell Music School offers one to one lessons in instruments such as Piano, Guitar, Vocals, Drums and more!
diane mitchell
With classes for children in Piano, Violin, Musicianship, Theory and more taught in a fun, interactive way while promoting literacy and numeracy skills.
If interested please contact the music school at info@dianemitchellmusicschool.com or 07896689816
If you’re in the Christmas spirit why not come along to our concerts?
Paisley: The Life Church 38 Moss Street – 14th December 3.30pm
Barrhead: Barrhead Evangelical Church – 11th December 6.30pm
3 PAC auditorium

The first images showing how Paisley’s iconic arts centre will look after a £2.8m transformation have been revealed – including a new extension and public space at the heart of Paisley’s nightlife district.

The Paisley Arts Centre stage has hosted some of Scotland’s biggest names in the three decades since the 250-year-old former church building was converted into one of the country’s most vibrant small entertainment venues.

Arts-Centre-Summer-9546

The building is being upgraded as part of a wider investment in Paisley’s venues and outdoor spaces aimed at using the town’s internationally-significant cultural and heritage story to change its future.

And plans have been submitted for the work, with images revealed today showing:

– a redesigned public space around the arts centre, removing railings and bringing the street to the building – creating a new outdoor area for events and for people to dwell;

– how the building’s location at the junction of New Street and Shuttle Street means it is perfectly placed to add new vibrancy to the surrounding already-busy nightlife area;

– a new-build extension to the existing entrance – creating more room to expand facilities inside – including an improved café-bar;

3 PAC auditorium

– improved auditorium with retractable seating offering a capacity of 150 (seated) and 200 (standing) and creating the flexibility to offer more events, bringing more footfall to the town;

– better audience and performance facilities – retaining the intimate atmosphere the building is known for but adding more comfortable seating with better legroom, improved sightlines, better sound and lighting, upgraded toilets, and better disabled access and facilities;

There will also be new back-of-house facilities expanding what the building can do and making it more attractive to performers – including a new kitchen, improved dressing rooms, and workshop space for rehearsals and other events.

1 PAC Front Approach Evening View

The arts centre is due to close in summer 2020 to allow the transformation to take place, and is expected to reopen in summer 2021.

The venue is home to a year-round performance programme and last week hosted several events as part of Paisley’s Spree festival, and will be packed out again for the ever-popular PACE Youth Theatre panto this festive period.

While the arts centre had a number of improvements to the outside of the building in 2012 the facilities inside had become outdated and needed more than a makeover to change that – but the planned work will create 21st-century facilities inside the historic building.

The project is being taken forward by Renfrewshire Council and the venue will continue to be operated by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd.

2 PAC extnded reception area

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The images revealed today show how Paisley Arts Centre will be transformed into a unique and intimate performance venue capable of hosting a greater range of events and performances than ever before.

“The council is investing in Paisley’s venues as part of a wider push to use the area’s unique heritage and thriving cultural and events offer to bring people into the town and create new life and footfall.

“The revamped arts centre will be more than a building – it will be a place where the town’s next generation of talent can learn, be inspired and have their first time on a stage.

“It will also complement other investments happening in Paisley’s venues around the town – both council and community-run – helping connect, build and support the growing creative community already active in the town.

“We expect the improved performance programme the new facilities will allow us to offer will see increased numbers coming to arts centre shows day and night – and boost the surrounding pubs and eateries while here.”

Other major investments happening in Paisley town centre just now include a £42m transformation of Paisley Museum into a world-class destination showcasing the town’s internationally-significant collections and story.

There’s also work to preserve Paisley Town Hall’s place at the heart of life in the town by turning it into a landmark entertainment venue and a new learning and cultural hub offering library services to be built in a modern facility at the heart of Paisley High Street.

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/paisley or www.paisley.is

Gerry Rafferty Song Book

More than 12,000 festival-goers turned out for The Spree festival as figures show record attendances at this year’s events.

The festival, which is now in its eighth year and is organised by Renfrewshire Council, took place over nine days from 11-19 October.

Gerry Rafferty Song Book

Music and comedy fans were treated to sell-out shows from Hue and Cry, Glasvegas, The Snuts, Jerry Sadowitz and spectacular performances from Soul legend PP Arnold, Hayseed Dixie, Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook and two Friday comedy nights compered by Fred MacAulay and Scott Gibson.

This year’s opening night also saw a fitting tribute to one of Paisley’s favourite musical sons – A Gerry Rafferty Songbook with Roddy Hart, Emma Pollock and Rab Noakes, who thrilled a sell-out crowd with a set spanning the musician’s rich career.

Most of the shows at this year’s festival took place in the stunning Salon Perdu Spiegeltent in Paisley’s County Square – with a bigger tent than in previous years allowing for more people to enjoy the performances.

There was lots of fun for families as the Wee Spree programme of kids activities took place during the school holidays and saw over 2,000 youngsters enjoy events from music and circus skills workshops to cinema and comedy.

This year also saw the return of the popular Spree for All fringe programme, which was extended across Renfrewshire and saw 2,500 people attend events across Lochwinnoch, Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Renfrew and Paisley.

Paisley also played host to an all-day festival within-a-festival on the opening Saturday with LNP Promotions’ ModStuff celebration in the Spiegeltent, which saw the spectacle of over 100 scooters ride off around the town from County Square.

The Spree is a centrepiece in Renfrewshire Council’s annual major events calendar, which has made Paisley one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations in recent years.

This year’s festival was programmed by Regular Music and sponsored by Tennent’s Lager.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “This has been another fantastic year for The Spree as we’ve seen record attendance figures and more fans coming out to enjoy their favourite acts and musicians at the festival.

“The Spree has grown in recent years to become a popular fixture in Scotland’s festival calendar, attracting a wealth of local and international artists and bringing more and more visitors from across the country to see what Paisley has to offer.

“The extended programme of amazing events across towns and villages in Renfrewshire will also boost our local economy and will go some way to benefiting local businesses.”

Mark Mackie, Director of Regular Music, said: “We are proud to have been involved with Renfrewshire Council in programming this year’s The Spree festival in Paisley and are delighted that the concerts were so well attended and enjoyed by everyone that came along.”

The festival also provided a boost to local traders with many festival-goers choosing to spend local and sample the great bars, restaurants and cafes in the area.

Jacqueline McCaig, owner of The Old Swan Inn which hosted the Spree Festival Club of daily events during the festival, said: “We absolutely loved hosting the Spree Festival Club this year at The Old Swan – it was a fantastic week of live music. The pub was really busy with a great atmosphere and a great mix of customers old and new, who came to see what the Festival Club was all about and enjoy the variety of talent we had on show.”

The Spree festival marked the start of Renfrewshire Council’s winter events programme, which continues with the Paisley Halloween Festival (Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October), Paisley Fireworks Spectacular (Saturday 2 November) and Christmas Lights Switch-On events in Paisley (Saturday 16 November), Renfrew (Saturday 23 November) and Johnstone (Saturday 30 November).

To find out more about each of these events, visit www.paisley.is.