Festival marks year of young performers

Victoria Bennets (centre), Lauren Asher (left) and Lizzie Gordon from the STAGE iT Young Promoters' Group celebrate the start of the performance programme.
Victoria Bennets (centre), Lauren Asher (left) and Lizzie Gordon from the STAGE iT Young Promoters' Group celebrate the start of the performance programme.

A new region-wide programme of live events run for and by young people was launched this week as part of the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival.

STAGE iT will take place in venues across the area throughout the 2018 Year of Young People and will host a number of live performances during the festival

The programme began with an al fresco High Street Takeover on Saturday at Dumfries Plainstanes.

STAGE iT provides opportunities for young people aged 16 to 26 to put on live events for their own community and the festival’s programme of world-class music, theatre and comedy will include a number of concerts by the region’s young rising music stars.

Winners of the 2017 MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards’ Folk Band of The Year, 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Young Folk Award and the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Horizon Award, Talisk are one of the fastest rising bands on the UK folk scene. They come to the Ryan Centre, Stranraer, on June 1 and will be supported on the evening by Stranraer trad singer Robyn Stapleton and local band The Cl’yholers.

From the creator of the hit show Black Is the Color of My Voice comes a new story featuring original music and traditional gospel and blues sung live; two women 42 years apart become involved in the struggle for civil rights. Apphia Campbell gives a masterful performance in Woke which will be at the Fullarton Theatre, Castle Douglas, on June 2 and the Theatre Royal, Dumfries, on June 3.

Performer Amy Conway will bring her inspiring performance Super Awesome World, for adults, teenagers and anyone who has ever battled with darkness inside, to Wigtown County Buildings on May 31.

Events involving the region’s young musicians include a concert with Mary Ann Kennedy in the Gordon Memorial Hall, Castle Douglas on May 31, supported by STAGE iT young promoter Catrìona McGhie. Also in the programme are concerts by Darcy DaSilva on June 3 at Thomas Tosh, Thornhill; Dumfries group Taagan at the Live Lounge, Dumfries, on June 1 and Elia Davidson, Eve Watson and Ailsa Black will perform Three in One at the Buccleuch & Queensberry Arms Hotel, Thornhill on June 3. Programmes from www.dgartsfestival.org.uk or outlets across the region. Tickets from Midsteeple Box Office, 01387 253383; Wigtown Festival Company 01988 403222 or www.dgartsfestival.org.uk.