12 December 2014
The nine-day event will be at the heart of the community 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.
18 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.
9th 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 1 a 1 a bbs 19and 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.
03 September 2014
You can register for free now online.
Whatever the art form, whatever the style – if you’d like to entertain at Europe’s largest winter fringe festival, then Big Burns Supper is for you.
The 2015 festival will be bigger than ever, lasting a whole nine days from 23rd to 31st January, attracting tens of thousands of people from Scotland and across Europe.
It’s a great chance for musicians, bands, comedians, theatre makers, club acts and many others to be part of a huge celebration of all that’s best about contemporary and traditional Scottish culture.
Now in its fourth year, Big Burns Supper in Dumfries is an amazing mix of art forms and entertainments of every scale. The line-up ranges from absolute beginners and emerging talent to established performers and famous names – like Fred MacAulay and Big Country in 2014.
Graham Main, festival founder and director, said: “We are looking for acts of every size, shape and art form to come to Dumfries and be a part of Big Burns Supper 2015.
“Whether you aim to fill a hall or hold an intimate jamming session in a pub, there are great venues and audiences keen to enjoy entertainment of every kind.
“While the festival is wrapped round the Bard’s birthday, performances don’t need to have any connection with Robert Burns, they just have to be in the spirit of an event which is all about coming together with friends, family and visitors.”
Big Burns Supper is amazingly diverse with everything from children’s entertainment featuring the delightful Hamish the Haggis, through to pop and rock bands, dance, theatre and Le Haggis, Scotland’s sexiest cabaret.
For 2015 the organisers are hoping to see a really strong representation of traditional and classical music.
Graham said: “The feedback we get shows there’s a tremendous appetite for traditional and classical music at the festival and this is something we really want to build on.”
This year saw groups such as Caileag, the Gallovidians and the Cairn String Quartet get a tremendous reception.
You can register for free through our online submissions platform.
Headline acts will be announced later this year but a centrepiece of Big Burns Supper 2015 will be a huge and fabulously lit street carnival on January 25th to mark the UNESCO Year of Light.
There will also be a welcome return for the Spiegeltent – a fabulously atmospheric temporary venue lined with mirrors.
16 May 2014
Next January will see the return of the Burns Night Carnival in Dumfries – and the call is going out for schools and community groups to sign up straight away.
Big Burns Supper, Europe’s largest Winter Fringe Festival, will work with groups throughout Dumfries & Galloway to create lanterns that will light up the streets in the dazzling community parade.
The carnival will be based on the theme of light – tying in with the UNESCO 2015 Year of Light.
Online registration is now open to community groups and primary schools – all they need to do is fill out a simple application form at bigburnssupper.submittable.com.
Secondary schools and young people looking for work experience can also apply to be involved in the carnival as designers, makers and performers.
Last year’s festival saw over 4,000 people contribute to the Homecoming Carnival. People lined the streets to watch as Dumfries town centre erupts with music, dance, colourful costumes and a dazzling lantern procession.
Catherine Major, Big Burns Supper’s Associate Director, said: “Participation is a very important part of Big Burns Supper. The festival has flourished because of the creativity and enthusiasm of the communities we work with.
“The Burns Night Carnival gives people a chance to come together and celebrate as friends from near and far gather to share in the irresistible energy of carnival.
“Last year’s parade really caught the public’s imagination. It transformed the town centre with an explosion of fun and colour. And I’m sure there will be even more surprises in store this year.”
Ryan Smith, the Lead Carnival Artist, said: “Community groups really enjoy being part of the carnival. Lanterns are simple to make but people can create their own designs and try things out with the new skills they’ve learned – that’s when it gets really fun.
“Participants will also walk in the carnival with their lantern, so they can show off their work to the audience there. It’s a great opportunity for community groups to shout about the work they do too.”
The Burns Night Carnival will take place on Sunday 25th January 2015 in Dumfries.
09 April 2014
Sell out shows LE HAGGIS and HAMISH make a triumphant return and are on sale already. Get your tickets here.
Following the huge success of the 2014 Festival, the International Festival will run over two weekends with the return of the BURNS NIGHT CARNIVAL and the popular Spiegeltent in January 2015.
In just three years the Festival has developed an entirely new audience who are interested in celebrating Burns Night in a modern way, which runs across different venues throughout Dumfries.
Independent research conducted as part of the economic impact of the Year of Homecoming 2014 – has revealed that it is not just local people who are coming out to take part.
At this year’s Festival – audiences soared to just over 14,000 – with over 15% of those visitors coming from outside Dumfries & Galloway.
With the recent announcement that the festival has become the beacon event for Dumfries & Galloway – the local authority has committed three years funding to the development of the Festival.
Two Festival Productions will run throughout the entire week, with incoming work at selected nights throughout the Festival.
The Award Winning Le Haggis is back, as well as Hamish the Haggis – both running from the 23rd – 31st January, with other acts expected to be announced in the coming months.
Graham Main, Festival Director, said:
“The reality is that the almost all of our Spiegeltent shows sold out last year, breaking all of our box office records and this has given us confidence to know that our festival audience is truly hungry for even more. Our Festival team are now working year round to deliver a dynamic and cutting edge programme of events, including planning for the six months work we do in schools throughout the area so that our Festival is able to become an international magnet for Dumfries”
Maureen Farrell, Chair of Big Burns Supper, said
“From a spark of an idea four years ago Big Burns Supper has grown phenomenally to an annual community celebration of fun that local people are already anticipating will bring a glorious start to 2015. More than 2000 people came to Dumfries from outside Dumfries and Galloway to celebrate Robert Burns in 2014, bringing fresh money and jobs to our community. Big Burns Supper 2015 looks like being an even more exhilarating festival. What an exciting time it is to be living in Dumfries!”