Local Events


Davy Crocketts Hat – Dave Bass and Andy McMillan – live acoustic night in Kings

davy crockettIf you missed our live broadcast acoustic night in Kings Coffee and Books on Thursday 22nd October, with Davy Crockett’s Hat – Dave Bass and Andy McMillan – you can catch it again here:

Undoubtedly two of the region’s most impressive musicians, Dave and Andy thrilled the audience with their fun – filled performance.

Zoë Bestel live acoustic night at Kings on 24.09.15 – audio

Zoë BestelThis week’s live broadcast acousitc event from Kings Coffee and Books, was from local singer/songwriter, Zoë Bestel. Listen again to Zoë’s amazing performance, complete with build up and comment from Tom Armstrong and Melissa Gunn in the studio; Ali Donowho on the floor:

Emma McNeill live session in Kings on 10th Sept – audio

Emma McNeillRe-live a first class performance from local singer/songwriter, Emma McNeill, which was broadcast live from Kings Coffee and Books on Thursday 10th September, from 7.30pm, with this podcast.

Emma is a real up-and-coming star and recently performed before thousands of people in Dumfries’ one day music festival, Youthbeatz.

She held an enthusiastic audience in Kings spellbound for over an hour:

Jan Jamieson Foundation launch – interview with Sandy Jamieson – audio

Sandy JamiesonSandy Jamieson has worked tirelessly since the passing of his wife, Janice Jamison, last year, to raise funds in her memory. Jan died last year after a long battle with cancer and he’s raised thousands of pounds for an educational project in Malawi. This Tuesday evening (25th August) sees the launch of a charitable foundation to handle the funds raised and, Sandy hopes, many more thousands, to help an increasing number of children get the educational opportunities they deserve and believes it is a fitting way to remember his late wife, who was a well known and greatly respected local teacher.

There’s a Facebook page for the foundation: facebook.com/JanJamiesonMemorialFoundation15

Alive reporter, Mark Smith, caught up with Sandy over the weekend, to chat about the launch and the foundation itself:

Kate Kyle – live from Kings Coffee & Books on 06.08.15 – audio

kate kyle1Full recording of the acoustic event broadcast live from Kings last night, with Kate Kyle. An enthusiastic crowd gathered to enjoy an evening with one of the region’s most promising up and coming singers. At only 13, Kate’s performance has a maturity far beyond her years and she kept her fans enthralled throughout the set:

International Musicians Platform Launches In Style

A gala performance on a grand scale featuring some of the world’s best-loved classical music stars, is the penultimate highlight of this year’s alex mcquistain – the 10-day classical music festival at venues across Dumfries and Galloway.
The festival kicked off on Friday evening (31 July) at the Cally Palace, near Gatehouse, with a stunning performance by Russian cellist Karine Georgian. Saturday saw full house at Greyfriars Church in Dumfries when world-renowned violinist Tasmin Little gave a rousing programme which included works by Schubert, Brahms, Ravel and Franck. Pianist Sasha Gynyuk dazzled his enraptured audience at the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms in Thornhill with works by Schubert, Blake and Chopin.
On Tuesday, the Aurea String Quartet will give an intimate chamber concert at 2pm in Portpatrick’s Fernhill Hotel. The quartet members, all award-winning graduates from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, have played in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls.
On Wednesday, at 7.30pm, celebrated young Polish violinist Bartosz Waroch, will give one of his world-class concerts at the Cally Palace. The programme includes Mozart’s Sonata in E flat major for piano and violin K.380; J.Cage, Six melodies for violin and keyboard; Lili Boulanger’s Nocturne; Beethoven, Romance in G major op.40 for violin and piano; G Bacewicz’s 2nd sonata for solo violin; and S.Gubaidulina’s Dancer on a tightrope for violin and piano. Bartosz will be accompanied by pianist Mei Yi Foo.
Thornhill’s beloved tenor, Nicky Spence, returns to the region on Thursday evening to perform at Greyfriars Church, Dumfries.
Since his early beginnings singing in school concerts at Wallace Hall Academy, Nicky has reached the top of his profession, performing with a number of international opera companies, plus giving solo performances and recitals in some of the world’s biggest stages.
The festival is delighted to welcome him home for this very special concert which starts at 7.30pm and includes works by Vaughan Williams and Elgar.
Nicky will be accompanied by the perfect strings of the Aurea Quartet and John Thwaites on piano.
Malaysian pianist Mei Yi Foo will prove why she is an internationally-acclaimed classical musician when she performs Debussy, Tchaikovsky and Chopin on the resident grand Blüthner piano at the Cally Palace on Friday at 7.30pm.
Saturday’s spectacular gala performance in Greyfriars Church sees opera megastar Susan Bullock performing alongside tenors Nicky Spence and Richard Berkeley Steele. Susan is the world’s most sought-after British dramatic soprano with a CBE under her belt and this is a very rare chance to see and hear her perform outside the world’s biggest stages.
The singers will be accompanied on piano by Simon Lepper and the exciting programme, which begins at 7.30pm, includes rousing works by Verdi, Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Léhar.
The festival ends on Sunday with an afternoon of music and song inspired by Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Nicky Spence and Simon Lepper will give a performance at 3.30pm from the works of Britten, Schubert, Haydn and more.
Tickets for all performances may be booked in advance from www.absoluteclassics.co.uk or on the door at the event. Owing to the popularity of these festival concerts, advance booking is strongly advised.

