Two of Scotland’s best-loved cultural events are joining forces to promote Dumfries and Galloway as a centre of high-quality contemporary arts.

In May and June this year Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival and Spring Fling open studios will be offering around 200 opportunities to enjoy a huge variety visual art and craft plus high quality live performances.

They have teamed up in a campaign to capitalise on their position in Scotland’s cultural calendar by producing joint visitor information with a fold-out map displaying locations for this year’s activity. 

The map, which will also be available online, shows where people can find 94 studios as well as afternoon and evening performances of award-winning live performances taking place at venues throughout the region.

Spring Fling studio visitors will be able to meet professional artists and makers who create high quality ceramics, furniture, glassware, jewellery, painting, printmaking and textiles.

The festival’s live performances, which take place at theatres, village and town halls, arts centres and pubs, offer the best of comedy, dance, theatre, music and spoken word.

The 40th annual D&G Arts Festival has 50 performances over 10 days from 24 May to 2 June while the main Spring Fling open studios weekend takes place between 25 and 27 May. There will also be more than 15 workshops and master-classes, evening events and public art.

The arts festival presents events in venues across the region and Spring Fling artists can be found in studios throughout Dumfries and Galloway.

Among the highlights will be Lucy Porter with her award-winning show Pass it On and folk legends Martin and Eliza Carthy.

The organisations are also running a competition for three couples to win an Arts Pass, worth £500 each with the package offering show tickets, spending money and much more (enter here – winners announced 12 May).

Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “We are joining forces with the D&G Arts Festival to offer visitors some of the best in contemporary Scottish culture. 

“Visitors from Scotland, Ireland, the rest of the UK and overseas can come here to enjoy visual art, craft and performance of every imaginable kind.

“In late May and early June there will be around 200 arts and cultural events and activities and open studios to choose from – including lots that are family friendly. It’s a great opportunity to get a real taste of contemporary Scottish arts in one of the country’s most beautiful rural regions.”

Ken Gouge, Chair of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, said:“With so much going on Dumfries andGalloway is the cultural as well as the geographical gateway to Scotland.

“Spring Fling and the festival are natural partners, taking place at the same time and creating a huge creative buzz across the region.

“It’s a chance to enjoy high-quality arts of all kinds in an amazing variety of venues from theatres, studios and galleries to farms, cottages, pubs, arts centres, and town halls.”

The organisations are working together on a two-year joint marketing drive that involves visitor information, online and offline marketing, competitions, a promotional filmand special offers. The initiative is supported by Dumfries & Galloway Council as part of its strategy to promote cultural tourism.

Councillor Adam Wilson, the Council’s Events Champion, added:“Spring Fling and the arts festival together provide a compelling reason to visit Dumfries and Galloway and enjoy contemporary culture in a picturesque rural setting. 

“The marketing which the council is funding can enable visitors to plan their own travel through some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, and be uplifted by their interactions with working artists, jewellers and craft makers and see for themselves the inspiration behind the art. 

“It is fitting that we are undertaking this during the 40thanniversary of the arts festival which works so well in tandem with Spring Fling.” 


Notes for editors 

For further media information about the joint marketing initiative or about Spring Fling contact Matthew Shelley on 07786704 299 or at Matthew@ScottishFestivalsPR.Org

For media information about Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival contact Sharon Makepeace, Communications Manager, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, Mob: 07711 826 885

About Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival

  • Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival is a registered charity (no.SC000236) and receives funding support from Dumfries & Galloway Council, Creative Scotland, Holywood Trust, DG Unlimited, National Lottery, ANCBC, The National Lottery, Barfil Charitable Trust.
  • Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, Gracefield Arts Centre, 28 Edinburgh Road, Dumfries, DG1 1JQ Tel: 01387 259 627 Tel: 01387 259 627.
  • Tickets can be bought online or by visiting/phoning the region’s two booking offices; Midsteeple Box Office, High Street, Dumfries T.01397 253 383 or Wigtown Festival Company, 11 North Main Street, Wigtown T. 01988 403 222.
  • In 2019 Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary (24 May- 2 June).
  • Find us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @dgartsfest #dgartsfest
  • Arts Live is a year-round programme of performing arts events powered by Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival and works in partnership with a network of venues, performing artists and promoters to deliver quality performing arts events across the region, creating a diverse year-round programme. For more information about Arts Live delivered by Dumfries & Galloway visit

About Spring Fling

  • Spring Fling is Scotland’s premier visual art and contemporary craft open studios event covering all Dumfries and Galloway, South West Scotland. It is the flagship annual event of Upland CIC.
  • Last year 99% of visitors described their Spring Fling experience as excellent or good.
  • The studios welcomed over 31,000 unique studio visits during the three-day event in 2018.
  • More than half (56%) of visitors came from outwith the region – underlying its value to the cultural tourism industry.
  • Together they generated £1.2 million for the regional economy.
  • For further details on Spring Fling please visit or contact the team on
  • This year, a new joint marketing partnership with Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival will be launched. More information to follow.

About Upland

Upland CIC (Community Interest Company) supports artists and makers based in, and with connections to, the region. It will delivers, events, training, networking, support and opportunities as part of a year-round programme to benefit the region, its artists, communities and economy. Upland CIC runs the annual Spring Fling contemporary visual art and craft open studios weekend in Dumfries and Galloway. It will work closely with other arts bodies in the region to further-strengthen the sector. Upland is based at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries andexists to:

  • produce and deliver festivals, events, and experimental projects of the highest quality
  • nurture an environment where artistic excellence thrives and grows
  • inspire and educate a wide range of audiences, customers and clients to understand, celebrate, be actively engaged in and supportive of visual art and craft practice
  • raise the profile of visual artists and makers locally, nationally and internationally fulfilling a crucial role in the culture and tourism of Dumfries and Galloway
  • build strategic partnerships at regional, national and international level
  • maintain a financially sound and adaptively resilient organisation
  • use, and encourage the use of, innovative and emerging digital technology
  • work to the benefit the local economy and the sustainability of local communities.

Its funders are Creative Scotland, D&G Council, Holywood Trust, The William Grant Foundation, ASWT, Barfill.  

Upland is very happy to help journalists. Contact us and we can set up interviews, provide pictures and photo opportunities. In some circumstances we can offer ready-written copy. For media information contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or at or call Upland on 01387 213 218.

About EventScotland  

EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.orgor for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and