Big Burns Supper headed to Leith to launch its full 2015 programme with the news that Scottish singer songwriter Nina Nesbitt and folk group the Peatbog Faeries will be part of the line-up. Burlesque dancers and colourfully costumed carnival characters launched the programme in front of the Burns statue in Leith’s Constitution Street – the statue itself was specially decked in tartan for the event.
The annual Dumfries event, which is expanding from three days to nine – 23-31 January – is a mix of famous names and emerging artists and includes rock, pop, folk, jazz and traditional music alongside cabaret, comedy, performance art and a huge street carnival. It is increasingly popular among visitors from Edinburgh and all across the Central Belt. It also attracts growing numbers from elsewhere in Scotland, the UK and overseas.
Organisers offered a first glimpse of some of the beautiful costumes that are being created for the impressive Burns Night Carnival – which is expected to pull thousands of people onto the streets of the town on Sunday, 25 January. Graham Main, Festival Artistic Director, said: “Big Burns Supper 2015 will be Europe’s largest winter fringe festival. It’s becoming a major event in the Scottish calendar and we’re inviting even more people from across Scotland and beyond to join us for nine days of fabulous entertainment.
“The programme we’ve unveiled today is a rich mix of music and performance that combines popular and celebrated artists with some emerging talent from all over Scotland and the rest of the UK. The festival will be a chance to see rising stars like Nina Nesbitt alongside acts like the Peatbog Faeries, plus others we have already announced like Hue and Cry and the Undertones. Our whole aim is to celebrate the best of Scottish and international culture with shows that will appeal to every taste and age, from the youngest of children upwards.
“The carnival is also going to be even bigger and more spectacular than last year – a real centrepiece of the festival – huge amounts of work are going into creating the costumes and the floats. It’s excellent to be able to give people a sneak preview of what we’ve got in store.”
Big Burns Supper 2015 is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government).
The lantern-lit carnival, with seven large interactive floats plus bands and dancers, will include hundreds of children and adults in a multitude of costumes including sea creatures such as porpoises and a giant octopus, through to angels, Tattie-bogles (scarecrows) and even giant vegetables. It is closely linked to the 2015 UNESCO Year of Light and the Scottish Year of Food and Drink.
Once again BBS has teamed up with other local festivals and promoters to present eclectic club nights which include the Eden Opening Party.
A sample from the full programme
You can see the full Big Burns Supper 2015 programme at the BBS website. It includes around 140 events at 17 venues, and which are a mix of paid or and free to view.
Among what’s on offer is:
Nina Nesbitt, in the Spiegeltent, Friday January 23 at 6.00pm (£22.50). Best known for her 2013 hit single Stay Out, her first album Peroxide was released this year and she is now working on a second. Born in 1994, her music is often about the lessons she's learnt since she first picked up a guitar aged 15. Nina may be an experienced songwriter, a festival veteran and a regular on Radio 1, but she still writes from the point of view of a typical teenager. She has already spent two years putting out EPs, touring the country and steadily building her fan base - her video views stand at more than 20 million and over 130,000 follow her on Twitter.
Peatbog Faeries, in the Spiegeltent, Friday January 30, at 9.30pm (£22.50). Based on the Isle of Skye, the Peatbog Faeries are one of Scotland’s best-known names in contemporary folk music. In 2012 they were nominated for "Best Live Act" at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, having already twice won "Live Act of the Year" at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards. They've taken their own brand of Scottish tunes to audiences around the world, from European festivals, to Asia, Africa, America, Canada and Australia. The Peatbogs have recorded six studio albums, they made their first live release in April 2009 and their latest CD, "Dust", was released on the 8th of August of 2011.
|Hector Bizerk were headliners in the Solus tent at this years Wickerman|
Scottish Dance Theatre (Scotland). Innocence. An exciting opportunity for 0-4 year olds (and their adults) to enter a realm of mystery, fun and adventure. Innocence is a unique performance playroom where the audience explore William Blake’s Songs of Innocence. Innocence invites children to dance on an interactive journey of theatre, story and live music. A beautiful, captivating dance experience.
Hamish the Haggis’s Mini Burns Supper. Even children get to modernise Burns Suppers in their own special way at the Big Burns Supper with their own high energy foot-tapping show, Hamish the Haggis’s Mini Burns Supper, in one of the most interactive children’s theatre shows anywhere.
New York Brass Band. New Orleans inspired Brass Band. Hailing from the ancient streets of York, the band are part of a funky brass revolution that is sweeping the UK. Inspired by Rebirth Brass Band, Soul Rebels, Hot 8, Youngblood and Brassroots, NYBB pack a powerful punch of relentless drums, rumbling tuba and wailing horns… nothing kicks a party into gear like the sound of a smokin’ New Orleans Mardi Gras Jazz Band.
Isabel Sharman (London). Performance Art. Explores the complicated relationship that women have with their bodies by looking at the way we talk about them - from body hair groups and anti-feminist tumblrs.
Impulse Collective (East Midlands). Theatre. Canterbury Tales. Following their smash hit Exposed at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival, young East Midlands based company Impulse Collective present their anarchic new take on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
|Live set from Fiona Soe Paing|
Stoirm Òg (Edinburgh). Theatre. The Idiot at The Wall. September, 1919. A Hebridean island. Sorcha has returned to her family home, disturbing a prophecy which has long lain dormant.
Caroline Smith (London). Performance art. Birdwatchers Wives. Features Rita Grebe, a seven foot woman who thinks she’s a bird: a Great Crest who wants to nest.
Countermeasure (Toronto) and InChorus (Peebles). Music. Transatlantic Songbook. Double bill exclusively presented at Big Burns Supper Festival. Countermeasure is the new sound in vocal music, known for upbeat blend, sophisticated harmonies, and infectious energy. Led by award-winning composer/arranger Aaron Jensen, featuring 14 of Canada’s top young vocal talents. InChorus is a large contemporary community choir from Peebles. Founded in 2008, they have filled Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and Festival Theatre twice.
All this plus traditional singer Robyn Stapleton, who is BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year, and The Gallovidians, a small local traditional music group consisting of mainly fiddles and accordions.