Burns an’ a’ That festival line-up unveiled

Auld lang syne

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Deacon Blue

Ayrshire comes alive to the works of Robert Burns

Words: Allan Radcliffe

The sixth Burns an’ a’ That festival, which takes place from Wednesday 23-Monday 28 May, features an enticing programme of entertainment, music, dance, film and theatre, honouring Scotland’s national bard. This year’s crowded programme also includes an additional strand, Rock at the Racecourse, an open-air concert jointly headlined by popular live act the Saw Doctors and legendary rockers Deacon Blue. Meanwhile, this year’s flagship Gala Concert, which also takes place at Ayr Racecourse, welcomes the Orchestra of the Scottish Opera, who will be joined by folk favourites Phil Cunningham and Karen Matheson as well as special guest Marti Pellow.

The Festival Club, sited at the world famous Bon Vivant Spiegeltent, will play host to music from King Creosote on Friday 25 May as well as Jim Malcolm and Kris Drever, paying tribute to the bard with a show entitled ‘Tam O’ Shanter & Other Songs’. X Factor also-rans the MacDonald Brothers will perform on the final night. For the first time, comedy will also be part of the Festival Club, with a late night show from Glasgow stand-up and star of Mock the Week, Frankie Boyle.

Festival Director Linda McClure said of the programme, ‘We have more than doubled the number of events in the programme and the range, diversity and quality of this year’s programming will ensure that there is something for everyone.’

Meanwhile, the inaugural Burns Humanitarian Award, created to reflect the generosity of spirit, compassion and community expressed in the bard’s work, has announced an all-female shortlist. This includes the author and spokeswoman for the United States civil rights movement Maya Angelou, and Melinda Gates, wife of the software billionaire Bill and co-founder of one of the world’s biggest charities, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The award winner will be announced at a ceremony at Ayr Racecourse on Thursday 24 May.

For more information and to book tickets please see www.burnsfestival.com

I Saw You comes to T

The List and T in the Park have joined forces this year to launch a brand new service called I Saw You at T. Supported by Tennent’s Lager, it is believed to be the first service of its kind at a UK festival and is intended to make the atmosphere at Balado even friendlier than usual. We understand that the crowd is what makes a good festival and that fellow festival goers are just friends you haven’t met yet, so in this convivial spirit there will be a text and photo message-based service where you can leave messages for the new faces you hook up with or hang out with at T (or don’t quite manage to because you really need to get to the Main Stage to see The Cribs). The best entries shall be showered with prizes including tickets for next year’s festival and will be printed in the List in July. Look out for more information in our T in the Park special issue out Wednesday 20 June.

(MR)

Future Screen

Glasgow Film Theatre enters the digital age

Glasgow’s film lovers are now sharing in the wonders of digital cinema thanks to the roll out of the world’s first Digital Screen Network. The £12m scheme, funded by the National Lottery in association with the UK Film Council, has equipped 240 screens in 210 cinemas across the UK with state of the art projection equipment.

The instalment of the new equipment at the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) will mean that the quality of the screen image is assured and that films, such as the recently re-released Casablanca (pictured), will be shown as their directors originally intended. Local filmmakers can screen their work in digital splendour, while the GFT’s filmmaking clubs for schools will be premiering their digitally produced short films on the big screen in June.

While the UK is one of the most expensive countries in the world in which to release a film, digital copies can be duplicated at around 10% of the cost of the traditional 35mm format, allowing distributors to increase the number of prints of specialised non-blockbuster films available to cinemas across the country. In 2005 UK audiences for foreign language films had increased by 141% since 2000.

(AR)

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