It was about a month ago that I first noticed the posters for the European Championships, all helmets and goggles and mind-jumbling clash of bats and oars. What fresh new sporting hell is this, I thought. I’m still unsure, but my nearest guess is a sort of velodrome-set, post-apocalyptic fight to the death with golf clubs. Presumably it’s a lot easier for the graphic artists responsible for the posters in Berlin – where the other half of this new sporting competition is being staged – because Berlin got the Athletics, a nice visual gelling of lycra and teeny pants and no stray paddles.

But if art has not served the main event poster, it has been roundly catered for in the Championships’ accompanying Festival 2018, with £750,000 being spread around various Scottish cultural organizations.

Cryptic’s Sonica has used the funding for two major free events, due to be installed in Glasgow in early August. In spectacular fashion, Glasgow artist Robbie Thomson will take over the pedestrian walkway of the Clyde Tunnel and turn it into an otherworldly subterranean space complete with kinetic sea creatures and “responsive underwater plants”. Pedestrians on the southbound walkway will find themselves face to face with robotic sculptures, as the siren sounds of composer Alex Menzies’ music echo through the 762 metre tunnel.

In George Square, overground fun with Pivot, a series of giant “semi-intelligent” see-saws which interact with audiences in a constant stream of questions and chatter. The whole thing sounds more surreal than the event posters themselves. Let the games begin!

Sarah Urwin Jones

Festival 2018, Sonica Glasgow, various locations, Glasgow,, 1-12 Aug.

Booking: Tramway, 25 Albert Drive, G41 2PE, 0141 353 8000,