Tickets are to go on sale once again for StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival – scarcely a week after the sudden closure of the Byre Theatre, St Andrews, which had been the festival’s hub venue – and new venues have been found for the events which were originally to have been held at the Byre.
‘There will be not only one but two outlets for tickets,’ says Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone. ‘Our friends at the Dundee Rep will sell StAnza tickets through their regular online box office, and in town the VisitScotland team at 70 Market Street, St Andrews, KY16 9NU, tel. 01334 474609 will be able to sell them in person and also by phone. In Dundee and in St Andrews both teams are working flat out to be ready by Tuesday 5th February. And we'll have our own box office at the Town Hall during the festival. Full details will be available from our online Booking Page and there will be time to snap up tickets before the end of the Early Bird discount period on 10th February.'
Thanks to support from the University of St Andrews, StAnza will relocate for its launch night, 6 March, to the state-of-the-art new theatre in the MBSB (Medical and Biological Sciences Building). Here the festival will be opened with special guest Lesley Riddoch and the first event, RiverRun, an outstanding multimedia production which celebrates the city of Dublin in poetry, visual imagery and music, will be held.
And for the rest of the festival, from 7-10 March, a new hub has been found. ‘The Town Hall in Queens Gardens, which has always been a key venue in all its Victorian Gothic grandeur, will become this year’s primary hub,’ says Eleanor. ‘The Supper Room there will be transformed into a lively, bustling central place to meet and make friends, to chill out, rev up and people-watch as poets from around the world arrive to check in at the festival.’ The St Andrews Catering Company will provide lunches and dinners and a bar will be available – including for late night jazz and open mic events.
The core programme for StAnza 2013 goes ahead as planned. Only one out of the 103 events planned has fallen victim to the Byre closure – the Ian Hamilton Finlay exhibition of silkscreen prints needed a special kind of gallery setting which couldn’t be found elsewhere on short notice.
‘Otherwise, we are still on course with everything else on the programme, albeit with many events in alternative venues,’ says Eleanor. ‘My huge thanks to all the local organisations and bodies who have this week so generously offered to re-home some of our events, even if that involves some re-organisation of their own events, and to their obliging staff.’
StAnza is grateful to all its funders and supporters at this challenging time.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: ‘The experienced team at StAnza have been working tirelessly with local partners to minimise the impact on the festival by securing new venues and ticket vendors. Scotland is the perfect stage for poetry events, and the programme for the 2013 festival is a strong one so it is great to hear that all but one of the shows will be going ahead.’