Wickerman’s flame is put out after 15 years

Saturday 25th July'Wickerman Festival'Happy Tom Odell fans
Saturday 25th July'Wickerman Festival'Happy Tom Odell fans

The last embers of the popular Wickerman Festival have been extingusied after the family of the man who founded it decided not to continue hosting it.

Jamie Gilroy died suddenly in 2014, and the festival was cancelled last year, but it was expected to return next summer.

But a message from the festival organisers last Friday said: “After much thought and consideration Patsy Gilroy and Jennie Camm have decided that the Wickerman Festival will not be continuing.

“Since its creation by Jamie Gilroy, Founding Director, the festival has provided us all with an eclectic mix of memories.

“It’s these that we wish people to look back on and remember.

“Thank you all for your loyal support over the years and please feel free to post your favourite moments for all of us to enjoy.”

The Wickerman Festival was one of the most popular annual events in Galloway which attracted between 15,000 to 20,000 to the areaeach year to see top acts such as Dizzee Rascal, The Scissor Sisters, The Proclaimers, Lulu and The Human League, to name a few, and to watch the famous torching of the Wickerman effigy each year.

Fans have been paying tribute to festival in their thousands on social media.

On the festival’s facebook page fans paid tribute to the news from across the world.

Bill McTaggart said: “So sorry to hear this. Fondest memory is of a few years ago , wife and I arrived early and were first at the gate.

“Jamie took the time to come over, introduce himself and had a chat. Much respect for him, a true gentleman.”

Tanya Rogers paid tribute on the festival facebook page saying, “There will be some disappointment but there will be so many precious memories. Well done to a fantastically successful festival run by a very special family”, Karen Thirkell said they did a great job at making a ‘fun, family-friendly, brilliant event’.

Galloway MSP Finlay Carson commented: “I was saddened to hear that the Wickerman Festival will not be continuing.

“It was a difficult decision for Patsy and Jenny to take but I want to take this opportunity to thank them for the 14 years of fun that festival-goers will remember for a long time to come. The Festival was a great boon for our local economy and many local people looked forward to attending it.”

South Scotland MSP and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Events Champion Colin Smyth added: “I suspect this news won’t come as a surprise given the decision not to hold the festival this year but that doesn’t make it anymore disappointing.

“Like thousands of people across Dumfries and Galloway and beyond, I have very fond memories of attending the Wickerman Festival, which played a huge role in putting our region on the map as a venue for some of the most outstanding music festivals in Scotland.

“You only have to look at the Eden Festival, Electric Fields and many others to see that the legacy of Wickerman lives on.

“For that reason we owe everyone involved in the Wickerman a debt of gratitude and they can look back on the past fifteen years with a huge amount of pride.”