Scotland set to host a belter of an events programme to celebrate Burns Nicht
EventScotland are looking forward to an exciting programme of events across the country that will celebrate the birth of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, in the culmination of Scotland’s Winter Festivals. These January events will turn tradition on its head, from chasing the hairy haggis in the Highlands to a special Rabbie Burns’ Spiegel Gardens in the south.
Funded by the Scottish Government, Scotland’s Winter Festivals are delivered by VisitScotland directorate, EventScotland. The programme brings together our most important cultural celebrations - St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night - to showcase Scotland as a great visitor destination and the perfect stage for events all year round. The events are designed to promote and showcase Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage, highlighting our contribution to the world.
Forthcoming Burns events are set to build on the success of Scotland’s Winter Festivals thus far. Up in Inverness, interactive theatre performance Haggis Lich Nicht (25 Jan, Eden Court) will see brave warriors and chefs take to the streets of Inverness, in a bid to round up the Highland capital’s furry delicacies which have escaped and are on the run! Audiences will be encouraged to cheer on the brave Haggis Snatchers and march the feast to Eden Court for a finale performance, celebrating all things Burns in true Highland style.
At the other end of the country, Dumfries plays host to an explosion of theatre, dance, visual arts, music and more in the form of Big Burns Supper (27-28 Jan). Though only in its second year, the festival lives up to its name welcoming big names such as Deacon Blue and Eddi Reader, and fresh for 2013 is Rabbie Burns’ Spiegel Gardens which includes an original 1920’s style Spiegeltent. Last year the festival welcomed over 9,000 visitors.
Likewise, the National Museums in Edinburgh and East Kilbride pull in some familiar Scottish names as part of Burns Unbound. Start practicing your To a Mouse recital as celebrity hosts - weatherman Sean Batty and actor and comedienne Karen Dunbar - lead the way a public recital of the celebrated Burns poem. Enjoy live performances from Amy Macdonald and Skerryvore at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh (26-27 Jan) and from Wildings at the National Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride (27 Jan), as well as exciting family activities.
To celebrate Burns’ revered position as a witty and charming storyteller, the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh serves up a feast of events for young and old alike during Burnsfest (17 - 28 Jan). There will be a full day of Burns activities programmed with the whole family in mind and adults can regain a little time to themselves with evening events including three nights of Scottish storytelling alongside a helping of haggis, neeps and tatties.
Over in the west, Celtic Connections pays tribute to our national Bard on the anniversary of his birth with three special events - a night of new arrangements of Burns Songs featuring Scotland's finest folk performers, a global celebration of Burns featuring India's Jason Singh (beatboxer) and a traditional burns supper with music and song (all 25 January, Glasgow).
The 2012/13 Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme, which began on St Andrews Day, already boasts some impressive figures. The inaugural Scotland Sings event, organised by Hands up for Trad, welcomed over 4,000 spectators to watch over 2,000 participants in choirs across the country while in East Lothian 5,500 turned out for The Saltire festival and almost 30,000 celebrated St Andrews in Glasgow. Crowds in Edinburgh were treated to an incredible outdoor arts performance created especially for the event.
Record crowds took part in Edinburgh’s Torchlight Procession to kick off Hogmanay celebrations while a staggering 1.8 million viewers tuned in to watch the BBC coverage of the Edinburgh Street Party, Stirling’s Hogmanay and Red Hot Highland Fling in Inverness. Further north, the inaugural Open Air in the Square in Stonehaven was a sell-out despite flooding prior to the event and also new for 2012 were Musselburgh’s celebrations, which welcome an incredible 4,500 people.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland said: “We are delighted to be working with these fantastic events as part of Scotland’s Winter Festival - to welcome new partnerships as well as build on existing ones. These exciting events help to achieve the objectives of the initiative - contribute to economic growth and attract both business and visitors to Scotland during the festive period as well as raising awareness of Scotland’s national days.”