Dates Announced for the 2021 Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival

As Scotland’s largest rural performing arts Festival, we have been hard at work putting together a plan for our annual 10 day Festival to boost the wellbeing of our audiences and artists, kick start live events within the region and support communities with a safe and innovative programme.

2020 is the year that the world stopped as a global pandemic turned everyone’s lives upside down and isolation became the key theme. We took this time to pause, reflect and we re imagined our Festival as one that sits at the heart of our communities across Dumfries & Galloway.

Our aim in 2021 is to reconnect with local artists, audiences and our performing arts network, creating lasting connections after a long and difficult period of isolation. With a safe, interactive programme across the region our refreshed Festival plan takes us forward into the heart of Dumfries & Galloway communities, in a way that is more inclusive and diverse than ever before.

The plan is entirely new for 2021, with a blended and adaptable mix of live, outdoor socially distanced performances by local artists in their own communities and a D&G Digital Arts Festival with artists from across Scotland, it is hoped that focusing on events that can be organised in a safe format will build the regions confidence to attend live events once more.

The team have been working on creating plans that meet the needs of both our audiences and artistic community while adhering to Covid-19 guidelines and focusing on making our audiences and artists feel safe above all else.

Not only is the programme going to look a little different this year, but the dates will too. The Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival will take place between the 16th – 25th July 2021 instead of our usual dates in May. This later date, gives the team longer to pre film the artists who will be performing as part of the 2021 Festival, ensuring that if restrictions are tightened, then there will be a digital Festival regardless of the level of restrictions within the region in line with the Strategic Government Framework.

As part of the planning for our 2021 Festival, we have come up with a number of different plans around these projects that will allow us to work to the Strategic Government Framework at the time of the Festival, while ensuring we are able to offer a high quality event in some capacity for our audiences, boosting the wellbeing of our artists, communities and visitors with our blended and adaptable approach to our 2021 Festival programme.

The 2021 programme has a number of sensational surprises that are sure to entertain all ages and offer something exciting, even for those that have never experienced the Festival before. The 10 day long programme showcases the very best of theatre, music, dance, comedy and spoken word.

Our programme also includes elements of our successful commissioning scheme, trialled in 2020, supporting emerging artists to create and showcase small scale innovative works.

Establishing the successful digital streaming programme in 2020 as part of our year-round Arts Live offering was no easy task, however we were able to give our artists a platform that reached over 22,000 people over the course of the programme and supporting these artists to perform as part of our 2021 Festival is a key aim to further the support we are able to give to our emerging artists.

The team are currently working on creating a new website to showcase our artists  on  a worldwide stage, promoting the fantastic offering in Dumfries & Galloway and with our mix of live and digital work, it is hoped that there will be something for all to enjoy.

The live Festival plans are based around socially distanced, outdoor work that will feature at the heart of communities and the team are still on the look out for artists who would be able to perform small impromptu Pop Up performances of no more than 15 minutes long within their own communities during the 10 day Festival. If you would like to be a part of Scotland’s largest rural performing arts festival, contact the team for more information:

Thoroughly assessing the current situation and looking to the future, the team have ensured that they are able to create confidence in our ability to undertake a 2021 Festival with an adaptable plan that stringently works to the Government Strategic Framework at different levels but delivers alternatives that allow audiences to experience high quality, world class performing arts events on their doorstep, or indeed in their own homes, regardless of the situation.

There will be more announcements to come as the Festival plans take shape, with some exciting and innovative additions to the programme that will keep performing arts alive within Dumfries & Galloway over the coming months and support communities across the region.

It is hoped that these exciting projects will restore audience confidence to return to live events, and although they will look different than they did before the pandemic, bring hope to all that this isolation we all feel won’t last forever and live events aren’t too far away.