29 November 2015
The line-up for the fifth Big Burns Supper has been unveiled with headliners including Black Grape, Jason Byrne, The Beat and Eddi Reader.
The nine-day festival in Dumfries, from 22-30 January, will be overflowing with party spirit from start to finish and will bring thousands of people onto the streets for the annual Burns Carnival, which takes place on Sunday, 24 January.
Big Burns Supper 2016 has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals events programme.
On the Bard’s birthday itself there will be the festival’s own fifth birthday party, featuring special guest performers, and a family Burns Supper for around 300 inside the mirror-lined Spiegeltent which is the event’s main venue.
Another major highlight of BBS 2016 is Le Haggis III which sees a triumphant return to Dumfries of the saucy and spectacular Caledonian cabaret after its award-winning run at the Edinburgh-Fringe. As ever it will be a feast of Scottish and international circus, aerial dance and music – featuring some of the country’s best young trad and folk musicians.
There will also be a strong emphasis on children’s entertainment with the arrival of Celtic Circus, a Spiegeltent show with acrobatic thrills and spills to delight a younger audience.
Dumfries children themselves take command for a series of By Kids activities. One will be the pop-up Salon 1962, where adults will have their nails and make-up done by enthusiastic Lochside Primary School pupils. The most daring will also have their hair cut!
Graham Main, Artistic Director, said: “It’s our fifth birthday, so we want Big Burns Supper 2016 to be huge fun for everyone. It will be packed with great music, comedy and cabaret plus a fabulously colourful street carnival.
“We’re offering a really joyful mix of the current and the classic – and a great chance to dig out your Harrington, trilby and DMs.
“As one of Scotland’s fastest-growing winter events we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people from all across Scotland, the rest of the UK, Ireland and beyond for an event which celebrates all that’s best in life.”
As a “thank you” to the Big Burns Supper’s many loyal supporters the festival will be bringing back some highly popular acts from previous years. These include the magnificent singer songwriter, and huge champion of Rabbie Burns, Eddi Reader and also the wonderful Inner Mongolian musicians of Anda Union.
There will be a new performance and bar area at the Spiegeltent where audiences will find themselves in the capable hands of Big Burns Supper 2016 Mistress of Ceremonies the ever-bonnie, if occasionally unshaven, Misschief Amor.
There will be a host of other superb shows from Irish vocalist Camille O’Sullivan, the Scots trad Treacherous Orchestra, comedian Andrew Maxwell and Irish folk act the Dublin Legends.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Big Burns Supper, which is now in its fifth year, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate our Scottish identity. I congratulate the festival organisers for another impressive performance line-up and I’d encourage friends, families and loved ones to come together to take part.
“The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”
VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said: “The Big Burns Supper has fast become a real favourite of our regional events calendar and it’s fantastic to see it attracting more and more visitors to the region every year. It’s a unique, exciting and vibrant celebration which embodies and befits our national Bard. The event is brimming with spirited character, spontaneity, irreverent humour and bawdy fun, and is underpinned by great music and story-telling.
“With its superb line-up of talent and packed programme, next year’s Big Burns Supper promises to be bigger and better than ever before. It will definitely be an unmissable highlight of the New Year so I hope as many people as possible will come along and enjoy the party atmosphere in Dumfries throughout the festival’s nine days.”
Lesley Douglas, Principal Teacher of Lochside Primary School, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the children and they are really excited about taking part in the carnival and in Big Burns Supper. It brings them a whole breadth of new opportunities and fits perfectly with the Curriculum for Excellence.”
Tickets for Big Burns Supper are now on sale at www.bigburnssupper.com and from the box office at 28 Munches Street, Dumfries or by calling 01387 271820. Box Office is open from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
Big Burns Supper is a registered charity and is funded by Holywood Trust, Robertson Trust, Scotland’s Winter Festival programme, and through Dumfries & Galloway Council’s event strategy, and sponsored by 8020 Communications, and Electric Theatre Workshop.