Le Haggis cast
le Haggis cast members (L-R): Cameron Barns, Ulrike Storch and Marianne Fraser. Courtesy of Ian Georgeson.

Big Burns Supper opens with a bang

The opening weekend of the Big Burns Supper has been a storming success with comedian Bill Bailey, singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean and the festival’s Scottish cabaret company Le Haggis reeling in huge crowds.

The seventh edition of the event runs from 18 to 28 January, with a heady mixture of cabaret, comedy, music and entertainment taking place throughout Dumfries in celebration of the National Bard, Robert Burns.

Le Haggis cast

le Haggis cast members (L-R): Cameron Barns, Ulrike Storch and Marianne Fraser. Image courtesy of Ian Georgeson.

Executive producer, Graham Main said: ‘In 2012 we created the Big Burns Supper to welcome visitors and friends to our home here in Dumfries to celebrate the essence of Burns – a community coming together for an arts led social celebration.

‘Our seventh festival is now well and truly underway and we couldn’t be any prouder of this year’s programme which is our biggest and boldest to date, featuring the finest Scottish and international artists.’

The programme features local, national and international talent, performing to an audience of over 30,000 across 200 live events in 30 venues.

Part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals, supported by the Scottish Government, the contemporary arts festival brings Burns to a new generation through bold, contemporary programming.

Scottish singer Eddi Reader

With a full week still to come, there’s plenty of world-class talent on offer including: French comedian Marcel Lucont; Mercury Prize winner Badly Drawn Boy; Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers; Donovan; and hip-hop rapper Ocean Wisdom.

On Burns Night (25 January), celebrations will peak with a lantern procession through the streets of Dumfries followed by an alternative Burns Night Supper.

Entertainment will be provided by Scottish artists, Emily Smith and Robyn Stapleton, alongside a host of local acts broadcasting to the world in the festival’s special Burns Night Live show, beamed across the globe.

A special performance from Scottish singer-songwriter Eddi Reader will follow.

Scottish group The Dangleberries

Big Burns Supper Festival is a non-profit event, produced by local charity Electric Theatre Workshop Ltd.

Visitors to the festival can take part in a global virtual toast to our national Bard by posting an image of their Burns celebrations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #CheerstoRabbie.

The images will be brought together on Scotland.org to show Burns fans toasting the poet from every corner of the globe.

‘Burns Suppers have been bringing people together for many years, they have just gotten a little dusty and needed refreshed. The Big Burns Supper has created an entire Fringe Festival around the meaning of Burns Night, with the Dumfries community at its heart,’ adds Graham.