Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival kicks off on Friday 20th May

Scotland’s largest rural performing arts festival has curated a line-up of 31 shows from phenomenal local and national artists to delight and inspire audiences in villages and towns across Dumfries & Galloway.

The 43rd Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival opens on Friday 20th May, marking the first in a 10 day celebration of outstanding artists with something for everyone in theatre, music, dance, comedy and spoken word. Building on their established reputation as the only regionwide performing arts organisation, there has never been a better time to get involved.

Within the line-up, the Festival celebrates the stories of communities at the heart of Dumfries & Galloway with their remarkable programme. From an award-winning line up of Folk artists curated by Bogha Frois to open the Festival to bringing world-famous Oran Mor to tour the region for the first time, giving rural communities the opportunity to experience work that they would otherwise have had to travel to the central belt to see, their programme is one not to be missed.

“Experience the performing arts in unique outdoor spaces, inside welcoming venues and in the comfort of your own home. We have something for everyone, of all ages, to enjoy this year. The Festival provides a rich mix of performances to entertain and inspire you, offering escapism this May.” – Melanie Purdie, Strategic & Creative Director

A spokesperson from Dumfries & Galloway Council stated: “The 2022 D&G Arts Festival programme has been thoughtfully curated and will help tell the myriad of stories from across the region. Hundreds of people will be looking forward to the Festival in anticipation and there is so much to see and do, so make sure to check out the programme and get along to as many events as possible.”

The Festival kicks off with Bogha Frois at the Theatre Royal Dumfries on Friday 20th May and this is one party that audiences don’t want to miss. Bogha Frois famously curate folk events across Scotland with sensational artists including Marit Fält and Rona Wilkie; singer and song writing sensation Lizzie Reid, piper and flutist Ailis Sutherland; local favourites Bogle Mufty; storyteller Finn Anderson and Dumfries born guitarist Jen Mac, the team invite everyone along for the party and a night of music and celebration.

Also opening this year’s Festival in Dalbeattie at Birchvale Theatre are Your Dad’s Mum, who are presenting their laugh out loud show Tues Night @ Social Club with Partridge-style, high octane, hilarious Cabaret Game Show antics giving audiences a taste of their award-winning comedy, a fantastic event to bring joy into the heart of the Dalbeattie community.

Newly established for 2022, experience a night out with friends and family at the Festival’s brand new Ceilidh events with The Gallovidian Gathering at the Millennium Centre Stranraer on Saturday 21st May and The Doonhamers Gathering at The Usual Place in Dumfries on Saturday 28th May. Enjoy a light bite of local food, a drink from the bar and dance the night away with the very best musicians our region has to offer and celebrate the incredible community spirit of Dumfries & Galloway.

While in New Galloway and Creetown, Vanishing Point will present their intriguing show The Metamorphosis: Unplugged, their take on Franz Kafka’s mysterious and compelling tale in a warm-hearted, acoustic retelling at The CatStrand on Saturday 21st May and new performance venue, The Quarrymen’s Arts Centre on Sunday 22nd May.

Back in Dumfries at Easterbrook Hall on Sunday 22nd May, the Festival has worked with local artists Claudia Wood, Alex McQuiston, young prodigy on Cello Will Archibald and Katharine Durran to create A Life in Music – A musical celebration in dedication to Derek Rangecroft MBE, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and to celebrate the memory of his contribution to performing arts across Dumfries & Galloway.

Tom Pow and The Galloway Agreement present their highly acclaimed show, The Village and the Road at The Glencairn Memorial Institute on Sunday 22nd May which brings together lived experiences of musical and oral history to create a voice for rural communities in modern times. This show was developed through a commission with the Festival and back in 2021 sold out all 3 shows across the region. This is audiences last chance to see the phenomenal homegrown show for a while in Dumfries & Galloway.  

