The 2016 Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival plays out this weekend with an outdoor mini festival, some high octane drama, a trio of concerts by three of the classical music world’s most sought-after stars and what looks likely to be the liveliest performance of the event.

Now in its 37th year, 2016 has been the most successful festival to date, reporting packed audiences and sell-out shows across the region’s venues.

On Friday, award-winning English folk musician, Sam Lee brings his friends to Dumfries to perform his pioneering music at the Usual Place and one of Scotland’s finest Gaelic singers, Gillebride MacMillan will give a concert at Gatehouse Community Centre in Gatehouse of Fleet.

There be dragons in Wigtown and Dumfries when Puppetsoup Theatre brings its five-star Fringe hit Land of Dragon to Wigtown Primary School on Friday and the Theatre Royal on Saturday and the Bearded Dug Company will be hosting an evening of stand-up hilarity at the King’s Arms Hotel, Lockerbie, on Friday.

Also on Friday, Café Largo will be at the County Buildings in Wigtown for a glamorous evening of music and dance with a bit of ballroom thrown in.

On Saturday, the festival takes to the Plainstanes in Dumfries for a taste of some of the 10-day event’s highlight acts. The Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, the Scottish Ensemble and Robyn Stapleton, Ian Sherwood, Elia Davidson and Kate Kyle will entertain the crowds in the middle of the town’s High Street.

Comedy continues on Saturday with Dead Sheep Comedy stand-up at the Theatre Royal and the “riotously funny” Craig Hill at the Buccleuch Centre, Langholm.

Steven McIntyre will give an organ recital at St John’s Church, Dumfries; Ian Sherwood is playing at Ecclefechan village hall; while children are invited to a very special dance workshop with the Scottish Dance Theatre at the CatStrand, New Galloway.

Saturday ends on a high and loud note when Orkestra del Sol storm the Usual Place, Dumfries, accompanied by the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band and wacky dance theatre troupe Oceanallover.

The festival ends on Sunday with a feast of theatre and classical music. At the CatStrand, 2Magpies Theatre bring their stunning productions of Ventoux and Litvinenko Project; while Rough Cut Robin Productions plays out Robert Burns: Rough Cut at the Swallow Theatre (also performing at the CatStrand on Saturday).

Apphia Campbell brings her critically acclaimed Nina Simone-inspired one woman show Black is the Color of my Voice to the Theatre Royal and classical music can be heard at its best when a trio international stars of the genre, Noriko Ogawa, Samantha Ward and Johannes Goritzki, put on concerts in Annan Academy and Thornhill’s Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel.

For further information and tickets, visit www.dgartsfestival.org.uk

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