Artists Performing at 2022 Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival Opening Events Announced

Scotland’s largest rural performing arts festival returns in May 2022 with a world-class programme combining theatre, music, dance, comedy and spoken word.

There are two opening events this year planned across the region with Bogha-Frois: Queer Voices in Folk at the Theatre Royal and Your Dad’s Mum present their show Tues Night @ Social Club at Birchvale Theatre in Dalbeattie both on Friday 20th May.

The award nominated, gag-packed debut from comedy duo, Your Dad’s Mum is one not to be missed in Dalbeattie this year, join their host Northern Club comedian and star of 1989 Granada TV’s ‘Who’s up for it?’ Pat Bashford and over-woke barmaid Cheri-Anne for a raucous, Partridge-style Cabaret Game Show. Expect high octane performances, clever skits, games, prizes, a breakdown and hysterical musical numbers on Friday 20th May at Birchvale Theatre.

Bogha-Frois: Queer Voices in Folk (Scottish Gaelic for “Rainbow”) provides a platform for queer folk musicians based in Scotland and beyond, to perform, collaborate and express creativity, which reflects the queer experience and are they are curating a performance and workshop at the Theatre Royal Dumfries to open the Festival on Friday 20th May.

Founded in 2018, the project has showcased over 50 musicians at Celtic Connections, and it is bringing six musicians to perform at their Festival.

The artists performing at the opening event on Friday 20th May at the Theatre Royal Dumfries have been announced and included highly acclaimed local and national artists from across Scotland.

Marit Fält and Rona Wilkie meld tunes and songs to create a new music that’s uplifting, daring and harmonious. They explore the similarities between Scandinavian and Scottish Highland tunes – colouring them with songs from both traditions.

Marit and Rona’s music is playful, borderless and thrilling. It glides from evocative near-classical movements through elegant polskas to buoyant reels, brought to life by Rona’s multi-personality fiddle virtuosity and Marit’s breath-taking mastery of the versatile låtmandola. This duo are well known as virtuosic instrumentalists – Rona Wilkie is a winner of the BBC Young Traditional Musician and their debut album “Turas” was met to rave reviews. As such, they have striven to collaborate with musicians of all stripes and have played across many genres – from playing with rappers to string quartets, from the Basque Country to the Balkans.

They have also made a name for themselves as composers, having been commissioned to write films and festivals. The most recent of these include Marit’s New Voices Commission “Irrationalities” at the 2020 Celtic Connections, and Rona’s soundtrack for BBC Film Rùn which premiered on Christmas day 2019.

Also performing on the evening will be Ailis Sutherland, Ailis is a piper and flute player from Kirriemuir, Angus.

Taught by her father, she grew up competing with her local pipe band. In 2015, she won the Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championships with Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia.

Since then, Ailis has performed at festivals and venues around the world including Noite Celta de Porcía (Asturias), National Celtic Festival (Australia), Festival Interceltique de Lorient (Brittany), Piping Live! Festival (Scotland) and in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Romania, Switzerland and The Netherlands.

While studying in South Uist, Ailis picked up the wooden flute and learned from Iain MacDonald (Iain the Whaler) of Glenuig. It was there she started folk trio ‘Hecla’, nominees at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Award.

Local artists, Bogle Mufty will also be performing and play mostly Scottish and Irish folk and trad, with a few other modern songs in a Trad style thrown in.

They came together by chance and serendipity and have been doing sessions and gigs for about 8 years.

They were the resident folk band in the Globe Inn for during that time and did a weekly open session for anyone to come along and join in or listen.

As a band they have done tours of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Lee is a well-kent face, having played accordion locally for over 30 years, and collaborates with other musicians and bands as well as writing his own tunes.

Lee has performed both locally and abroad playing for ceilidhs, Kirsty (aka Mufty) plays fiddle with the Bogles and is a talented guitar player and songwriter who was one half of Tam’s Twin Sister.

Gwen joined originally as the second singer and now does the majority of the vocals and Tin Whistle on some tracks as well, and Billy anchors the band, battering out rhythms on cajon and boran…bringing Bogle Mufty together to give a upbeat folk sound with a modern twist.

Finn Anderson, one of Scotland’s most enchanting storytellers is also joining the line-up, His song writing flows freely from the soft and sensitive to the bold and dramatic, with intricately crafted and striking lyrics that go straight for the heart. Weaving folk, pop, and orchestral influences in a dynamic duo with cellist Graham Coe.

And last but very much not least is local artists Jen Mac, with a background in traditional music, covid-19 restrictions forced Dumfries born guitarist Jenna Macrory (Jen Mac) to adapt to a completely new music industry.

Finding a new focus as an electronic music producer, Jen Mac uses sampling to obtain gritty textures and while drawing attention to social and cultural issues such as environmental and LGBTQ+ issues. Jen Mac’s unique approach to manipulating sampled materials contributes to her unique genre subverting tone.

This line up is not to be missed and will celebrate the incredible line-up for the 43rd Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival. The team have also organised a workshop with some of the performers during the day to allow 15 local young people aged 18- 26 the chance to come together to write, collaborate and perform the opening song for the show.

The workshop, organised by Stage iT the youth strand of the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival gives  young people the opportunity to share their folk music, learn new techniques and share experiences while collaborating with their peers.

To learn more, head to www.dgartsfestival.org.uk and book your tickets or sign up to their workshop now.

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