Big Burns Supper 2020 is celebrating another successful ‘Burnsian bash’ as the ninth edition of the Festival came to a close in Dumfries.
Audience numbers were up 16% as a string of smash-hit concerts and live events brought fans from around the world to the town.
Festival producers are delighted with the ongoing support from audiences, local businesses and communities who once again backed the Festival and its ethos of bringing people together in what is Scotland’s warmest, largest contemporary celebration of the Baird.
Big Burns Supper 2020 took place from 24 January – 2 February with 150 events, featuring over 300 artists, across 11 days of top-class music, comedy, dance and cabaret. With community at the heart of the Festival and key to its ongoing success, Dumfries once again opened its doors and extended a warm welcome to friends old and new, in a culture of togetherness as championed by Rabbie himself.
The festival kicked off with four-time Grammy Award-winner, Keb’ Mo’ bringing his cool American charm and soulful blues to the iconic Spiegeltent stage, and a showstopping performance from one of the UK’s most respected gospel choirs and Royal Wedding favourites, The Kingdom Choir.
The festival’s trademark celebration of the Scottish Bard, Burns Night Live, brought together multi award-winning Scots folk band Rura, Dumfries’ own metal heads Turbyne and local stars Kate Kyle and The Lutras along with critically acclaimed Band of Burns who treated audiences to their unique Burns-inspired tunes. The festivities were capped off in style as folk-pop superstar Newton Faulkner performed some of his biggest hits from an impressive 12-year career in a Burns celebration unlike any other!
The party continued throughout the week with a huge line-up of acts including big shows from London 4-piece rockers Turin Breaks, 90s electronic specialists Morcheeba, home-grown cabaret sensation, Le Haggis and a packed programme of family-friendly events including Bairns Day Oot in Scotland’s oldest working theatre, and a Family Silent Disco to get the whole family grooving.
New for this year was cross-artform collaboration, Europa Picnic, which saw the local community joining forces with top artists, poets and songwriters to pen a community wide poem, marking the UK’s last day of EU membership.
The festival was once again supported by an army of around 150 volunteers from the local community who continue to be the backbone of the festival. These incredible local heroes are the people who make the festival happen helping in all areas of the event from building the site, looking after the artists, welcoming the audiences and, of course, pouring the drinks.
The Festival Hub, now a firm festival fixture had its most successful run to date, welcoming thousands of festival goers to enjoy a huge programme of free gigs and events, showcasing the very best local talent.
Big Burns Supper will return for it’s 10th edition Festival in January 2021. Programme details will be announced later this year.
Executive Producer, Graham Main said: “We’re overwhelmed by the commitment of our volunteers, partners and artists to make 2020 our biggest festival ever, but real thanks has to go to the audiences who turned up day and night to welcome artists from around the world to Dumfries. This year’s Festival saw huge growth in family audiences and the Festival Hub which once again provided a vital platform to emerging artists from the local area and across the UK.”