Scotland's largest rural book festival is delivered by an army of volunteers

The story of the Wigtown Book Festival is made possible by the incredible dedication of its volunteers.

Scotland’s largest and best rural Book Festival takes place between Friday 25 September and Sunday 4 October, and its packed programme of more than 200 individual events – including talks, music, theatre and film, for all ages over 10 days this autumn - will attract visitors to the beautiful Galloway town from all over the region, Scotland and further afield.

The organisation required to deliver the Festival requires detailed planning and fantastic imagination, and would not be possible without a dedicated army of more than 120 volunteers.

Confirming Council funding of £32,500 for the Festival this year, Councillor Colin Smyth, the Council’s Events Champion said, “Wigtown is as picturesque spot as you could possibly hope to find, and the Festival Programme this year is as full of treats and surprises as ever. It is a real pleasure to have met many of the volunteers who work so well with the Festival Trust to deliver the ten day celebration of books, the arts and Galloway. The volunteers clearly love the Festival and demonstrate how important it is to the local community, and that the Festival is of the community. It is amazing what can be achieved when the chemistry of an event works as well as the Wigtown Book Festival does.”

Anne Barclay, Operational Director for the Festival said, “For the 17th year in a row, the people of Wigtown and neighbouring areas come together to deliver one of Scotland’s leading cultural events. The festival contributes over £2m to the local economy annually and we couldn’t do it without the dedication and belief of the many people who continue to volunteer over the years. The Wigtown Book Festival is a platform to showcase the region’s cultural highlights – including its unrivalled food produce, the dark skies of Galloway, its heritage and stories – which is why so many feel invested in making it happen.”

A central Festival theme for 2015 is the relationship between the city and the country, which will be marked by special events, including a film season that runs the gamut from Cold Comfort Farm to Deliverance. The festival will also be celebrating Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink with an enhanced programme of culinary talks and activities.

Festival events are selling very well and visitors are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance. Programme highlights this year include writers Leila Aboulela, Laura Barnett, Chris Brookmyre, Jenny Colgan, Caroline Criado-Perez, Gavin Francis, Janice Galloway, Mairi Hedderwick, Liz Lochhead, Val McDermid, Neel Mukherjee, Thomas Pakenham, Anthony Seldon, Malachy Tallack, Raymond Tallis and AN Wilson; EastEnders star Annette Badland; comedians Jon Holmes, Phill Jupitus and Hardeep Singh Kohli; politicians Alex Salmond and Vince Cable; broadcasters Frank Gardner, Bridget Kendall, Rev Richard Coles, John McKay, Mike Wooldridge, Marc Allum of the Antiques Roadshow and Gary Bell QC, star of BBC1’s The Legalizer; astronomer Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell; and legendary Corries folk musician Ronnie Browne.

For full details of the Festival, go to www.wigtownbookfestival.com

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