A new Scottish national music and arts festival is about to start in Paisley running from 25-28 October and includes a line up of artists such as Roddy Frame, Francois and the Atlas Mountains, Damien Dempsey and comedian Craig Hill.
‘The Spree’ was born from a desire to build on Paisley’s successful bid to host the Royal Mòd in 2013 and with the intention of creating a cultural legacy invigorating the town beyond that particular event. The Spree is a flagship festival and forms part of a wider plan that links with Renfrewshire Council's events and Creative Renfrewshire strategies and is part of the Year of Creative Scotland.
In the specially imported and very colourful Spiegeltent, called Idolize, young people from PACE Youth Theatre joined Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, and Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of the council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board to mark the occasion.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “It’s a very exciting time for Paisley and everyone is looking forward to the start of The Spree.
“Cultural events are central to our plans to regenerate Paisley town centre and this new national festival will showcase the town, its proud cultural tradition, and the vibrant arts and cultural scene that still exists in the town.”
There are four partners involved in funding and delivering the project; Creative Scotland, Renfrewshire Council, EventScotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: "In 2012, the Year of Creative Scotland, EventScotland are delighted to be able to support The Spree and help bring the fabulous Spiegeltent as a venue to what promises to be a diverse and exciting event.”
The festival will take place in four venues across the town and events will include Gaelic workshops, music from Reid Kerr College music students at the 5pm Club, comedy in association with The Stand Comedy Club, and other artists; Miaoux Miaoux, Bwani Junction and the Karen Matheson Band.
Anita Clark, Portfolio Manager Festivals, Touring and Events from Creative Scotland commented:
“Creative Scotland is delighted to support The Spree, through our Touring, Festivals and Programming investment programme, recognising the huge potential for a new festival for Paisley. The programme gives audiences in the area the opportunity to discover the work of leading Scottish musicians. We wish all involved a great first festival”.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig CEO, John Angus Mackay emphasises the importance of supporting the language development;
"The arts are important to increasing the visibility of Gaelic in Scotland and play an important in supporting language acquisition. Bòrd na Gàidhlig is committed to supporting community based Gaelic arts, media and heritage projects and so The Spree fits the bill perfectly.
“Paisley will play host to the Royal National Mòd next year so this is an opportunity to increase the visibility of the language in the year leading up to the event."
A special addition, Sunday 28th October, is produced in association with Celtic Connections - Celtic Connections’ Danny Kyle Stage, will be hosted in the centre of the Town.
The four venues to host the events are a specially erected Spiegeltent at County Square, Paisley Abbey, The Wynd Centre and Paisley Arts Centre.
Tickets can be bought through Ticket Scotland, Renfrewshire Council’s box office www.tickets-scotland.com.