Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Outwith Festival an outstanding success
Dunfermline’s first Outwith Festival outshone expectations as venues in the town centre were packed with locals and visitors turning up to see the sold-out events for comedy, music, theatre, visual art and literature on 7-10 September 2017. In terms of numbers of tickets sold, split by buyer’s location, Edinburgh was second highest after Dunfermline.
Over 35 bands played at eight venues including Lourenzos, The Monarch Bar and The Canmore as part of Outwith Live, the free music event. On Saturday, the sun shone on the specially-created open air music stage on the grass area in the high street, where local musicians such as Dancing on Tables and Deni Smith, played alongside bands from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.
The festival opened on Thursday 7 September with the unveiling of a new Brexit-themed sculpture by one of the UK’s most respected artists, Fifer, David Mach. Talking about Outwith, Mach said, “Fife is full of artists; it just needs a festival to bring it all together.”
Chris Foote, Festival Director, said: “With it being the first year and a new programme, you’re always unsure how people will respond but, actually, the ambitious programme was met with ambitious audiences. A case in point is the premiere of Thunderstruck, a play about bagpiping by Ballingry actor, David Colvin, which, not only sold out, but also got a standing ovation.”
“When you think about it, Dunfermline is a perfect place to run a festival – it’s compact, easy to get about, and has a variety of interesting venues. On Saturday, we had people from every age group and background at the festival – and - I'd like to thank those audiences because they were also supporting the town centre businesses as well as the festival.
“That’s why it’s important to have contrasting elements in the programme; revealing a new sculpture by a Turner-prize nominee is hugely exciting for us but there were also high fives around the office when Harlem’s Baby Disco sold out.”
“Ultimately, Outwith is about raising Dunfermline’s profile, attracting locals and visitors to the town centre and helping the local economy. Lots of people contributed their free time, skills and venues to help us do that. Everyone joined together to start something really special, and for that, we can't thank you enough.”