Big Burns Supper plans a “festival within a festival” to let communities in north-west Dumfries enjoy more of the fun during January’s nine-day event.
Acts, including the award-winning Skerryvore folk-rock band and the amazing Canadian vocal group Countermeasure, will put on free pop-up shows in the area. There will also be performances of the Hamish the Haggis children’s show – and much more will be announced in coming weeks.
Today (9, December) saw Provost Ted Thompson launch the initiative, which will also involve an outreach programme to get more young people and adults from Lochside, Lincluden, Summerhill and Stakeford taking part in the Burns’ Night street carnival and the rest of BBS.
The launch saw performers in carnival costume and Hamish get together, with partners involved in the project, at North West Church on Lochside Road.
Councillor Thompson said: “Dumfries and Galloway Council is fully supportive of Big Burns Supper which is a major highlight of the year and we want to see everyone get a chance to take part and enjoy the fun.
“Taking the festival to the community is brilliant and it’s great to get more people from north-west Dumfries taking part in the carnival and all that’s going on during the nine days around Burns Night.”
Big Burns Supper 2015 is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government).
As 2015 is the UNESCO Year of Light one of the main features of the carnival will be lanterns made and carried by people from all across the region. The outreach initiative will see 16 lantern making workshops take place across north-west Dumfries.
A free minibus is also being organised to get people to and from the festival so they have easy and environmentally-friendly access to the 140 events which are taking place during BBS from 23-31 January.
Graham Main, Big Burns Supper Festival Artistic Director, said: “Our festival within a festival in north-west Dumfries really sums up the spirit of Big Burns Supper. The whole idea is that it is for the community, created by the community and we want everyone, of every age to have the chance to get involved – no matter where they live.
“We are really looking forward to announcing which other acts will be putting on performances in north-west Dumfries – and we can promise people that they have some real treats in store.”
Partners taking part in the project include include Building Healthy Communities; YMCA Streetworkz Team; Summerhill Community Centre; Irvine Housing Action Group; DG2 Cafe; Dumfries NW Church; HMP Dumfries; Key Housing; Dumfries Sling Library; CLD Adult Learning (North West Resource Centre), The Big Lunch, Lincluden and Lochside primary Schools, and Maxwelltown High School.
The carnival is supported by the Robertson Trust, 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.
For further information, go to 2014.bigburnssupper.com