Local Events


Captain Jack Makes Directorial Debut As Part Of BBS16

A hard-hitting play about hackers performed by Dumfries Youth Theatre will mark the directorial debut for a young Kirkcudbright man.

Jack Finlay, aged 20, who is the first ever Creative Modern Apprentice in Dumfries and Galloway. He is based at the Electric Theatre Workshop, and has been working with a cast of 13 young people aged 12 to 14 from across the area.

The play, called Generation, provides an insight into the dynamic world of youth culture and playground politics in the 21st century. It also shows how technology can be used and abused, and the effect this can have on young people in schools.

Speaking about his first major director’s role, Jack said: “Generation explores the world of young hackers – how technology can be used and abused, and how none of our information is as secure as we like to imagine.

“Working with this cast has been uplifting. And having my first major director’s role has been a real pleasure.”

Dumfries Youth Theatre is hosted by Electric Theatre Workshop, and aims to give young people an opportunity to develop their skills in the performing arts whilst also making new friends and gaining experience of creative industries.

The show takes place as part of Big Burns Supper, the nine day festival of comedy, carnival, cabaret and theatre which takes place in Dumfries from 22 to 30 January.

It is being staged at the Electric Theatre Workshop, Munches Street, Dumfries, on the 28th, 29th, and 30th January at 6pm. Tickets are £7.50 for adults and £5.50 for children.


Jack 2 - by Angie GilmourPicture – Angela Gilmour

Queens Announce HUGE day of Music

Saturday the 4th June will see Dumfries based football club Queen of the South playing host to some musical giants who have become synonymous with the 80’s and  early 90’s. Sir Bob Geldof will be topping the bill alongside fellow band members in the Boomtown Rats.

The band who originated in Ireland in the late 70’s may have been eclipsed by the charity work of their knighted lead singer who raised awareness of a terrible famine in Ethiopia over 30 years ago, but for fans of this prolific rock act, they will get a chance to hear such classic hits as Rat Trap, I Don’t Like Mondays, Banana Republic and Someone’s Looking At You, all performed by the original line up.

Pop fans will also be transported back to the decade of big hair and even bigger mobile phones in the guise of Rick Astley who sold 40 million copies of his signature tune” Never Gonna Give You Up” which claimed the number one chart spot in over 25 countries. Far from being a nostalgic act Rick became an internet phenomenon when the video associated with Never Gonna Give You Up was discovered by a new generation, and people who clicked on the video link were said to have been Rickrolled. In 2008 Rick Astley was voted best act ever at the MTV music awards. He also holds a record for his first 8 singles reaching the top 10, fans of his music will also be familiar with songs like, Whenever You Need Somebody, Together Forever and When I Fall In Love.

Palmerston Park which is the home ground of Queen Of The South will also enjoy a performance from Martin Fry and his band ABC who first came to prominence in the mid 80’s, the sharp suited synth pop act stormed the charts with such memorable songs as Poison Arrow and The Look Of Love. ABC have continued to tour and make regular appearances at major music festival across the globe.

Club chairman Billy Hewitson commented “Last year we dipped our toe in the world of music promotions by bringing Status Quo to Palmerston on a Friday night, this was so well received that we decided to host a whole day of retro musical acts this summer whilst holding the tickets at the 2015 price of £45.”

Commercial manager Victoria Thomson added “Some of the things our audience really enjoyed about the venue last year was the fact that there was no mud and that they did not have to camp or stay overnight, it seems as if we have hit upon a line up and venue that offers both a rock and roll experience and a few creature comforts for our attendees. We felt after the success of our inaugural concert that the stadium is ideally suited for staging events of this type.”

The afternoon underbill will feature three other acts, two of which are already confirmed as The Stars From The Commitments and also The Rezillos.

The Stars From The Commitments are a gritty Dublin based nine piece soul band who feature some original cast members from the popular movie The Commitments. Following its release in 1991 it has since been voted as best Irish film of all time. Meanwhile the former cast members and other musicians have toured the world delivering a powerhouse soul set which has even impressed the likes of former American president George Bush. Event attendees can expect to hear classic tracks like Mustang Sally, Take Me To The River and Nowhere To Run.

Edinburgh punk rockers The Rezillos first appeared on the scene in the late 70’s and immediately stood apart from their more nihilistic contemporaries by performing an upbeat play-list which is heavily influenced by 50’s rock and 70’s glam. They once appeared on a prime time music television show called Top of the Pops ironically to perform their hit single also called Top of the Pops. Winners of the Tartan Clef Award and support act for The Proclaimers at Edinburgh’s world famous Hogmanay celebrations, it is fair to say that The Rezillos are fondly regarded throughout their native Scotland.

Original members Eugene Reynolds and Fay Fife commented that” It has been a very long time since we played in Dumfries and we are so looking forward to appearing at Palmerston Park.”

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Classic TV game show looking for local contestants

Fifteen to OneAfter leaving our screens for a while, Fifteen to One is coming back and they’ve asked Alive 107.3fm to search out some potential contestants. If you’re interested, contact us, or use the details on the poster. You could win £40,000!

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.