Street entertainers from the Burns an a' that festival
Pack your picnic hamper and head for Ayr on Sunday 3 June to join in the festivities that will see this year's Burns an'a'that! Festival come to a fantastic finale.
The town will be buzzing with excitement as street entertainers, public art projects, live music, debates and children's workshops celebrate the life and work of Robert Burns in a very cosmopolitan way.
Ayr's Wellington Square Gardens will be a hub of activity between 1pm and 5pm, with everyone invited to bring their picnic blanket and hamper for the chance to indulge in an array of entertainment being provided for the festival's celebrated Picnic in the Square. Family favourites, including the singing nun Musical Ruth, The Giant Seagulls, Fish Out of Water, Big Rory and Ochie the Dog, and Mischief Le Bas will bring smiles to many faces as they mingle with the crowds.
If you think you are a dab hand at DIY, link up with French artist and sculptor Olivier Grossetete in Wellington Square Gardens and help him build a unique grand scale work of art in the heart of Ayr – then help him tear it down again. Olivier is working with more than 900 children throughout Ayrshire to create thousands of cardboard building blocks that he will use on 3 June to exclusively build the spectacular structure for the 11th Burns an'a'that! Festival – definitely a sight not to be missed.
In Place de St Germain en Laye gardens at Ayr seafront, there will be activities for young and old alike, as well as opportunities to meet the Bard himself. Hopscotch Theatre company will be holding the Burns an'a'that! drama workshop for up to 75 youngsters aged between 8 and 13 years. The young Burns enthusiasts will get the chance to work with actors and explore Burns' life, poetry and songs, and dress up in period costumes in this unique free 90-minute interactive workshop. You can register in advance for the workshop to secure your place or sign up on the day.
While the 'Somewhere to…' performers will be getting creative, the Ghana Tent will be open for anyone wishing to try Adinkra fabric printing, drumming and storytelling. One of the big highlights in the gardens will be Musicchoir, a colourful choir that fuses pop, rock, funk and gospel with soul, jazz, RnB and a bit of musical theatre thrown in for good measure.
Theatre performer Diane Torr will be the speaker at Su Casa's 'Café Talks' series of events on the final day of the festival, while a host of Roofless projects – such as the projected work of Poker Stoker and the Ayrbourne recording of what the town sounds like to 75 local people – will all come to a climax on 3 June.
Also being the final live music night of the five-day festival, Ayr Town Hall will play host to Love and Money front man James Grant who will bring the event to a breathtaking close with a host of Scottish musical talent in his unique James Grant and Friends gig. Musicians and singers such as Hipsway's Grahame Skinner, Monica Queen, Fraser Speirs and Chris Thomson will join James on stage for a spirited evening of music. Meanwhile, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, supported by Counselled Out, will be rocking an outdoor stage in the grounds of Adamton House at Monkton.
Sunday 3 June is set to be a fantastic festival day, launching a momentous week that will mark HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and see the Olympic Torch being carried through Burns' country and South Ayrshire on Friday 8 June.
Councillor Bill Grant, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Tourism & Leisure, said: "The final day of the 11th Burns an'a'that! Festival is set to be one to remember in this year of celebration. We have a wealth of Scottish talent coming to Ayr to what is by far the largest arts and cultural festival in south-west Scotland – and we want our local communities to come out and join in the fun, bring their friends and families and really get into the carnival spirit that will be found in the town on Sunday 3 June. Let's celebrate the life's work of Robert Burns in style."
Full programme details and tickets for all Burns an'a'that! Festival events are available at www.burnsfestival.com or by calling 01292 269793. Anyone interested in taking part in the UZ Arts projects should contact email@example.com, see www.facebook.com/rooflessuk or the Twitter page @RooflessArt.