Barbara Dickson and Rab Noakes will headline Biggar Little Festival 2019

Headliners...Barbara Dickson and Rab Noakes will share the bill at the Municipal Hall in Biggar on Saturday, October 19.
Headliners...Barbara Dickson and Rab Noakes will share the bill at the Municipal Hall in Biggar on Saturday, October 19.

Big names are nothing new on the line up at Biggar Little Festival.

But it would be fair to say that chairman James Softley is delighted to have finally booked Barbara Dickson.

Scottish comedian Jojo Sutherland's shows are always no holds barred so her performance in the Corn Exchange on Friday, October 18, is certain to be a hot ticket!

Scottish comedian Jojo Sutherland's shows are always no holds barred so her performance in the Corn Exchange on Friday, October 18, is certain to be a hot ticket!

It will truly be a case of another suitcase in another hall for the Scottish songstress, who will perform a double bill with renowned folk singer-songwriter Rab Noakes on October 19.

And it was the date that finally secured her services.

Jim explained: “I have a list of people that I’m keen to book for the festival and Barbara has been on that for a number of years.

“Luckily, this year, she was free on the date and we were able to book her as a double bill with Rab Noakes.

Be prepared for a fast-paced show when Absolutely Legless take to the stage as part of the 17th annual Biggar Little Festival from October 17 to 27, 2019.

Be prepared for a fast-paced show when Absolutely Legless take to the stage as part of the 17th annual Biggar Little Festival from October 17 to 27, 2019.

“Unfortunately, the Municipal Hall only holds 250 so we are limited in terms of who we can book to keep the tickets affordable.

“But we’ve always managed to punch above our weight and I think Barbara will be a popular choice with our audiences.

“Rab is also very popular on the folk scene so he will bring his own fans too.

“We’re not in this to make money, we just want to cover our costs, but we’re hoping for a full house!”

Barbara has had a string of hits since the 1970s, not least from some of the West End shows she has starred in – I Know Him So Well from Chess being a huge hit for her and Elaine Paige in 1985.

Tickets will go on sale online on August 19 – you have been warned!

Now in its 17th year, Biggar Little Festival will be staged this year from October 17 to 27.

After last year’s success, BLF is teaming up with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival crew once again, who will be taking phone bookings.

But in a return to the festival’s roots, this year’s box office will be in the Gillespie Centre rather than the Corn Exchange.

Explaining why, James said: “The box office will open in the town on October 5 and we’ve decided to return to the Gillespie Centre.

“It made sense as the centre is always open. For the Corn Exchange, we had to find volunteers to man the box office which wasn’t always easy.”

While some of the acts are still to be confirmed, James and the BLF team have already lined up a stellar cast for the 2019 event.

The headline comedy slot will be ably filled by Scottish comedian Jojo Sutherland, who has delighted audiences with her no holds barred take on life for years.

Edinburgh-based musicians Malinky will offer folk fans a great night out, while Joe Lynch will honour the musical legacy of John Martyn in this 10th anniversary concert.

Tribute nights to Bob Dylan and Van Morrison will also be staged and local heroes The Dukes of Uke will be back by popular demand, performing their new show, A Uke for All Seaons.

Biggar Little Orchestra will return too with a new programme of music for all the family.

The beauty of BLF, though, is that it offers something for all.

For example, dance fans will love the Edinburgh ballet and Irish dance troupe Absolutely Legless, who promise a fast-paced, powerful performance.

Artists will take centre stage thanks to the Open Studio Arts Trail which has become a firm favourite on the festival calendar.

And Atkinson Pryce Bookshop will also continue to take a starring role.

This year, a post-festival event, Best of Enemies, will celebrate the connections and disconnections between Ian Hamilton Finlay and Hugh MacDiarmid.

Hosted by Magnus Linklater, it will be held on November 1 in aid of Brownsbank Cottage.

Of course, BLF would not be complete without Biggar Day Out on October 20.

It’s a chance for all the retailers and businesses in the town to join in the fun, setting out stalls on the high street for a fun day aimed at the whole family.

James said: “There will be the usual stalls, as well as a bouncy castle for the wee ones, an open mic afternoon and street entertainers for all ages to enjoy.

“It’s always a great day out and that’s largely thanks to everyone in the town getting into the party spirit. We can’t thank them enough for their continued support.”

There’s still time to set out your own stall; email tracey@biggarlittlefestival.com.

And there will be another post-festival event too.

James added: “James Grant will be performing in the Corn Exchange on November 2 which will round off BLF 2019.”

This year’s programme will be launched when online booking opens on August 19.

For more information in the meantime visit www.biggarlittlefestival.com or the social media pages at Biggar Little Festival.