Youth Olympics call at Glasgow Green Guy Fawkes celebrations

Weather Blether - Glasgow Fireworks
Glasgow Green: Massive LED screens are being installed at the fireworks display showing tweets of supports of the Youth Olympics bid.

Every year on November 5 fireworks displays take place all around the country in memory of Guy Fawkes and his plan to overthrow the king.

Bonfires are set alight and effigies of the man himself are burned to commemorate his failed gunpowder plot.

It is a celebration that brings generations together as young and old pull on their winter woollies to stand out in the cold and watch the colourful displays.

But this year the annual fireworks display at Glasgow Green is one with a difference.

The display is aiming to bring the people of the city together and rally support for the bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Not only will those turning out be able to see the usual rockets and Roman candles flying through the air but there will also be a huge public art display encouraging people to Back our Bid.

Two massive 100 square metre LED screens composed of 3600 tiles will be erected at the site.

Over the course of the night they will display tweets by spectators using the Back our Bid hashtag.

The idea for the piece of public art came from Glasgow-based company Dog Digital.

Laurann de Verteuil, marketing and PR manager at Dog Digital, said: "We have done some initial work already with Glasgow 2018 with their social media and it was through them that we were put in touch with Glasgow Life.

"We worked together to come up with this idea of a crowd-sourced app. That was how it was born.

"The technological side of it came from in-house at Dog Labs. They are workshops that members of our company Dog Digital take part in and they kind of experiment with new technology.

"It is the first time that we are really using this technology and we thought the fireworks would be a really interesting and exciting place to launch it."

Dog Digital first came up with the idea during Social Media Week and created something similar that pulled in Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Flickr.

Social Media Week at Dog Digital

At the Glasgow Green fireworks the Tweets will all be added in real time to the mosaic as long as they are followed by the hashtag #backourbid and also if people are located within Glasgow Green.

Laurann added: "It’s based on social media so it is going to pull in Tweets and Instagram images that have a specific tag and it’s going to be displayed on two LED screens.

"If someone, for example, sent the message on Twitter or Instagram, the message will pop up so that you can see their face and a message that they have written and then it will shrink and fall into place in the mosaic.

"It develops over time so it will be small squares adding to the mosaic over the course of the night. At the very end of the night the finale will be the two screens made up of this mosaic. The messages are all relating to the Glasgow 2018 theme.

"It is exciting seeing it all come together. The app is very cutting edge in that it’s all real time and I think it is the largest piece of crowd art that has been developed in this way in the UK. It is a big project."

The bid for Glasgow to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games was submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in October and the city now joins four others, Buenos Aires, Guadalajara, Medellín and Rotterdam, in the race.

A decision will be made on the shortlisted cities in February and the Glasgow bid team is hoping to rally support from members of the public and youth in the country.

And Michelle McGinty, of the Glasgow 2018 team, said that the Glasgow Green fireworks display and social media installation will be the ideal opportunity for that.

She said: "The main reason for it is that we are looking to get the message out to young people. There will be over 50,000 people coming into Glasgow so it is a great opportunity for us.

"Because we are in the midst of our Back our Bid Campaign we are concentrating on gaining interest in young people.

"We are looking at the way people communicate and the way young people communicate and we are hoping to engage with them digitally.

"It’s very important to show to the IOC that the community wants to have the Games here and this shows that we are communicating with young people."

As well as the large screens all of the songs for the fireworks display have been selected by by Facebook fans of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

The Prodigy’s Firestarter and Katy Perry’s Fireworks will be played during the 20-minute display which will feature 3000 fireworks.

Lord Provost of Glasgow, Councillor Sadie Docherty, said: "Once again we are expecting thousands of people at Glasgow Green for Scotland’s biggest organised fireworks display.

"The annual event is one of the most popular free events that we host and this year promises to be extra special as we continue to promote the city’s bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

"So not only will revellers get the chance to see some of Glasgow’s best landmarks illuminated as fireworks race into the sky but those who back the bid will see themselves on the big screen as part of a specially created Glasgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games mosaic.

"It will be a night to remember."

Members of Dog Digital will be based at Glasgow Green pulling together the expected explosion of tweets.

Laurann said: “It is going to be absolutely fantastic, especially as over 50,000 people who are expected to attend. The whole point of the app was to compliment a live real-time event so it is kind of a one-off.

"I definitely think it will inspire people to back the 2018 bid. I think getting the message out there and allowing people to come together in this way is going to influence the Back the Bid message.

"The whole idea of crowd sourcing an image together is kind of reflective of what Glasgow 2018 is trying to achieve, trying to bring young people together."

The events at Glasgow Green will begin at 5.30pm on Monday November 5 when the funfair opens and the display will begin at 7.30pm.

If you would like to take part in the social media mosaic and are heading to Glasgow Green to watch the fireworks use #backourbid on your Tweet. To keep updated through the night follow the hashtag #gofireworks

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