Scotland’s largest rural performing arts festival came back with a bang hosting 31 events across Dumfries & Galloway between 20th – 29th May in local venues, outdoors and online.
The Festival celebrated the stories of communities at the heart of Dumfries & Galloway with their remarkable programme. From award winning folk artists performing at the Theatre Royal for their grand opening event to the sell-out success that was The Village and the Road by Tom Pow and The Galloway Agreement, audiences travelled from far and wide to see the show at Glencairn Memorial Institute in Moniaive.
“The 2022 Arts Festival has provided unforgettable moments for over 2,000 people across the region, connecting with a range of communities with entertaining and inspiring performances. Our events have provided a variety of work from local and national artists that has brought people back together again to celebrate the culture in Dumfries & Galloway. We look forward to continuing to bring performing arts events with our year-round Arts Live programme and be back next May with our 2023 Festival.” Stated Melanie Purdie, Strategic & Creative Director at Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival.
A spokesperson from Dumfries & Galloway Council stated: “The 2022 D&G Arts Festival programme was thoughtfully curated and helped to tell a myriad of stories from across the region. Hundreds of people took part in the Festival and there was so much to see and do. We hope that you got along to as many events as possible.”
The Festival programme kicked off with Bogha Frois at the Theatre Royal with a line-up of 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. All the artists showcased their exceptional folk music compositions alongside sharing their incredible stories with a packed audience for the opening of the 43rd Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival.
The Festival team also hosted a second opening night performance in Birchvale Theatre, Dalbeattie with Your Dad’s Mum Comedy who presented their laugh out loud show Tues Night @Social Club, a hilarious cabaret game show getting up to all sorts of silly antics and leaving their audiences laughing long into the Festival.
The team hosted two brand new community focused events in Dumfries & Stranraer with their Gallovidian and Doonhamers Gatherings. Bringing together local artists to share their stories, delight in local produce and dance the night away with The Whirligig Ceilidh Band. These brand new events brought communities back together to celebrate and share the event together.
The Festival team also worked with local artists Claudia Wood, Alex McQuiston, young prodigy Will Archibald and Katherine Durran to create A Life in Music – a musical celebration in dedication to Derek Rangecroft MBE who was influential in creating a thriving classical music scene within the region and supported many young musicians to start their careers. Audiences came from far and wide to celebrate his life and those who he inspired to pursue their artistic careers all while raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Tom Pow and The Galloway Agreement presented their highly acclaimed show The Village and the Road which was a sell out success. Audiences travelled from far and wide to celebrate their story which brought together the lived experiences of musical and oral history, giving a voice to rural communities in modern times.
‘To perform a show about village and community in Moniaive’s village hall was very special for us. The audience responded warmly to the mix of theatre and music. It was also special because it was our last show before we perform at Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe, as one of the companies lucky enough to be selected to be part of the ‘Made In Scotland’ Showcase. We’ll be performing 12 shows at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in August.’ Tom Pow and Ruth Morris
As well as showcasing exceptional local artists, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival partnered with Glasgow’s world famous Oran Mor to bring A Play, A Pie and A Pint to tour the region for the first time visiting the Theatre Royal Dumfries, Old Well Theatre in Moffat and the Millennium Centre Stranraer. Their specially created show, The Infernal Serpent put a modern twist on one of the oldest stories in the book and considered why and how we protest. Audiences were delighted with this lunchtime experience enjoying local pies from Kilnford Farm Shop and a drink in this enjoyable lunchtime experience.
Building on their work with young people across the region, the Arts Festival’s youth strand Stage iT curated a celebration of young musicians giving them a platform to perform as part of the 10 day Festival, developing their artistic practice and performing alongside headliners, rock band TORRS at Sounds of Stage iT at The Usual Place as well as showcasing a film by Sanctuary Queer Arts on what sanctuary meant to the artists and hosted a Q&A with the young artists who made the incredible film at The Studio Theatre in Moffat.
Heading into the second weekend, they also hosted Britain’s Got Talent Winner, Lost Voice Guy who presented his show Cerebral LOL-SY where he poked fun at his life as a disabled person in a post – apocalyptic world, coping with fame and fortune that he’d found in recent years.
The final day of the Festival on Sunday 29th May went down a treat as Oi Musica’s newest street band The Tubes who took over the amphitheatre at Crawick Multiverse in a stunning celebration of one of the region’s most beautiful attractions bringing together audiences from all over the region and beyond. The event brought communities together, dancing together in the amphitheatre as they listened to the upbeat jazz sounds of The Tubes.
Throughout the week, Dumfries & Galloway Dance also presented their #DGDanceDare – their mission was to get the whole region dancing and their young dance advocates taught the choreography to audiences across the region including at Sanquhar Primary and A’ the Airts bringing their fun approach to learning and getting people involved who’d never danced before.
Closing their 2022 Festival was the last chance to see highly acclaimed touring show from Paper Doll Militia and their intimate and incredibly insightful show Egg. It was a powerful and evocative aerial theatre production from the superb circus theatre company and was an unforgettable performance to end this regional Festival.
The Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival brought world class theatre, music, dance, comedy and spoken word performances to every corner of the region over their 10 day Festival, bringing communities back together to share in their incredible line-up of events.
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 and a special thanks to Plaswood Dumfries.