•• Festival puts Dumfries firmly on the world map ••

Big Burns Supper ends on a high as festival attendances soar.

The festival opened with a daring new staging of locally the produced Queer Haggis which included a heady roster of international queer artists, as well as some home-grown talent.

The last eleven days have saw an eclectic programme of artists including Bill Bailey, Donovan and hip-hop star Ocean Wisdom.

The festival hub in the town centre saw an attendance increase by 66% as the festival moved to its new location on the Whitesands and centred itself around Dumfries Fringe which was curated by members of the community and ran for eleven days.


Founder and Executive Producer of the Festival, Graham Main said:

“We have had a lot of fun staging the seventh edition and the return of the Spiegeltent has been a big hit with our audience. We have started to see a lot of new people coming to shows for the first time.”

“As the festival grows we are becoming more confident about the uniqueness of the programme we present. Artists who come to play are astounded by the quality of the acts we present. There is not a Spiegeltent line-up in the world that rivals ours.”


Restaurants and bars around Dumfries are reporting a bumper month because of the festival which is now in its seventh year.

The festival has continued to innovate cultural programmes through new initiatives like BBS TV and the Container Theatre.

Digital audiences increased as more people tuned into the online programme of events which includes interviews of artists like Bill Bailey and Camille O’Sullivan, as well as a live stream with the About Scotland which was watched by 48k on Burns Night and broadcast round the world.


Karen Clapperton, Chair of the voluntary charity board that runs the Festival said:

“We are hugely thankful to the community of Dumfries who have been a constant inspiration to us in our vision to stage this amazing festival. The local volunteers, tradespeople and businesses that get behind the festival are all part of the magic that is Big Burns Supper. Dumfries is forever in your debt.”


The festival will be inviting members of the public to get involved in creating the 2019 festival through community workshops which will take place in February next month to help generate the ideas for the next festival.



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.