Scotland’s largest, rural performing arts festival appoints new director

Scotland’s largest rural performing arts festival, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, has appointed a new Director who will curate its 40th anniversary event next May.

Dani Rae, an experienced cultural producer, has worked across the creative industries for the last 15 years and was most recently Head of Participant Services for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. Here, she led the team responsible for supporting all venues, companies and the arts industry, enabling them to be part of the world’s largest arts festival.

Dani will join the team at Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, based in Gracefield Arts & Visitor Centre, Dumfries, in October in time for the launch of the Arts Live Autumn/Winter programme, a year-round, packed-programme of quality performing arts which takes place in a variety of local venues throughout the region.

Originally from Kirkpatrick Fleming, Dani Rae attended Annan Academy in Dumfries & Galloway before heading to Glasgow then Edinburgh to study. She has since worked with leading arts agencies, festivals, artists, theatre and dance companies from across the globe, touring nationally and internationally, creating work for audiences of all ages.

During 2012 – 2017 Dani was Associate Producer for Wolfgang Hoffmann’s International Booking Agency Aurora Nova representing Nassim Soleimanpour’s award winning play, White Rabbit Red Rabbit, as well as the company’s acclaimed annual Edinburgh Fringe line-up.

In addition to a new Director, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival have hired a new Communications Manager, Sharon Makepeace, who brings twenty years’ experience in sales, marketing and public relations to the organisation.

 Dani Rae, Director of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival said:

“I’m delighted to join the brilliant team at Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival at such an exciting time. I look forward to working with artists locally and further afield to create a 40th anniversary programme to remember!

 “The seasonal programmes for Arts Live continue to grow and I’m excited to work with our local promoters to deliver year-round, quality performing arts events to some of our most remote communities in Scotland.”

Ken Gouge, Chairman of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, said;

“We’re delighted to have Dani join our dedicated team as she is an experienced producer who has worked with some of the UK’s leading arts agencies and companies. Her time spent in Berlin and working on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe gives her an international profile rooted in Scotland and it’s obvious through her work she is passionate about projects that excite and engage audiences.

“With the exciting new appointments of Dani as our Director and Sharon Makepeace as Communications Manager, I believe we have the fresh ideas, energy and creativity to take Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival into the next 40 years!”

Councillor Adam Wilson of Dumfries & Galloway Council Events Champion, said;

 “After the 20th Book Town Festival this year, all eyes will turn to the 40th Arts Festival next May. It is a significant anniversary because the Arts Festival are the pioneers in our region for supporting cultural development across Dumfries and Galloway and seeking to work with as many communities as possible. The Festival has grown, developed, enthused and excited year on year and I wish the new Director and the team every success for the future.”

Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival currently have funding available to support venues and artists to help them stage quality live events as part of the ten-day, 40th anniversary festival which will take place from 24 May until 2 June. Applications are encouraged from artists, venues and promoters based in, or with connections to, Dumfries and Galloway with a deadline of 9 November.

For further information on funding available or for an application form visit

For further information on the Arts Live Autumn/Winter programme of events and to book tickets visit


For more information and pictures contact Sharon Makepeace, Communications Manager, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival on 07711 826 885

 Notes to editors:

  • * Dani Rae’s biography can be found on
  • * Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival is a registered charity (no.SC000236) and receives funding support from Dumfries & Galloway Council, Creative Scotland, EventScotland, Holywood Trust, DG Unlimited, National Lottery, Santander Foundation, ANCBC, Year of Young People.
  • * For more information about Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival visit #dgartsfest
  • * For more information about Arts Live delivered by Dumfries & Galloway visit
  • * In 2019 Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary (24 May- 2 June).
  • * Arts Live is delivered by Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival and works in partnership with a network of venues, performing artists and promoters to deliver quality performing arts events across the region, creating a diverse year-round programme.
  • * Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival 28 Edinburgh Road Dumfries DG1  1JQ, Tel: 01387 259 627,

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