Local business feels the love for Dumfries

17 December 2017

A new guide as part of the Festival called ‘Love Dumfries’ showcases restaurants that have special opening hours and menu’s during the festival, available online and in the festival brochure.

There will be a host of events under the Love Dumfries brand which will include free cookery
demonstrations and product tasting from the area, helping connect audiences with the rich culinary on offer in Dumfries.

Local restaurants have created special festival menus and mid-week offers to help cultivate the atmosphere and some are running pre-theatre menus from as early as 5pm, with lots of specialised products which have been created just for Big Burns Supper.

The Love Dumfries initiative also showcases other festival and events which take place across
Dumfries & Galloway in 2018.

Graham Main, Executive Producer of Big Burns Supper said “We love the local people that make Big Burns Supper what it is and without their support we just couldn’t stage it. Unlike green-field festivals, town centre Fringe Festivals like ours supports direct economic impact with the local businesses that operate year-round, which helps gives our festival its uniqueness’’

Councillor Andy Ferguson, Chair of the Communities Committee said “The gallous nature and general bonhomie of the Big Burns Supper really does help profile Dumfries and Galloway through the lean tourist month of January. That is why a portion of the Council’s funding for the Festival this year is to contribute towards the Love Dumfries campaign – to celebrate our town, to encourage visitors to stay longer and to demonstrate that where major events are concerned, our region is unsurpassed in rural Scotland.”

Big Burns Supper has grown into one of Scotland’s biggest cultural events with audiences expected to increase when the festival takes place from the 18th – 28th January in 2018.

Anyone who is interested in working with the festival can contact Rachael MacDougall on 01387 271820 or emailing rachael@bigburnssupper.com

Restaurants with festival menus
Primo Piano 01387 248008
N’Dulge 01387 257260
La Dolce Vita 01387 255689
Pizzeria Il Fume 01387 265154
The Granary 01387 250534
Hugo’s 01387 269028
Crumb 01387 269258
Casa Mia 01387 269619

Bill Bailey to make Big Burns Supper debut!

19 October 2017

Comedian Bill Bailey is to make his Big Burns Supper festival debut in Dumfries in January.
He is among the second round of names revealed for the event which also includes Camille O’Sullivan, Dougie Maclean and We Banjo 3.

They join Badly Drawn Boy, Donovan, Ocean Wisdom and Eddi Reader who have already been announced.

The full programme for the festival – which runs from 18 to 28 January – will be unveiled next month.

Executive producer Graham Main said: “We are really making a big deal about the return of the Spiegeltent and we have been carefully choosing shows and events that remind our audience why they love it so much.

“Artists like Camille O’Sullivan and Bill Bailey playing in a Spiegeltent help to position the festival as a place where you can experience intimate performances.”

International Development Minister Alasdair Allan said the festival was a “wonderful opportunity” to come together in celebration of Robert Burns.

Donovan, Badly Drawn Boy, Ocean Wisdom & Eddi Reader to play Big Burns Supper 2018.

15 September 2017

The jam-packed programme is only the start of announcements due every month in the lead up to what has become the biggest Burns Night Celebration on the planet

Donovan will play a special show at 9pm on Saturday 27th January, featuring his world-renowned repertoire.

Hip hop rapper Ocean Wisdom has been hailed as the ‘future of UK hip hop and he will play his first ever Spiegeltent show on Monday 22nd January, at 9pm.

Mercury prize winner Badly Drawn Boy will treat audiences to some indie multi-instrumentalism on Friday 26th of January at 9pm.

Eddi Reader plays a Burns Night Special, performing the songs of Robert Burns, accompanied by strings on Thursday 25th January.

Organisers of the Big Burns Supper have announced four of the acts that will be appearing as part of the 2018 Festival, two months earlier than usual with the full programme expected earlier than ever.

The programme will include a new Dumfries Fringe Festival which will feature local talent in venues all over Dumfries, as well as a new comedy strand.
Big Burns Supper is now entering its seventh year and last year attracted attendances of over 30,000 across 11 days of music, theatre, comedy, cabaret and children’s events.

Audiences were left feeling triumphant when the producers, Electric Theatre Workshop announced the return of the Spiegeltent to the centre of Dumfries earlier in the year, and advanced sales of Le Haggis have already beaten previous records.

Commenting on the announcement, Donovan said ’I was born in Scotland and my faither Donald read Burns to me throughout my childhood, and after being invited a fair few times I am finally going to be able to play Big Burns Supper and am very impressed with how the Festival has grown into what it is today. I have put a tune to the Burns
poem ‘The Banks of Doon’ which will be released as a single in January and the proceeds will go to
preserve the river Doon in Ayrshire.”

Executive Producer, Graham Main said
We are unashamed about stating that this is going to be our biggest and boldest programme to date
which will be a result of some big changes to our festival model. We are not afraid to take risks which we
proved last year, but we are quietly buzzing about the return of the tent.
Le Haggis is also getting a fifth birthday make over with the return of some of the stars that appeared in
the first five years, as well as introducing some fresh faces in recognition of the special anniversary edition

International Development Minister Alasdair Allan, said
“The festival is adopting a modern, creative twist to celebrate our national bard. Big Burns Supper has
created a world-class programme that will include concerts and outdoor events planned across Dumfries.

Musicians such as Mercury prize winner Badly Drawn Boy, Hip hop rapper Ocean Wisdom & Donovan will
perform as part of the 11 days of music, theatre, dance, comedy and cabaret.’’
Tickets are available from the festival website, or by calling 01387 271820. A box office is scheduled to
open in Dumfries in late October.

Spiegeltent set to make a triumphant return to Big Burns Supper!

