“We want to save our planet but we’re starting with our community… that’s the drive behind the Calton Free Festival,” says Linda Lygate.

It’s no throwaway quip. As chairperson of People Without Labels, Linda and the team are passionate about reigniting the Calton and its working class roots.

Based at The Space on the corner of London Road and Bain Street, People Without Labels are both pragmatic and creative in working to engage with and shine a light on the community.

And in capturing that spirit, the charity is shaping the Calton’s first open festival this summer.

Linda says: “Think the Edinburgh Free Fringe only more Glaswegian with food, warmth, creative and skills workshops, movie documentaries for community discussion, live music, DJs and dancing.

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From its outside shell, the building has all the appearance of a dilapidated ugly duckling… but on the inside, The Space opens into a Pandora’s box of art, music and unbound energy.

People Without Labels operations manager, Lori Lynch, adds: “We’d like people from the Calton to come along to the first festival and indulge a bit in what we as a community space can offer them."

"What's important is we’re not asking anyone who comes in to part with any money.”

With revenue gathered solely from renting out the second and third floor studios to talented artists, surplus profit after rent and bills are covered is directly re-invested into the The Space. 

By virtue of no official funding stream, Linda and Lori are making a call out to people across Glasgow to donate cash, materials and skills towards securing the best offer the Calton Free Festival can give to the community.

Another essential part of the festival lies in it being alcohol-free, as Linda explains: “It’s important that this is dry space. There are a lot of people in the community in recovery.”

“What are the rewards of being sober if you’re stuck in your house and there’s no option to go anywhere in the community that doesn’t include the the temptation of alcohol?”

“But as we say here, ‘music is our love and dance is our drug.’”

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The Space has grown in the last four years into a one-stop community hub where people can come together and gain a different experience from the more gentrified venues that have grown in the Barras area over the same period.

Linda says: "We dedicate the ground floor area to the community. When we first moved here, we focused on the principle of feeding the people."

"If we feed and clothe ourselves as well as looking after our mental well-being as a community, then maybe we’ll get a wee bit of time to think about we want to do next."

"Apart from at The Space, people in the Calton don’t have any independent place where they can run their own activities and events without having extortionate charges. This area has absolutely no money and still has huge problems with poverty."

In a recent Glasgow City Council tables, child poverty in the Calton area registered at 56%, in comparison to Kelvingrove, which stands at 7%.

Hoping to bring in young local bands, the festival has the potential to give them their first opportunity to perform in front of an audience, as Lori says "Because it’s alcohol and drug-free if you’re 12-years-old and in a band, there’s no restriction for you to play."

"We’re also giving priorities to people with disabilities, because their needs are often last in line when it comes to planning events."

Read more of today's top Glasgow stories.

To support or find out more about the Calton Free Festival and the work of People Without Labels, find the team in The Space at 257 London Road.