Glasgow Christmas lights switch on 2022: Timings, entertainment and entry as festivities return to George Square

Festivities return to George Square this month, and entertainment for the Christmas lights switch on has been confirmed.

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The return of Glasgow’s Christmas lights switch-on is just around the corner and lucky ticket holders are being encouraged to get there early for an unmissable night of entertainment.

Glasgow Loves Christmas is bringing the popular event back to George Square on Sunday 20 November for the first time since 2019 to launch the city’s festive celebrations in traditional style.

Entry gates to the square, located in Cochrane Street and George Street, will open at 4.30pm (closing at 6.30pm) before singers, actors and comedy performers take to the stage to spread Christmas cheer as part of an action-packed programme hosted by Clyde 1 presenters George Bowie and Cassi Gillespie.

The festive fun starts at 5.00pm with the Little Mix Magic tribute act, followed by performances from the 20-piece Berrie Big Band and Soul Nation Choir, with a crowd sing-along and comedy segment sandwiched in between. Santa Claus himself will also stop off in George Square to greet the Glasgow crowd ahead of a performance from Scottish pop star Callum Beattie.

Glasgow’s Christmas lights will be switched on at 7.00pm as a firework display is set off simultaneously above Glasgow City Chambers.

The 10,600 people lucky enough to secure free tickets in this year’s ballot are advised to dress appropriately for the conditions.

With the event attracting thousands of visitors to Glasgow city centre, road closures and parking restrictions will be in place.

What roads are closed for the Christmas lights switch on?

The last time the Christmas lights were switched on in Glasgow was in 2019 (Photo by Bill Murray / SNS Group)The last time the Christmas lights were switched on in Glasgow was in 2019 (Photo by Bill Murray / SNS Group)
The last time the Christmas lights were switched on in Glasgow was in 2019 (Photo by Bill Murray / SNS Group)

The north, east, south and west sides of George Square will be closed from 6.00am-11.59pm on Sunday 20 November, along with the following routes:

Anchor Lane, Cochrane Street, Dundas Lane, Dundas Street, George Street (between Montrose Street and George Square), Hanover Street, John Street, Martha Street, Montrose Street (northbound), Nelson Mandela Place, North Frederick Street, North Hanover Street, South Frederick Street, West George Street, Ingram Street, Queen Street and St Vincent Place.

Montrose Street (southbound) and George Street (between Montrose Street and Shuttle Street) will be closed to traffic from noon until 11.59pm on Sunday 20 November.

George Square will be closed to the public from 3.00pm on Sunday 20 November in preparation for the event. Pedestrian access will be retained for residents and local businesses. For more, see the road closures information page on the Glasgow Loves Christmas website.

ScotRail bus link update

If you’re getting the train into town to see the lights, the ScotRail station link bus stop will be on West George Street. The ScotRail team posted: “Due to City Centre road closures this Sunday (20 November) for the Christmas Lights switch-on, from 12:00 until 20:00 our Glasgow Queen St stop will be on West George St (the stop before left turn into West Nile St). Central Station & Buchanan Bus Station stops are unchanged.”

Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Jacqueline McLaren, said: “The switching on of Glasgow’s festive lights is always a magical moment, and one which signals the start of the countdown to Christmas. There is something for everyone in Glasgow this festive season, with plenty of highlights on the horizon, including the new Christmas Fairs in St Enoch Square and George Square and the Santa Dash.”