Press Release: Arts Festival & Spring Fling Join Forces to Offer 200 Cultural Events


View all news 

Keep up with all the news from Upland and our Artists

Image Credit: Colin Hattersley
Image Credit: Colin Hattersley

Arts Festival and Spring Fling Join Forces to Offer 200 Cultural Events

Dumfries and Galloway serves up a feast of art, craft and performance featuring comedian Lucy Porter and folk legends Martin & Eliza Carthy

Two of Scotland’s best-loved cultural events are joining forces to promote Dumfries and Galloway as a centre of high-quality contemporary arts.

In May and June this year Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival and Spring Fling open studios will be offering around 200 opportunities to enjoy a huge variety visual art and craft plus high quality live performances.

They have teamed up in a campaign to capitalise on their position in Scotland’s cultural calendar by producing joint visitor information with a fold-out map displaying locations for this year’s activity.

The map, which will also be available online, shows where people can find 94 studios as well as afternoon and evening performances of award-winning live performances taking place at venues throughout the region.

Spring Fling studio visitors will be able to meet professional artists and makers who create high quality ceramics, furniture, glassware, jewellery, painting, printmaking and textiles.

The festival’s live performances, which take place at theatres, village and town halls, arts centres and pubs, offer the best of comedy, dance, theatre, music and spoken word.

The 40th annual D&G Arts Festival has 50 performances over 10 days from 24 May to 2 June while the main Spring Fling open studios weekend takes place between 25 and 27 May. There will also be more than 15 workshops and master-classes, evening events and public art.

The arts festival presents events in venues across the region and Spring Fling artists can be found in studios throughout Dumfries and Galloway.

Among the highlights will be Lucy Porter with her award-winning show Pass it On and folk legends Martin and Eliza Carthy – see attached backgrounder for more information.

The organisations are also running a competition for three couples to win an Arts Pass, worth £500 each with the package offering show tickets, spending money and much more (enter here - winners announced 12 May).

Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “We are joining forces with the D&G Arts Festival to offer visitors some of the best in contemporary Scottish culture.

“Visitors from Scotland, Ireland, the rest of the UK and overseas can come here to enjoy visual art, craft and performance of every imaginable kind.

“In late May and early June there will be around 200 arts and cultural events and activities and open studios to choose from – including lots that are family friendly. It’s a great opportunity to get a real taste of contemporary Scottish arts in one of the country’s most beautiful rural regions.”

Ken Gouge, Chair of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, said: “With so much going on Dumfries and Galloway is the cultural as well as the geographical gateway to Scotland.

“Spring Fling and the festival are natural partners, taking place at the same time and creating a huge creative buzz across the region.

“It’s a chance to enjoy high-quality arts of all kinds in an amazing variety of venues from theatres, studios and galleries to farms, cottages, pubs, arts centres, and town halls.”

The organisations are working together on a two-year joint marketing drive that involves visitor information, online and offline marketing, competitions, a promotional film and special offers. The initiative is supported by Dumfries & Galloway Council as part of its strategy to promote cultural tourism.

Councillor Adam Wilson, the Council’s Events Champion, added: “Spring Fling and the arts festival together provide a compelling reason to visit Dumfries and Galloway and enjoy contemporary culture in a picturesque rural setting.

“The marketing which the council is funding can enable visitors to plan their own travel through some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, and be uplifted by their interactions with working artists, jewellers and craft makers and see for themselves the inspiration behind the art.

“It is fitting that we are undertaking this during the 40th anniversary of the arts festival which works so well in tandem with Spring Fling.”