Major Festival and Events Strategy decision

Peter Renwick
Programme Director
Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival
6 March 2017

Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival has been the beneficiary of support through the Major Festivals and Events Strategy for a number of years. We are pleased to continue to be recognised as a signature event in the programme. This support has provided the stable basis that has enabled us to plan, deliver and grow the festival.

It has been this clear demonstration of local authority support that has helped secure the investment required to deliver our programme.  With the help of the Major Festivals and Events Strategy, we have doubled our audiences over two years and invested in a region-wide far-reaching programme of affordable, high-quality and culturally important performing arts events.

At a time when the council has to make cuts across the board, we understand, to some, arts funding will not be a priority. We know, however, that more people are supporting the arts in the region. This was demonstrated last year by the large number of sell-out shows and full houses during the festival. We are also aware from feedback that people coming to our shows recognise the quality of our programme and view the events as emotionally engaging experiences that have clear cultural and community benefits.

The festival is important for welcoming national and international artists to the region, celebrating Dumfries and Galloway’s own artists and developing collaborations through the programme.

The festival has a direct economic impact on our region’s creative industries, such as venues, performing arts promoters, performing artists, advertising, design and printing. Moreover, it showcases Dumfries and Galloway’s creative talent to a national and international audience.

There is a further positive economic impact on the region through spending on accommodation, transport, food and entertainment by visiting artists and audiences.

Recently our funding through the major event strategy has been the equivalent of 0.8 of an average full-time post.   With that the organisation has:

  • Supported two full-time and two part-time posts.
  • Had an annual net positive economic impact nearing quarter of a million pounds.
  • Delivered a programme of 80 events over 40 venues during the festival.
  • Delivered a further 84 events in 36 venues outside the festival.
  • Had an audience of 7,300 during the festival and 3,800 outside.
  • Worked collaboratively with over 60 local organisations.
  • We are now working positively to the launch of this year’s festival and we cannot wait to kick-start this year’s programme with Karine Polwart’s amazing theatre piece Wind Resistance. We hope that, in reviewing its Funding Strategy, the Council can find a way of giving organisations such as ours a stable platform to work from so going forward we can concentrate on delivering the best programme possible for the region.
  • Peter Renwick
  • Programme Director
  • Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival
  • 6 March 2017