In celebration of the biggest cycling event in history, organisers of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will officially kick off the highly anticipated mega-event with an action-packed Opening Ceremony, taking place at Glasgow's George Square on Wednesday 2 August from 5.00pm (BST).
The Opening Ceremony features performances by Scottish artists and citizens, with a mixture of professional and community-based organisations. There is an exciting line-up of activities, personalities, dance, spoken word and a headline performance by multi-award-winning Scottish singer KT Tunstall.
Acting as hosts are Scottish Commonwealth Games silver medallist Charline Jones and cycling commentator and Glaswegian comedian Alan Anderson. This free unticketed event celebrates the power of the bike and serves as the official welcoming to the thousands of amateur and elite cyclists from more than 120 countries.
George Square, in the centre of Glasgow, throughout the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, will also serve as the official fan zone showcasing the sights, sounds and excitement of this inaugural cycling event. This vibrant area will include themed days, Tuesday 8 August being a family day and on Friday 11 August is Surge festival day.
The official fan zone will also showcase the best of Glasgow's and Scotland's music scene, including contributions from Celtic Connections, Piping Live! Glasgow Mela and many other great bands including local and international musicians such as Amy Laurenson, The Siobhan Miller Band, Tom McGuire & the Brassholes and many more. The full GO LIVE! schedule can be found on the Glasgow Life website glasgowlife.org.uk/golive.
With something for everyone, free fun-filled activities will also be held each day of the UCI World Championships for audiences of all ages to enjoy.
For a daily schedule of activities and performers, please visit https://www.cyclingworldchamps.com/visit/go-live-fan-zones.
David Lappartient, UCI President said: "The much-awaited UCI Cycling World Championships are upon us, and anticipation at the Opening Ceremony on 2nd August will be at its highest. The programme of music and family entertainment planned in George Square will be a fitting celebration on the eve of the biggest cycling event ever staged and will also kick off a full 11 days of activities planned at the official fan zone."
Paul Bush OBE, Chair, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships said: "The line-up of local and international artists for the Opening Ceremony of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, including a headline performance from KT Tunstall, will be the ideal curtain raiser for 11 days of exhilarating cycling action in Glasgow and across Scotland.
"The Championships will provide the perfect stage to showcase Scotland once again as a world-class events destination while also delivering a real and last impact for cycling across the country.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved from our strategic partners to the host regions and the local community for all their support in bringing for this first of its kind global event to life."
Angus Robertson, Culture Secretary, Scottish Government said: "With only a week to go until Scotland hosts the world's biggest cycling event, the excitement is building. The stage is set and teams and competitors from across the world are arriving ahead of the opening ceremony, which will feature some of Scotland's best cultural talent.
"The eyes of the world will be on Scotland as more than 200 UCI World Champions are crowned across 11 days of incredible action. The Scottish Government is proud to support this innovative and inclusive event, recognising that it also supports our wider efforts to get more people cycling.
"The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will offer something for everyone, from road races to BMX Freestyle to the mass participation Gran Fondo. With events taking place in Glasgow and across the country, I encourage all those who can to get out and enjoy the action, including the many events that are free to watch.
"I hope the Championships will inspire people in Scotland and further afield to celebrate the power of the bike and get cycling, whether for sport, exercise, transport or simply for pleasure."
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council said: "Glasgow is proud to be hosting the first ever opening ceremony of a combined UCI Cycling World Championships.
"This is a city teeming with artistic talent - some of which will be on display tonight and across the 11 days of the event; at the Go Live George Square Fan Zone and sites around the city.
"After years of hard work to bring this event to the city, Glasgow is ready to offer athletes, visitors and fans the warmest of welcomes - for which it is rightly renowned across the world."
Julie Brown, director, producer and facilitator and is co-Artistic Director of Random Accomplice, said: "What an absolute privilege to work on our opening ceremony, allowing us to give our artistic tribute to cycling. We've been inspired by the themes of Cycling for All, Cycling for Good, Cycling for Friendship and of course, Scotland Welcomes the World.
"Our programme varies from artists with years of experience, to citizens of Glasgow performing for the first time ever in front of an audience. Every one of them deserves a rainbow jersey!"
Charline Jones, ex Scottish Cyclist and Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist said: "The opening ceremony being held in George Square is going to be a free show to celebrate cycling and what's to come in welcoming cyclists from all around the world to race for those rainbow stripes.
"This is where everyone will have the opportunity to play a part in setting the atmosphere for the event. Having competed at major international races I know how much the crowd can help in spurring athletes on. I can't wait to be a part of it from another dimension."
Tunde Martin, Musician, SOTUNDE said: "I am truly honoured to be a part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships' opening ceremony. It's an incredible opportunity, and I'm excited to showcase my music to a diverse audience, celebrating the spirit of this event."
More performers to be announced soon!
The 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds will feature 13 high-adrenaline, exciting UCI World Championships including Track and Para-cycling Track at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, BMX Racing at Glasgow BMX Centre, BMX Freestyle (Park and Flatland) and Trials at Glasgow Green, Indoor Cycling (artistic cycling and cycle-ball) at the Emirates Arena, Mountain Bike Cross-country, and Cross-country Marathon in Glentress Forest, Tweed Valley, Mountain Bike Downhill in Fort William and Road and Para-cycling Road across Scotland.
Tickets for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championship events are on sale from as little as £8, with concessions from £5, plus there are many free events to watch throughout the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships including the Gran Fondo and Medio Fondo road races and time trials.