South Scotland

Big Burns Supper: Events officially unveiled in Dumfries

Burns Supper launch
Image caption The three-day programme in Dumfries is one of the opening events of Homecoming Scotland 2014

The three-day programme for the Big Burns Supper festival in Dumfries has been officially unveiled.

It is one of the opening events of Homecoming Scotland 2014.

Among the acts in the festival - which runs from 24 to 26 January - are Big Country, the Mull Historical Society, Buika and Dick Gaughan.

Festival director Graham Main said the event aimed to celebrate "our national bard and all that's best about contemporary Scotland".

"Burns loved life and lived it to the full, and that's the spirit of our festival," he added.

"Big Burns Supper 2014 will be the biggest yet and we look forward to welcoming people from all over Scotland, Britain and the world to enjoy three days of superb fun and entertainment.

Image caption Dick Gaughan is among the performers taking part in next year's Big Burns Supper festival

"The festival is a real call to arms, as the nation gets ready for its biggest year on the international stage with the 2014 Year of Homecoming.

"The programme reflects our desire to connect with more international work, while providing a platform for local talent."

A lantern-lit procession as part of the festival will be one of the first major events of the 2014 Year of Homecoming - with 2,000 people expected to take part.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the Big Burns Supper - now in its third edition - had become a "superb event" in Scotland's winter festival programme.

"I was delighted to attend the first Big Burns Supper festival in 2012 as well as We Can Be Heroes, the community theatre production created for the Big Burns Supper in 2013," she said.

"The success of the young festival, which is financially supported by Scottish government agencies, is a great credit to the talented local team behind it and the people of Dumfries and Galloway.

"This year's homecoming programme promises to be the most exciting yet."

Image caption Buika is another artist taking part in the festival in Dumfries

Dumfries Provost Ted Thompson, said the event had proved popular and was a "fantastic addition" to events in 2014.

"Our council believes that such events are vital in stimulating our economy," he said.

"We will be introducing a major festivals and events strategy to ensure such events will become a permanent fixture in the calendar, attracting visitors from far and wide."

Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland Director, said the Big Burns Supper was going from "strength to strength".

"I hope the plans announced today will encourage even more people to experience the event next year," she said.

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