•• Doonhamers get ready for the biggest Burns Night party in the world ••

Big Burns Supper Festival, probably the biggest community produced event of its kind.

It might be Christmas, but an army of Doonhamers are working behind the scenes as they get ready to stage one of Scotland’s leading Winter Festivals at the Big Burns Supper from the 18th – 28th January.

With more than 200 different shows and events happening in more than 30 different venues, hundreds of artists, volunteers and local businesses are getting ready to play their part in creating one of the biggest community led festivals on the planet.

A string of local companies gets behind the event by donating staff time and valuable resources to help realise the event which has grown into one of Scotland’s major festivals.


Chair of the Festival, Karen Clapperton said:

“I cannot imagine a community anywhere that gets behind the event quite like Dumfries does. We have local businesses who give us IT, broadband, haulage, office space, staff time, expertise as well as gallons of tea and biscuits for our army of volunteers. The town should feel immensely proud of what these local people do.”


Atlas ICT power the entire Festival site with free broadband, and provide the IT services required for the temporary village.

A group of mums are busy sewing festival flags and banners which will help decorate the town centre during the Festival.

SP Energy Network will be providing event crews to help create the festival village, and local businessman Mark Jardine has helped the event by buying some of the event infrastructure.

Local transport companies like Lines Distribution and JJ Currie support the festival by providing event infrastructure and helping to pick up the temporary infrastructure.

Members of Dumfries Community Choir will be helping to feed the volunteers through the backstage soup kitchen which helps to fuel the hard -working bodies that make the festival happen.

For the fourth year in a row, photography students at Dumfries and Galloway College will document the festival, and take pictures at the events taking places across the town. Construction Students, working with the festival for the very first time, are helping to create the festival site, and have been building wooden snugs designed by site designer Ryan Watson.

The festival is produced by local non-profit cultural organisation, Electric Theatre Workshop which works year-round from the company’s base at the Crichton.


Founder of the festival, Graham Main said:

“I remember when we came up with the idea of this festival – we simply tried to imagine a festival in a town like Dumfries, and the town gets right behind the festival.”

“Every ticket bought for Le Haggis is used to help us deliver our year-round creative industry training for young people which is helping to unlock the regions hottest talent, as well as the helping us to fulfil the economic potential of the region.”


Other community projects include:

  • The Coach and Horses will present their usual non-stop entertainment programme which includes a mix of local entertainers and musicians like The Mind Sweepers, Ward and Watson and Strumsum Blues Band.
  • Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre will run a series of movies, which includes Trainspotting 1 and 2, The Room, and The Disaster Artists, that invites audiences to discuss the film at the end with food and drink
  • Ellisland Farm are presenting a winter programme and are for working with the festival for the first time. Events include a candle lit evening with Robyn Stapleton, The World Haggis Hurling Championship, and a sing-a-long birthday party for Robert Burns.
  • Gracefield Arts Centre unveil their winter galleries, which includes Advance Further! – a curation alongside the Year of Young People, which showcases art work from young people across Dumfries and Galloway.
  • Theatre Royal Dumfries, will present their own programme of events alongside the festival and includes award winning comical musicians Worby and Farrel. Local authors invite audiences to help devise a new crime story in Four Blokes and a Plot, and fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, audiences are invited to the award winning, Trumpagedon, a satire of Donald Trump.
  • The Troqueer Arms launch their own entertainment programme which involves local band and The Uzis, Raw Guffaw comedy club and Mostly Ghostly are all taking part, and present work during the 11-day festival. Open Your Mind will also present a late-night rave to celebrate Robert Burns’ birthday.
  • The Stove and Blueprint 100 celebrate Burns Night with their own Burns Supper, and the Stove invite you to their monthly open mic night for new writing, Brave New Words on Friday 26th January.
  • The Globe, the Bards favourite pub, will present their usual programme of events featuring the award winning 10 minutes Burns Suppers and an afternoon ceilidh with music in the evenings.
  • Absolute Classics invite internationally acclaimed pianist Tom Poster on a tour across Dumfries and Galloway
  • D-LUX Festival of Light are also due to unveil plans for their festival of light which will run during Big Burns Supper.


Over 100 artists, musicians and performers take part in Dumfries Fringe, with over 70% of the programme being free-to-view is set in the festivals new Container Theatre space.

Tickets, information and events can be found at the festivals website www.bigburnssupper.com or by visiting their box office on the Whitesands.



Notes to Editors:

For more information or media, please contact Jack Finlay at:
jack@bigburnssupper.com or call him on 01387 271 820 /  7769181837.


About Big Burns Supper

Big Burns Supper is Scotland’s landmark Burns Night event which takes place in Dumfries and features a heady mixture of cabaret, comedy, music and entertainment in over 30 different venues as the town goes bonkers for nine days of winter magic.

If you are going to check out Dumfries – this is definitely the time to do it, with events including Burns Night Live – which is streamed live to the world. The festival is also the home of Le Haggis, Scotland’s finest five-star cabaret experience.

2018 dates: 18th January ~ 28th January




ELEKTRONIKA (formally Electric Theatre Workshop) is a cultural producer which creates platforms for audience engagement through a diverse range of community arts-based programmes, including Big Burns Supper Festival, Carlisle Fringe Festival, Creative Schools, Dumfries Community Choir, Dumfries Youth Theatre and our award winning participatory programmes that have helping to transform the communities we serve. We believe everyone has the right to experience culture.



Scottish Winter Festival / Burns Night

  • Burns, our national bard, is one of Scotland’s favourite icons encapsulating the very essence that makes Scots Scottish – creative, proud and confident.
  • Robert Burns, or ‘Rabbie’ as he is affectionately known, was born in Alloway, South Ayrshire, in 1759. He began writing poetry and songs at an early age and became famous across Scotland for his writings.
  • After his death at the age of just 37, Rabbie’s works became internationally renowned and to this day, people from all corners of the world sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to bring in the New Year.
  • Every year on Burns’ birthday, 25 January, Scots and Scots at heart from across the globe celebrate his life and cultural legacy by hosting a Burns Supper. The traditional components include addressing the haggis, toasting the lassies and reciting the Selkirk Grace, however there are often many modern variations and twists on these traditions.
  • Learn how to hold your own Burns Supper as well as the meaning behind some of the most beloved words and phrases and more about the life of the Bard himself by visiting scotland.org/burns
  • The Scotland’s Winter Festivals event fund is managed by EventScotland


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Big Burns Supper is a trading name of Electric Theatre Workshop which is a registered charity number SCO42897.
Registered as a company number SC414600 Big Burns Supper, Carlisle Fringe and Le Haggis are registered trademarks.