Entering the first week of the Festival, the theatre programme shines with A Play, A Pie and A Pint from Glasgow’s world-famous Oran Mor. Touring to The Theatre Royal in Dumfries, Old Well Theatre Moffat and the Millennium Centre in Stranraer where they will present their newly created show The Infernal Serpent which puts a modern twist on one of the oldest stories in the book and considers why – and how – we protest. Audiences will also get to enjoy a local pie and drink as part of the show in this exciting lunchtime experience.

The semi-autobiographical and bilingual play Tickbox is heading to Eskdalemuir Community Hub on Monday 23rd May and The Swallow Theatre in Whithorn on Tuesday 24th May and follows a Pakistani woman’s journey from a comfortable, middle-class life in Pakistan to Govan, Glasgow – intertwined with the story of her daughter, their parallel lives and the barriers faced, this intimate and heartfelt tale is a poignant look into the life of two incredible women.

At The Studio Theatre in Moffat on Wednesday 25th May, Sanctuary Queer Arts presents THREADS, a new film devised and created by Sanctuary’s first national Queer Young Company with a special Q&A about the film from the artists who created the piece.

Continuing their expansive work with young people, Stage iT, the youth strand of the Festival’s organisation has curated a celebration of young musicians from across the region giving young people the opportunity to perform alongside headliners and local rock band TORRS at Sounds of Stage iT at The Usual Place on Thursday 26th May.  

Heading into the second weekend of the Festival, Britain’s Got Talent Winner, Lost Voice Guy presents his show Cerebral LOL-SY at the Theatre Royal Dumfries, poking fun at his life as a disabled person in a post-apocalyptic world, coping with the fame and fortune found in recent years.

Starcatcher’s, Scotland’s leading children’s theatre company are presenting their show SPIKE! a dinosaur caper alongside the regional favourite Andy Cannon at the CatStrand on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May and is an adventure for all the family.

The final day of the Festival on Sunday 29th May opens with a bang as Oi Musica’s newest street band The Tubes take over the amphitheatre at Crawick Multiverse in this stunning celebration of the region’s beauty and community spirit.

Closing the Festival this year is audience’s last chance to see the highly acclaimed touring show from Paper Doll Militia’s performance of Egg, a powerful and evocative aerial theatre production from the acclaimed circus theatre company. “An unforgettable experience – beautiful and bold from start to finish” The Wee Review. 5 stars. Audiences will not want to miss this visually stunning spectacle taking over Easterbrook Hall for one night only.

Throughout the week, D&G Dance presents #DGDanceDare – their mission to get the whole region dancing. Dance Advocates will be inviting everyone to learn choreography, film themselves and share it on social media.

The Festival continues its D&G Arts Festival at Hame strand from 2021, bringing more accessibility to the programme and running throughout the Festival from Friday 20 – Sunday 29. The online programme includes Sunday’s Child presenting Afloat, an online theatre piece set during the climate apocalypse in Dublin; Townsend Theatre Productions’ Farewell Leicester Square, a one-man show that chronicles Britain’s first Black bus driver, Joe Clough; film Skookum Jim and The American Dream from Chrys Salt Productions and; Thin h/as h/air, a solo exploration from Scottish Dance Theatre company member Pauline Torzuoli showcasing her unbelievable choreography.

To secure your tickets for these fantastic events, visit their website below for more details, there has never been a better time to get involved with the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival and their 2022 line-up will be an experience like no other.


We gratefully acknowledge the support of our funders, sponsors and supporters. We rely on the generosity of our funders, sponsors, members, patrons and donors to continue our work creating a future for performing arts in Dumfries & Galloway. Visit our website for more details on how to support our work or become a member: www.dgartsfestival.org.uk/support-our-festival

Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival is funded by Creative Scotland, The Holywood Trust, Dumfries & Galloway Council, The National Lottery Community Fund, The William Grant Foundation, Barfil Charitable Trust, EventScotland and CBFS. 

The Festival is supported and sponsored by The People’s Project, The Open University, Alba, DYW Dumfries & Galloway, Visit Scotland, Clear as a Bell Marketing, Dumfries & Galloway Life Magazine, Dark Sky Spirits, DGWGO, Alive Radio, DCR Radio, The Crichton and Crawick Multiverse.