Biggar Little Festival 2018 is not short on talent

Don't Go Breaking My Heart...Kiki Dee will bring multi-instrumentalist Carmelo Luggeri with her to Biggar, rather than her old pal Elton. But it's still certain to be a sell-out concert and the advice is to get your tickets, quick!
Don't Go Breaking My Heart...Kiki Dee will bring multi-instrumentalist Carmelo Luggeri with her to Biggar, rather than her old pal Elton. But it's still certain to be a sell-out concert and the advice is to get your tickets, quick!

What do chart-topping singer Kiki Dee, Scottish comedian Larry Dean and crime writer Val McDermid have in common?

They will all be taking centre stage at this year’s Biggar Little Festival!

A leg up...but Scottish comedian Larry Dean doesn't really need it as he's already won rave reviews across the country. So make sure you get the chance to see him here in Clydesdale before he starts selling out stadiums.

A leg up...but Scottish comedian Larry Dean doesn't really need it as he's already won rave reviews across the country. So make sure you get the chance to see him here in Clydesdale before he starts selling out stadiums.

As ever, the festival committee has pulled out all the stops to create a varied programme for the 16th staging of the event.

And it is also moving with the times, with a little help from friends at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Judy Jordan, publicity officer, explained: “We’ve set up a new online ticketing service which the Edinburgh Fringe team are operating on our behalf.

“We contacted them to ask if they could help set it up and they couldn’t do more – they have been so helpful.

Crime-writing queen...author Val McDermid needs no introduction and her talk at Biggar Library, organised by Atkinson-Pryce Books, is sure to be a thriller!

Crime-writing queen...author Val McDermid needs no introduction and her talk at Biggar Library, organised by Atkinson-Pryce Books, is sure to be a thriller!

“So we’ll be using their system and they will be taking the bookings for us.”

As ever, though, Biggar Corn Exchange will remain at the beating heart of the festival, serving as the box office during the 10-day event from Thursday, October 18, to Sunday, October 28.

Thanks to another packed programme of events, the town is gearing up for what will be a busy month.

Kiki Dee is sure to be a sell out, even though her partner on this occasion won’t be Elton John. Performing alongside Kiki, whose show will feature well known hits and self-penned material, will be multi-instrumentalist Carmelo Luggeri.

The duo will take to the Municipal Hall stage on Thursday, October 25, at 8pm but Judy had one word of warning for fans.

She said: “The concert will be a guaranteed sell out so our advice is to get your tickets (priced £18) now – we don’t want to go breaking your heart!”

The festival is renowned for bringing Scottish comedians, such as Kevin Bridges, to town – just before they hit the big time.

And this year it looks like the team have done it again, with Larry Dean performing at the Corn Exchange on Friday, October 19, at 7.30pm.

Judy said: “He’s one of Scotland’s most promising young comedians and we’re delighted that he will be coming to the festival.

“Fresh from success at the Edinburgh Fringe, he has also received great reviews at sell out gigs countrywide.

“It’s a chance for people in Clydesdale to see him in a local venue before he starts selling out stadiums.”

Author Val McDermid surely needs no introduction – the queen of crime-writing has already made a big name for herself.

So while Atkinson-Pryce Books evening with the author at Biggar Library is not worth killing over, it will certainly be a hot ticket!

Judy said: “Val is a much loved Scottish author whose books are big business.

“We’re delighted she’s taking part in the festival; she’ll be discussing her latest novel, Broken Ground: a Karen Pirie Thriller.

“We’d advise people to book up quickly though!”

Tickets for the event on Saturday, October 27, priced £6, are available now from Atikinson-Pryce.

Some of Scotland’s most talented young musicians are bringing their unique mix of traditional and contemporary folk music to Biggar for the first time.

Clydesdale Folk Club is proud to present An Evening with Heron Valley at the Municipal Hall on Saturday, October 27, at 8pm.

Judy said: “Fans of Skipinnish and Skerryvore are certain to love them and we’re delighted to showcase young talent in this, the year of young people.”

As ever, though, Biggar Little Festival also celebrates the town in which it is staged.

Biggar Little Day Out on Sunday, October 21, provides the perfect opportunity for local producers, crafters, artists and businesses to showcase their work.

Judy said: “There will be street entertainment, local cuisine, crafts and all the fun of the fair to enjoy, ensuring this will be our biggest and best Biggar Day Out ever!

“Together with the town’s shops, cafes, arts groups and street entertainment, our aim is to provide a feast of family fun from noon to 5pm.

“It will be a great day out for the whole family.”

The festival would not be possible without an army of local volunteers and there’s still time to lend a hand.

Judy added: “Volunteers ensure Biggar Little Festival happens every year – we couldn’t do it without them.

“We’d be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to get involved.”

To volunteer, call 01899 220980 or email judyjords@yahoo.co.uk.

Tickets are available at www.biggarlittlefestival.com, on 0131 226 0001 or call the festival information service on 07593 344065.

Thank you for your support

With more than 50 events spread across the ten days, it’s difficult to summarise them all in one article.

However, thousands of festival programmes have been produced for those who want to take a closer look at what’s on; it can also be downloaded from the website at www.biggarlittlefestival.com.

For James Softley, the man at the festival committee helm for the last ten years, it’s the culmination of almost a year’s work – before it starts again for next year!

James said: “I have spent some weeks travelling through Europe this year and have been heartened to come across so many arts and cultural festivals, not just in the large cities but also in smaller towns and villages.

“This just goes to strengthen my view that Biggar Little Festival is on the right track.

“As a genuine community event with great local support and participation, it has a bright future ahead of it.

“I feel that once again we have put together an interesting and varied programme of events in 2018 with something to suit all tastes.

“I’d like to thank our sponsors, funders and patrons for helping to make the festival financially viable and our event organisers and members for their participation.

“Lastly, I’d like to thank our volunteers and committee for all their hard work.

“Without their determination, time, effort, passion, commitment and dedication, nothing would happen.

“None of this would be possible, of course, without the continued support of our lovely audiences.

“We hope they will enjoy the programme we have lined up and continue to support our Little Festival in 2018.”

For more, visit www.biggarlittlefestival.com.