THE first ever Kirkcudbright Fringe Festival has been hailed as an “overwhelming success” with positive feedback coming from attendees, performers, local businesses, tourists and the wider community.

With 40 events across 16 venues in the Dumfries town, last weekend saw performances covering comedy, live music, film, visual arts, walks and talks.

The festival celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Wicker Man film (including appearances by some of the original cast), the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon with an immersive film, author Alan Bissett doing his acclaimed Moira Monologues, and well-known commentators Gavin Esler (below with Alison Phipps) and Gerry Hassan in conversation about the future of Scotland and the UK.

The National:

An estimated 1200 tickets were sold for events across the weekend and organisers estimate over 200 unique visitors came from outwith the town to the Fringe.

Live music was performed in the Harbour Square, with 26 paying events of which 12 sold out. Extra events were put on and capacity in some venues was increased to accommodate demand.

Writer and commentator Gavin Esler said he hopes the festival “goes from strength to strength” while organisers Gerry Hassan and Chris Walker confirmed dates for next year’s Fringe have already been set as 6-8 September 2024.

The National:

Hassan said: “The first Kirkcudbright Fringe was a great success with variety, diversity and a real sense of buzz and excitement in the town. We could not have wished for a better response, ticket sales and the response of people both locally and who travelled a fair distance”.

Walker added: “Kirkcudbright Fringe has made as good a start as we could have hoped for. And we already have plans and ideas for next year to make it even more successful and appealing."