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14-19 September: CitizenFest 2020

CitizenFest returns in 2020 - bigger and better - now uniting Glasgow's We Are One Festival and the Helsinki-Los Angeles No Labels No Walls Festival into one mighty global celebration of human equality and diversity. It's all online and it's easy to take part, wherever you are in the world.

CitizenFest 2020 brings people together from all over the world to celebrate human diversity and to create positive social change. The programme is jam-packed with over 70 different events, including art, music, dance, discussions, workshops and talks.

Check out the No Labels No Walls programme here:



And the We Are One programme here:

Link to We Are One programme


The festival has a full programme, broken into nice bite-sized 30 minute chunks across 6 days featuring: music, discussion, debate all designed to engage and delight. There are currently 70 events embracing local and international content, balancing emerging and established performers with thinkers and activists.

New content is being added everyday. 

Follow the festival on Twitter via:

@citizenfest | @nolabelsnowalls | @citizen_network

Festival Highlights

Amazing music and dance...

  • Nigel Clark from Dodgy – writer of 14 top 40 hits - performing an exclusive set
  • Rock for Vets - from Music is the Remedy
  • Tom Urie – one of Glasgow’s favourite sons, actor and musician 
  • Electronic Glasgow - a growing collective formed to celebrate and support the city's Electronic music scene
  • Malcolm Bruce – fresh from a world tour playing tribute to his father Jacks’ bass in Music of Cream 50th Anniversary performs new works
  • CNF - Community Neglects the Facts - Finnish Hip Hop
  • Jessica Lee Morgan – hailing from rock family royalty to worldwide festival slots
  • Riku Turpeinen - songs on mental health
  • The Ronains – Glasgow band, rapidly on the ascendancy supporting Scouting For Girls and The Hoosiers on recent festival slots
  • Calum Ingram – international cellist – selected to perform at a special concert for David Bowie Producer Tony Visconti broadcast by SKY TV
  • Rachelle Rhienne - Balloch songbird, Scottish chart-topper with a fast growing fan base
  • A Stage Without Boundaries - a dance movie
  • Morris dancing -a workshop from the Helsinki Morrisers

New films and stories...

  • Blue Lapse - a distraught young woman has an unexpected encounter
  • To Begin the World Over Again - the Life of Thomas Paine
  • Belonging in the USA - The Story of Alicia & Antonio

Inspiring thinkers...

  • Bill Scott – chair of Scotland’s Poverty and Inequality Commission
  • Donald Macaskill – CEO of Scottish Care
  • Simon Duffy – director of the Centre for Welfare Reform
  • Michael Byrne – founder and CEO of mental health training and support agency LET’s and survivor of the Clutha disaster
  • Michael McEwan and Dr Danelle Farrel – Discussing “Block to Employment”

Behind the Festival

The festival has been co-produced by Kukunori (Helsinki, Finland) The Strindberg Laboratory (Los Angeles, USA) and the We Are One community (Glasgow, Scotland). Markus Vähälä the coordinator of the No Labels No Walls network says:

“When the Corona situation happened we started to think of opportunities to create a festival in a safe way. Our starting point was, that the festival must happen, because these dire times demand the feeling - that we are in this together.”

The festival has grown into a six day event. The festival is mostly created by volunteer action. It will be streamed, mixing live and pre-recorded content, for six days straight. Markus Vähälä added:

“This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to find a connection with other people regardless of people’s origin and background and to learn and share. Together we are more, together we are stronger in our ability to create a better global society for all citizens.”

The co-creation of the festival has demanded a new way of thinking, collaboration and the courage to experiment - something that did not have a fixed form at the beginning.

“The organisation of the festival is constantly changing and being redesigned. It is a continuous process, where we experiment and restructure our action based on feedback and data. The technical production of the festival is a collaborative effort together with the students and teachers in Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.”

The co-founders of Glasgow's We Are One festival John Dalrymple and Frances Brown recognised that the current crisis has created an opportunity to build on Citizen Network's global community to increase awareness of its values.

“Inspired by Citizen Network’s achievements, CitizenFest is an international celebration of diversity, and an assertion of universal human rights. We are delighted that everyone has worked hard to ensure that despite Covid-19, CitizenFest 2020 is going ahead, building on its successful launch in Glasgow and Helsinki last year. We will again harness the power of debate, music and performance to promote the idea of a world where everyone matters – without exception. It’s an added bonus this year that the Glasgow Festival - We Are One and the Helsinki-Los Angeles Festival No Labels No Walls are running in parallel to amplify that essential message.”

At a time when political trends threaten the further scapegoating of marginalised minorities within our communities, this year’s We Are One festival continues to focus on global citizenship as vital in this world of possibilities, particularly when we all pull together as a single community. 