02 June 2017

The blueprint for the seventh Big Burns Supper was announced (today) as festival organisers unveiled plans to bring back the Spiegeltent to the centre of Dumfries, as well as two new strands to the festival.

The Spiegeltent will return to the Whitesands Car Park alongside a brand new festival village with additional bars and Fringe performance spaces.
A range of shows are already on sale, including festival favourites Le Haggis, High Tea and Burns Night Live, and the festival has also introduced allocated seating in some areas so that customers can get to sit exactly where they want, including the introduction of numbered booths to improve the customer experience.
Dumfries Comedy Festival which will take place at the Easterbrook Hall throughout the Festival, with a host of names expected to be announced in the coming months, and Dumfries Fringe Festival will connect smaller venues to the main festival programme.

Graham Main, Executive Producer of the town’s Electric Theatre Workshop which runs Big Burns Supper Festival, said
“We have listened to our audience who made it very clear that the Spiegeltent reflects the intimate character of both Dumfries and the Big Burns Supper, which makes our job of creating an amazing winter festival much easier.”

“We have brought a whole range of delivery partners together to create the festival for 2018, including Loreburne Housing and the Crichton Trust who are helping us take the festival to a whole new level.”

Big Burns Supper celebration begins in Dumfries

Big Burns Supper celebration begins in Dumfries

23 March 2017

A 10-day festival of music, theatre and comedy dubbed the world’s biggest Burns Night celebration is getting under way in Dumfries.

The sixth edition of the Big Burns Supper runs until 29 January.

Lulu will help kick off proceedings at the Easterbrook Hall on Friday night with Nicola Benedetti, King Creosote and many other acts to follow.

A Burns Night Carnival is also planned for Sunday which will see thousands of people take to the streets.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Charlie Landsborough, Seth Lakeman and Hackney Colliery Band are other acts involved this year.

Eddi Reader, Sean Hughes, the Peatbog Faeries, Emily Smith, Paul Foot and Dervish are also taking part.
The festival sees the return of the Le Haggis cabaret show which is now in its fourth edition.

Earlier this year, the festival announced a venue switch to the Crichton site with the end of the use of the Spiegeltent in Dumfries town centre.

Organisers have said the programme will hopefully offer “something for everybody”.


Jemima is Chieftain of Burns worldwide live stream

Jemima is Chieftain of Burns worldwide live stream

23 March 2017

A BORDERS schoolgirl has performed an Address to a Haggis for Burns lovers around the world.

Jemima Bevan was given the honour of performing at the official launch of the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries which was streamed live around the world via the Scottish Government’s social media channels.

With thousands tuning in, the live supper provided a unique chance to bring people together around the world before they take part in their own special celebrations.

And taking a starring role was 12-year-old Jemima from Duns.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop was amongst the audience.

She said: “Robert Burns is recognised and commemorated the world over, and has become such an important cultural figure over 200 years after his death.

“He continues to touch people’s lives with his prose, works and songs, and marking his birthday today is the perfect opportunity for us to come together as a nation to celebrate this, and moreover our rich heritage, culture and creativity.”

A series of events and festivals have been taking place up and down the country as part of the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme, capturing the spirit of Burns and reflecting the quality and diversity of Scottish culture.

With many events running until the end of January, from the Big Burns Birthday Bash in Burns Cottage in Alloway, a Night at the Museum in The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow to ‘Jamaica Sings Robert Burns’ at the Bemis Celebrates Burns event part of Celtic Connections in Glasgow, all are designed to showcase Scotland’s affection for our best loved poet.

Outside of Scotland, celebrations for Robert Burns’ birthday are held annually on an international level, with Burns suppers, ceilidh dancing, poetry and storytelling taking place across the globe, demonstrating the far-reaching affection for our much-loved poet.

The full events programme is available on scotland.org/burns along with a sharable video, a digital Scotland’s Winter Festivals ‘A Beginners’ Guide’, and a wealth of recipes and tips to help people from Scotland and oversees plan their own unique way of celebrating Burns Night and experience the very best of Scotland.


We're all going on a haggis hunt around Dumfries town centre

We're all going on a haggis hunt around Dumfries town centre

23 March 2017

Forget Pokemon Go – the Bard’s birthday has sparked a whole new craze in Dumfries.

Sixteen shops in the town have hidden “cheeky haggis” characters in their shop windows.

And just one of them holds the key to the disappearance of a ukulele from the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s dressing room.

CCTV footage shows a haggis is behind the crime but it’s up to residents to find out which one and where he is hiding.

The free Big Burns Supper Haggis Hunt is the brainchild of 17-year-old Megan Milligan of Dumfries High School.

An associate artist for the Electric Theatre Workshop, Megan created all the “native” haggis and one “foreigner” herself and persuaded the shopkeepers to join in the fun.

And there has been no problem in getting Doonhamers and visitors to download a haggis hunt clue list from the BBS website this week. There are directions, clues, activities and tasks.

Megan said: “It is brilliant to see so many people joining in the haggis hunt. It is much more physical and local to Burns and Dumfries than Pokemon Go!

“We are asking people to take pictures of themselves as they take on the challenge, which they can send to the haggis hunt or BBS Facebook pages, and make a note of how long it has taken them. We want to see who is the fastest.”

The haggis hunt runs all this week and over the weekend.


Dumfries gets ready to be the most creative place on earth

06 January 2017

Hundreds of artists and community event organisers across Dumfries prepare

for Big Burns Supper in January, as community get set to take centre stage in

the month ahead.

NEW ADDITIONS include: Eddi Reader, Peatbog Faeries, Skerryvore and Dervish

join Lulu, Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain, Charlie Landsborough, King

Cresote, Seth Lakeman, Nicola Benedetti and Hackney Colliery Band to

perform at this year’s event
alongside radical new community arts festival

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