A NEW arts festival is to launch this summer in the Fife village of Lower Largo.

Artists and performers including sculptor David Mach and comedian Phill Jupitus will join local and Scottish artists at the inaugural Largo Arts Week, which runs from July 19-28.

Lower Largo is the birthplace of Alexander Selkirk, the Scottish seafarer whose castaway on a desert island inspired the novel Robinson Crusoe.

The year2019 marks the 300th anniversary of the year of publication of Daniel Defoe’s book.

Other acts appearing include folk legend Rab Noakes, Skids frontman Richard Jobson, award-winning poet Hollie McNish, Mairi Campbell, former Scots Makar Liz Lochhead, folk musician James Yorkston, opera singer Charlotte Whittle, songwriter Dan Wilson of Withered Hand and up-and-coming musician Hamish Hawk.

Mach has a home in the village.

He said: “There’s a wealth of artistic talent in this part of Fife and I’m delighted the artists have come together themselves to launch this new event.

"One of the really exciting aspects of the festival is that, although the art of local creatives is the main focal point, guests will enjoy a variety of acts from other arts disciplines including music and poetry.”

The festival is the fruit of work by local artists Andrew Stenson and Dougi McMillan.

The focal events space for the festival will be the former St David’s Church in the village.

Dougi McMillan added: “Lower Largo is often overlooked as part of the East Neuk of Fife and we hope that Largo Arts Week will address this to place it firmly on the map.”


THE 40th Anniversary of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, which took place for ten days over the end of May, has reported a rise in ticket sales this year.

It staged 50 events across 34 venues across the region, with a 9% increase in sales.

Sell out shows included Martin & Eliza Carthy at Moffat Town Hall, short family performances from Scottish Opera in their pop-up truck parked up at Logan Botanic Gardens and Crawick Multiverse and comedy theatre Team Viking at Gatehouse of Fleet and Lochans Community Hall.

New venues, Moat Brae; The Birthplace of Peter Pan, The Bridge in Dumfries and Lochans Community Hall in the Rhins of Galloway joined the programme this year.

This year’s programme was curated by new Director, Dani Rae, who joined in October.

She said: "I’m delighted at the response we’ve had and it’s fantastic to have had so much support for our 40th Anniversary programme. I hope people will join us for our year-round programme of events, Arts Live, and for the festival next year of course which will take place between 22 and 31 May”.

Ken Gouge, Chair of D&G Arts Festival, said: "This was an absolutely fantastic 40th Anniversary programme which attracted local communities and visitors alike to go and see a show. This year we saw many new faces from our local communities and a diverse audience enjoying the events which were region-wide."