South Scotland

Big Burns Supper attendances on the up

Le Haggis Image copyright Big Burns Supper
Image caption The Le Haggis show accounted for more than half of total audience figures

Organisers of the Big Burns Supper festival have reported a 16% increase in attendances at ticketed events.

The 10-day event drew to a close in Dumfries on Sunday after a string of music, comedy and theatre performances.

Among the biggest successes was the Le Haggis cabaret which accounted for more than half of total audience figures.

This year saw a venue switch to the Easterbrook Hall from the Spiegeltent in the town centre and a survey is to examine feedback on that change.

Executive producer Graham Main: "This is a festival of the people, and they will help us decide what future direction we take.

"We are incredibly fortunate to have an audience that are as passionate as ours.

"They make it very clear what they like and what they don't like, and we will spend the next month listening to as much of their feedback as we can before planning for 2018 commences."

'Economic impact'

Plans for next year's event are expected to be announced in March.

Mr Main said the festival had continued to make a significant financial contribution to the area.

"Local businesses have been quick to tell us that they have also maintained the economic impact that the festival gives them and that means that the impact of our work is far and wide," he said.

"That's great for both the future of the arts and our incredible town."

He also paid tribute to the festival's volunteers who he described as "shining stars".

"You just never know when one of them is going to jump onto the stage or burst into song, and that gives Big Burns Supper its unique atmosphere," he said.

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