Three major festivals will see visitors flock to Annandale and Eskdale this Autumn

Three superb festivals and events that take place within a month of each other are certain to attract thousands of visitors to Annandale and Eskdale this Autumn.

The three festivals and events will be of huge appeal to local people, and by virtue of their diversity, attract different audiences and many new visitors from tourism target markets to the region.

The first of the three festivals to mark in the calendar is the Pack Up Your Troubles Festival, to be held between August 28-31. The nostalgia tinged weekend of events, based upon World War One themes, is celebrating the 100 year birthday of twins Gretna and Eastriggs.

The Festival will feature an old style music hall evening, a stylised World War One tearoom, classic bus tours of the area, some fabulous concerts, cooking demonstrations, educational workshops on the period and many community events.

The International Sheep Dog Trials 2015 will take place on 10-12 September at Meikleholm Farm, halfway between Moffat and Dumfries, just a 15 minute drive from the M74.

The three full days of competition will see the most highly skilled dogs and handlers in the world compete for the prestigious Championship titles.  Sheep dog trialling is set for a profile boost this summer when Flockstars hits the screens of ITV on 30 July and interest in this international event is expected to be very high. Upwards of ten thousand spectators are forecast to flock to the Trials.

The Lockerbie Jazz Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with a programme that promises something for everyone who loves good music.

In addition to concerts in the festival hub of Lockerbie there will be a Sunday of jazz in Moffat, a dinner jazz and blues evening in Annan and for the first time the festival reaches out to Gretna. US stars Melba Joyce and Stephanie Trick are joining the celebrations with their own special music. Singer Melba Joyce will join the Scottish Swing Orchestra who present the story of Swing while Stephanie presents her unique brand of piano jazz from its earliest days.

Lovers of big band music have two fabulous shows to look forward to and Jools Holland’s star singer Ruby Turner returns to Lockerbie and will perform a second gig in Gretna.

As the programme also includes youth jazz, blues, soul, gypsy jazz, Dixieland and jump jive, the Lockerbie Jazz Festival continues its track record of bringing world class music to South West Scotland each September.

The events are being fully backed by the Council’s unique Major Festivals and Events Strategy, 2014-2017. Funding totalling £45,000 is going into the festivals, and the Pack Up Your Troubles weekend is being coordinated by the Local Authority, in recognition of the wide-ranging number of grassroots events taking place.

Councillor Colin Smyth, the Council’s Events Champion said;

“This superb cluster of festivals and events will showcase Annandale and Eskdale and Dumfries and Galloway to great effect. The Council is doing all that it can to integrate the promotion of these festivals to ensure that we attract and retain visitors to our region, to enjoy our stunning countryside, inspiring heritage and the superb music and entertainment on offer. There is a real energy and exuberance about all these events that comes across so well.”

VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said;

“These three fantastic and very diverse festivals highlight the incredible variety of great things to see and do within the beautiful Annandale and Eskdale area.  Each of these wonderful events – which give a real flavour of the vibrancy and colour of the local culture here – provides an excellent and valuable opportunity to attract new visitors to get a taste of the amazing range of activities and attractions there are to experience and enjoy throughout Dumfries & Galloway. I hope as many people as possible, from outside of the region as well as from the local community, will make the most of the chance to be a part of these great festivals, which all look set to be unmissable dates for the diary.”

Councillor Ronnie Ogilvie, Chair of Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee said;

“Council funding of major events creates business and tourism benefits and these three great events provide the perfect reason for staycations this Autumn.  Where else in Scotland this year can you enjoy world class jazz in such close proximity to the tranquillity and fabulous craft of international sheep dog trials? We have the Tour of Britain coming through Gretna, Eastriggs and Cannonbie on Tuesday 8 September which will be a fantastic event to experience and the Pack Up Your Troubles Festival is choc a bloc with things to see and do.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Major Festivals and Events Strategy, 2014-2017 is unique within Scotland and will provide £750,000 of grant funding to superb events projects over a three year period to build a portfolio of sustainable, nationally and internationally significant events for Dumfries and Galloway.

WIN a family pass to the Galloway Country Fair

2015_green background Galloway Country Fair, one of the Scottish rural calendar’s biggest events, returns to the beautiful Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate on 22 and 23 August 2015.

Sponsored by Border Cars, the Fair – which last year attracted around 18,000 people from across the country – promises to be more exciting than ever with more than 200 exhibitors and traders as well as entertainment, food and fun activities for all ages.

It will see the introduction of a brand new, free children’s entertainment zone, giving youngsters the chance to expend their energy and enjoy a fun-filled weekend.

Children can choose from a host of exciting activities, including a giant assault course, a bouncy castle, an inflatable slide, a bucking bronco, mini quad bikes and inflatable laser tag.

Dog image smallerDrumlanrig’s very own David Lisett, renowned dog trainer, will make his arena debut performing gundog displays on both days, while the popular Dog and Duck Display and educational Sheep Show make a return to the Fair.

And thanks to funding support from VisitScotland’s Events Directorate to help celebrate Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, Galloway Country Fair will boast the largest ever Food Marquee offering a wealth of tasty produce to try and buy throughout the weekend, as well as cooking demonstrations by Cook School Scotland and a brand new Bake-Off competition.

The show is open both days from 9am-6pm. Tickets cost £12 for adults, £5 for 5-16 year-olds, £10 for concessions, £30 for a family pass and under-fives go free. A new three-day camping offer has also been introduced this year so that visitors can enjoy a full weekend at the Fair.


We’ve also got ten family (two adults and two children) passes to the give away to this year’s Galloway Country Fair? To be in with your chance to win all you need to do is answer the question below.

Name the main river that flows past Drumlanrig Castle ?
If you think you know then e-mail your name and answer to [email protected] or text WIN followed by your name and answer to 07 564 364 464 (standard network rates apply). For full terms and conditions click here, all entries must be received by midday on Saturday 8th August, entries received after will not be counted but you will still be billed if you enter by text. The winners will be notified by text/ e-mail by Saturday 15th August, and also announced here on our website.


Visit www.gallowaycountryfair.co.uk for tickets and further information.

Dave Bass & Andy McMillan acoustic event in Kings – listen again

Dave Bass & Andy McMillanFull recording of the acoustic event broadcast live from Kings this evening, with Dave Bass and Andy McMillan. An enthusiastic crowd gathered to enjoy an evening of top class music from two accomplished local musicians:

Dave Bass & Andy McMillan – Live from 7.30PM Tomorrow

Kings Acoustics - 23rd JulyAlive 107.3 is the home of local music in Dumfries, and tomorrow night is no exception as we bring you (in association with Dumfries Small Town Sounds and Kings Coffee and Books on Queensberry Street) yet another of our region’s local artists, Dave Bass and Andy McMillan.

Tune in live from 7PM as Lee Medd and Aaron Kelly will be joining you whilst building up to the live show, kicking off live from Kings Coffee and Books from 7.30PM – or if you prefer, why not pop along to Kings to watch and hear them perform live. They’ll have a wide range of refreshments available on sale, as well as which you’re invited to Bring Your Own Bottle (note a small corkage charge applies).

So join us live from 7PM tonight to hear another sample of the great musical talent our region has to offer.