The festival, streamed via digital platforms is an opportunity for some serious fun and an exchange of ideas, structured around Citizen Network’s seven keys to citizenship - the fundamentals needed for everyone to play their full part within society. 

  1. Love
  2. Life
  3. Home
  4. Freedom
  5. Help
  6. Purpose
  7. Money

Global Connections

Taking the festival online and expanding the program means that more people can produce and enjoy the festival without the limits of time and location. The main festival organizers provide programs from Finland, Scotland and the USA. The open call has attracted contributors from all over the world for example from South-Africa, Sweden, India and Turkey. Michael Bierman, the director of The Strindberg Laboratory from Los Angeles said:

“The Strindberg Laboratory is proud to co-create this year’s virtual festival. We are so excited to have organizations and individuals participating, connecting and sharing with people around the world on culture, art and issues that affect all of us. This virtual festival is a chance to show what drives us to make the world a little bit better. From California and from across the United States, we have organizations and people from Trans Rights groups, Labor unions, civil rights and social justice organizations, immigrants, veterans, musicians and artists. From the USA our hope is to reach out to international partners and individuals in order to build a holistic community that spans the globe.”

Markus Vähälä continues: 

“The Festival offers citizens and communities a platform to be heard and to connect with others. We think that every individual has an important role in creating a unified world. It is great to see how many people want to participate in creating this festival and that so many people from various backgrounds are represented. We all have our own story and our own message!”

Just the beginning

Not content with announcing this 3-country festival, organisers are already looking forward to returning to develop their multi venue Glasgow based festival next year.

Festival Manager Clive Leighton: 

“It’s fantastic being part of such an inspirational team. We marry the core values and ambitions of the charities to solid festival logistics. With one physical event behind us and the virtual experience around the corner, we urge commerce, media, performers, sponsors, venues and volunteers to help expand the vision and wider reach for We Are One 2021.”

Thanks to our supporters

Radical Visions provides practical assistance to fellow citizens, families, social care organisations and wider society to promote and exercise the values of inclusion. It is part of a network and movement that seeks to challenge and change some of the current orthodoxies in social care and develop more creative approaches to Person Centred Planning, Self-Directed Support, and Organisational Change and Development.”

John Dalrymple & Frances Brown of Radical Visions

Unity is proud to support We Are One; Glasgow’s Festival of Citizenship. Unity is a Scottish Charity providing support to those who need us, underpinned by our three core aims of Equality, Inclusion & Opportunity – for everyone. We believe in fair and inclusive communities where everyone is valued and has opportunities to fulfil their potential. We Are One celebrates the incredible things that can happen when everyone is included, and we are delighted to join that celebration. This festival is for everyone – We Are One!” 

Emma Soanes of Unity

In Control Scotland promotes the successful implementation of self-directed support so that anyone who needs support can direct the how, when and in what way they are supported and live the life they want.”

Keith Etherington of In Control Scotland

VIAS enables organisations to support people to achieve maximum independence, choice and control. We do this through offering quality improvement services including evaluation, training and consultancy to organisations who work with people with learning disabilities and/ or autism.”

Norma Curran of Values Into Action Scotland (VIAS)

“Culture and wellbeing are for everybody! What if we have a festival, where everybody could perform, talk about a theme they are passionate about and learn together? What happens, when people from all over the world connect through shared themes and concerns? We Are One together with No Labels No Walls festival is a positive happening for everybody, who want to experience a week when the world is small and the dreams are big. The festival is a brave network of communities, organizations and ordinary people and continuous action which creates a society for all citizens. We want to hope for the best, but we want to do the change ourselves, together with you! Come and enjoy art, action and connection from your home couch. The festival is here! The world has become small!”

Markus Vähälä of Kukonori and Citizen Network

The Strindberg Laboratory is so excited to co create this year’s virtual festival. We are so excited to have organizations and individuals participating, connecting and sharing with people around the world on culture, art and issues that affect us all. This virtual festival is a chance for us to show what drives us to make the world a little bit better. From California and from across the United States, we have organizations and people from Trans Rights groups, Labor unions, Civil Rights and social justice organizations, Immigrants, Veterans, Musicians and Artists. From the USA our hope is to reach out to international partners and individuals in order to build a holistic community that spans the globe. Join us as we create a festival that allows us all to witness the beauty of diversity!” 

Michael Bierman of The Strindberg Laboratory, Los Angeles

Contact information

For more information about We Are One: interviews, logos and imagery please contact the festival's administration manager June Dunlop: june.d@in-controlscotland.org.uk

For more information about No Labels No Walls please email:


For No Labels No Walls media resources see:


Markus Vähälä
Helsinki Suomi

The Strindberg Laboratory
Michael Bierman
+1 (714) 310 5073
Los Angeles USA

We Are One
John Dalrymple & Frances Brown
+44 (0) 7765 246345
Glasgow Scotland