Glasgow Coffee Festival takes to the streets to encourage support for local businesses

This year's Glasgow Coffee Festival has changed format due to restrictions, and is encouraging attendees to shop local.

Published 18th Sep 2020
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

This year’s Glasgow Coffee Festival is set to be the biggest ever as it takes to the streets for the very first time, in a bid to encourage Glaswegians to visit local, independent businesses.

The annual event, initially scheduled for May, was postponed due to lockdown, and next month’s rescheduled two-day event can no longer take place indoors due to current restrictions.

Instead, organiser Lisa Lawson, the founder of Dear Green coffee, has announced plans to transform the festival into a ten-day-long citywide celebration of the city’s baristas, roasters and coffee shop owners.

Since it started six years ago, the Glasgow Coffee Festival has become a must-visit for coffee fans from Glasgow and beyond.

In 2018, it became the first coffee festival in the world to ban disposable cups. Now it’s the first coffee festival to take to the streets.

This year's festival dates 

This year's festival will take place from 16-25 October and tickets, which cost £5 each, will provide unlimited deals and discounts in Glasgow’s best cafes.

Glaswegians are encouraged to visit not only their local coffee shops during the festival, but to discover other independent businesses and benefit from the knowledge, passion and technical coffee skills on offer across the city.

The event takes place at an incredibly challenging time for coffee shops, as the furlough scheme, something which has been of vital support to owners, staff and customers, draws to a close.

The mission of the festival is to show Glasgow the true meaning of supporting local, and encourage coffee drinkers to swap their visit to a big chain for a coffee served in a local coffee shop, which serves coffee roasted by a local roaster, and directly supports the local economy.

Speaking of this year's festival, Lisa said: “This festival is for everyone in Glasgow who enjoys coffee.

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"Glasgow punches above its weight in the coffee world and that’s because of an amazing culture, where all the businesses support one another - it’s been amazing to watch this evolve in the almost ten years since I launched Dear Green.

“Your local coffee shops and roasters have been fuelling your home working whilst fighting their own survival battles.

“Let’s show support to the amazing people behind all of these wonderful local businesses which enrich our communities and boost our local economy, by serving and roasting great coffee.”

Among the sponsors are SAFE2GO, a digital contact tracing solution which will enable visitors to any venue to provide contact details quickly, easily and securely.

Also sponsoring the event is La Marzocco UK & Ireland. Their sales manager Paul Kelly added: “It’s been a tough time for coffee shops and roasters, so this event is perfectly timed.

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"We believe this event will shine a light on Glasgow’s brilliant coffee scene, and encourage people to visit coffee shops around the city.

"Whether it’s indoors or on the streets, we are always proud to support the Glasgow Coffee Festival.”

For more information on what cafes are involved, and to find out more about the people behind them, follow the Glasgow Coffee Festival social media channels.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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