Burns Night 2014 - events round-up
A selection of the suppers, ceilidhs and flings held in honour of the Bard's birthday
In this year of all years, the annual celebration of the Bard of Ayrshire Robert Burns’ life takes on a different tone, surely impressing a sense of national cultural pride upon both sides of the independence debate. If you’re celebrating somewhere other than at home with whisky and poetry, where better than in Burns’ home town? The Big Burns Supper (various venues, Dumfries, Fri 24–Sun 26 Jan) is a multi-genre mini-festival featuring music from Big Country and Dick Gaughan, comedy from Fred Macaulay and much more.
Those attending Scotland’s big festival event of January, meanwhile, will be pleased to know that Celtic Connections is hosting an International Burns Concert (Hydro, Glasgow), alongside Homecoming Scotland, featuring South Africa’s Mahotella Queens, India’s Raghu Dixit and Scotland’s own Dougie MacLean and Karine Polwart, while the Centre for Robert Burns Studies Conference (Mitchell Library, Glasgow) takes place earlier the same day. The other major event happening is Burnsfest (Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, until Sat 1 Feb), a fortnight and more of storytelling, theatre, art and a ceilidh.
For those with more under-the-radar tastes, meanwhile, the Neu! Reekie! Alternative Burns Bash (Pilrig St Paul’s Church, Edinburgh) features poetry from Ciaran Carson, music from Belle & Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson and the Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly, and a multimedia interpretation of ‘Tam O’Shanter’ by Kevin Williamson and the Burns Troupe. There are also more esoteric choices in Glasgow with the winning blend of food and music that is offKILTR's Keep the Fire Burning (St Enoch Square, Glasgow, Fri 24 and Sat 25 Jan) and alternative community centre ceilidh A Fling For Rabbie (Kinning Park Complex, Glasgow). But our prize for most eccentric Burns event in Scotland has to be the Anybody But Burns Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon (National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh), which involves adding and amending details of Scotland’s poets with free lunch and poetry provided.
All events are on Sat 25 Jan unless otherwise stated. For more details of a Burns Supper near you, use the search box below.