The inaugural Wild Goose Festival comes to Dumfries on 9th October for 2 weeks of storytelling, literature, riverside walks, creative activities and fantastic opportunities to have a gander at geese as they fly over the town. Held in Dumfries and surrounding areas, the festival, uses the migratory route of the Barnacle Geese between Svalbard and the Solway Estuary to join people, nature and ideas.
Produced by The Stove Network, Wild Goose Festival unites key partners in a family-friendly exploration of nature, creativity and place – WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre, NatureScot (SNH), Moat Brae Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling, University of Glasgow, Creative Futures, PAMIS (Promoting a More Inclusive Society) and the Scottish International Storytelling Festival.
Tom Pow, a Wild Goose Festival partner, commented: “This year’s Wild Goose Festival is the first live festival in the region – if not within Scotland – post lock down. Its family-friendly programme has a focus on an engagement with the natural world and on how it is written about.
Supported by the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, there is a strong strand of storytelling and literature. Most importantly though, this is a festival that looks outwards. It celebrates community, connection and creativity, as shown by artists of the Norway Network, who will share their work in a series of intimate workshops.”
The Wild Goose Festival kicks off on Friday 9th October with a special launch event at the Wild Goose Headquarters on the Whitesands in Dumfries. The evening features a live performance of ‘Flight’ by local composer Stuart Macpherson. ‘Flight’ is an immersive travelling soundscape influenced and inspired by the migration of barnacle geese from Norway’s Svalbard Islands to the Caerlaverock Wetlands. The staff and experts at NatureScot will be present on the Whitesands also, and will be interpreting the sights and sounds of the barnacle geese as they fly overhead.
Over the weekend of Saturday 10th October and Sunday 11th October, WWT Caerlaverock host the Wild Goose Weekend, an opportunity to see and learn about one of Scotland’s unique phenomena – thousands of wild barnacle geese and pink footed geese on their recent arrival from Svalbard and Iceland.
On the first weekend you can also experience the Our Norwegian Story Trail, which celebrates the special connections made between Dumfries and Norway as the headquarters for Norwegians in exile during WWII. Guided walks will take place on Saturday 10th, as well as activities to learn about the environment and wildlife suitable for children and families.
A special collaboration between the Wild Goose Festival and Wigtown Book Festival takes place on Sunday 11th October with the online event ‘Antlers of Water’, where participants are invited to join some of the contributors to this inspiring new anthology of Scottish writing on nature and the environment.
Creative Futures host their own day of goose themed events on Wednesday 14th October with a day-long celebration of everything wild in Northwest Dumfries. Featuring live storytelling, treasure hunts, exhibitions, lantern parades and craft activities for the whole family to take part in.
Thursday 15th and Friday 16th boasts a jam-packed schedule of events from Moat Brae with two days of magic, storytelling and imagination – discover hidden secrets, find out more about animals and learn how to write a creative story during their Mother Goose events.
The Wild Goose Festival concludes with a special finale evening at Wild Goose Headquarters with storytellers Claire McNicol and Ian Stephen – two of Scotland’s most accomplished and engaging performers. The evening is funded by the Scottish International Storytelling Festival.
For full programme details, times, locations and tickets, please head here: www.thestove.org/wild-goose-festival
Please note: The capacity and tickets that will be available will be directly in line with government advice at the given time.
Wild Goose Festival 2020 is supported by Wigtown Book Festival, Moat Brae, WWT Caerlaverock, The Stove Network, Creative Futures Lincluden & Lochside, NatureScot (SNH), The University of Glasgow, The Holywood Trust, Spot-Lit, Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Short Breaks Fund, Pamis (Promoting a more inclusive society) and the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme.