Burlesque performers and Burns Night carnival characters launch nine-day Dumfries festival in Edinburgh
Big Burns Supper headed to Leith to launch its full 2015 programme with the news that Scottish singer songwriter Nina Nesbitt and folk group the Peatbog Faeries will be part of the line-up.
Burlesque dancers and colourfully costumed carnival characters launched the programme in front of the Burns statue in Leith’s Constitution Street – the statue itself was specially decked in tartan for the event.
The annual Dumfries event, which is expanding from three days to nine – 23-31 January – is a mix of famous names and emerging artists and includes rock, pop, folk, jazz and traditional music alongside cabaret, comedy, performance art and a huge street carnival.
It is increasingly popular among visitors from Edinburgh and all across the Central Belt. It also attracts growing numbers from elsewhere in Scotland, the UK and overseas.
Organisers offered a first glimpse of some of the beautiful costumes that are being created for the impressive Burns Night Carnival – which is expected to pull thousands of people onto the streets of the town on Sunday, 25 January.
Graham Main, Festival Artistic Director, said: “Big Burns Supper 2015 will be Europe’s largest winter fringe festival. It’s becoming a major event in the Scottish calendar and we’re inviting even more people from across Scotland and beyond to join us for nine days of fabulous entertainment.
“The programme we’ve unveiled today is a rich mix of music and performance that combines popular and celebrated artists with some emerging talent from all over Scotland and the rest of the UK.
“The festival will be a chance to see rising stars like Nina Nesbitt alongside acts like the Peatbog Faeries, plus others we have already announced like Hue and Cry and the Undertones. Our whole aim is to celebrate the best of Scottish and international culture with shows that will appeal to every taste and age, from the youngest of children upwards.
“The carnival is also going to be even bigger and more spectacular than last year – a real centrepiece of the festival – huge amounts of work are going into creating the costumes and the floats. It’s excellent to be able to give people a sneak preview of what we’ve got in store.”
Nina Nesbitt had a hit with Stay Out in 2013 and released her first album Peroxide was released this year. Nina said: “I’ve always admired Robert Burns, not just for his poetry but for his whole amazing passion for life. It’s going to be great to play at a festival that’s such a huge celebration of Scottish life and culture and is all about bringing people of every age group together to share a really great time.”
Big Burns Supper 2015 is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government).
The lantern-lit carnival, with seven large interactive floats plus bands and dancers, will include hundreds of children and adults in a multitude of costumes including sea creatures such as porpoises and a giant octopus, through to angels, Tattie-bogles (scarecrows) and even giant vegetables. It is closely linked to the 2015 UNESCO Year of Light and the Scottish Year of Food and Drink.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “Once again, we are encouraging Scots, and Scots at heart, from around the world to join us in marking the life and works of our National Bard, Robert Burns, at one of the many Scotland’s Winter Festival events taking place across the country, including the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries.
“It is fantastic to see the vibrant Big Burns Supper treble from three days to nine. Its great range and selection of performances and events, from renowned musicians to the lively street carnival, will light up Dumfries.”
Once again BBS has teamed up with other local festivals and promoters to present eclectic club nights which include the Eden Opening Party.
BBS has proven appeal to audiences of all tastes and ages – attracting visitors from across Scotland and increasingly from elsewhere in the UK and overseas.
The carnival is supported by Holywood Trust and Awards for All. Year of Food and Drink Scotland will build on the momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland 2014 with a series of exciting events and activities celebrating Scotland's outstanding natural larder.
The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme and is part of Scotland's Winter Festivals, a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.
A sample from the full programmeYou can see the full Big Burns Supper 2015 programme at http://2014.bigburnssupper.com. It includes around 140 events at 17 venues, which are a mix of paid and free to view.