Support for festivals and events

Dumfries and Galloway Council is determined to make Dumfries and Galloway the best place in rural Scotland in which to plan, manage, deliver and visit great events. For more than fifteen years the Council has overseen the delivery of successive events strategies that have helped grow creative, memorable and sustainable festivals and events in our beautiful region.

The Dumfries and Galloway Events Strategy 2023-2027

Dumfries and Galloway Council has approved a new Events Strategy for the region.  The Strategy will cover financial years 2023/2024 through to 2026/2027 inclusive.  The Strategy follows on and has evolved from the Major Festivals and Events Strategy 2018-2022, that was fully delivered by the Council and its partners, and which created a framework for the economic growth of the events sector until the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020.  This prior Strategy then focused on supporting community events to be established and to take place safely, to contribute towards health and wellbeing across Dumfries and Galloway after the prolonged periods of lockdown.

The Dumfries and Galloway Events Strategy 2023-2027 will continue investment in the Signature Events of the region, and retains the Major Events Fund and Community Events Fund (see below for information on these Two Funds).  The Council will commission and publish Scotland's first Greener Events Toolkit, and monitor funded projects for their economic, social and environmental benefits.

The Council has secured the UCI World Para-cycling Championships in August 2023 for the region.  We will work closely with the project partners to deliver a World Championships that celebrate the endurance and inspirational qualities of the para-cyclists and profiles the wonderful cycling opportunities of our scenic region.

As with the previous four regional Events Strategies of Dumfries and Galloway, the adoption of this Strategy is an empowering act; to empower events organisers to make the most of their vision and skills, to empower communities to become more self-determining, and to assist businesses and agencies to promote sport, heritage, arts and culture in Dumfries and Galloway.

This Strategy aims to sustain the existing events sector through the difficult economic and social times we are living through, to secure the long term future of our superb portfolio of festivals and events for the long term.

The aim of the Strategy

The aim of the Major Events Strategy 2023-2026 is to develop and sustain Dumfries and Galloway as an internationally renowned rural events destination that continuously attracts new visitors to the region.

The Strategy Vision

The Vision is to make Dumfries and Galloway the best place in rural Scotland in which to plan, manage, deliver and visit great festivals and events.

The Strategy objectives are:

  • To deliver the Major Events Strategy 2023-2026 Investment Programme - to act as a catalyst for investment across Dumfries and Galloway
  • To promote collaboration, cooperation and shared knowledge in the regional events sector
  • To work in partnership with events organisers to reduce the carbon footprint of festivals and events in Dumfries
  • Icon for pdf Download the Executive Summary of the new Strategy [PDF - 1MB]

Dumfries and Galloway Council Launches Scotland's First Greener Events Toolkit

Dumfries and Galloway Council has researched and launched Scotland's first Greener Events Toolkit, to support the work of festivals and events organisers across the region. The Toolkit has been produced in collaboration with the Southern Uplands Partnership Services Ltd and Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.

The Toolkit aims to encourage festivals and events to be planned and delivered in Dumfries and Galloway with a better understanding of how to reduce their carbon emissions and plan for their long term sustainability.

The toolkit contains all the information, tips and advice organisers require to take forward their projects, putting our pristine, sensitive environment and the Council's commitment to reducing carbon outputs at the heart of their planning.

Full Press release and toolkit available below:

The Council will provide more than £270,000 for festivals and events in 2024/25

Dumfries and Galloway Council has announced £270,000 of funding for more than 35 festivals and events across Dumfries and Galloway.

Dumfries and Galloway has become a renowned events destination and the Council is committed to supporting events organisers take forward their projects. The funding is believed to be the most any rural Council in Scotland is committing to developing their events sector this year.  The funding was awarded at the Communities Committee of the Local Authority this week.

The £270,000 of funding will support major events in 2024 such as the Wigtown Book Festival, the Stranraer Oyster Festival, Spring Fling, the Arts Festival and many other superb initiatives. There are high hopes within the Council that another World Championship Ice Hockey tournament can be attracted back to Dumfries soon, and that the Gralloch Gravel Cycling World Cup that is being held for the second time in Gatehouse this May 18, can become the most important annual gravel cycling race in Europe.

The Wild Goose Festival in October and Music at the Multiverse in September, both of which have grown sustainably in recent years and developed their profiles, have seen an increase in their grant awards.

Twenty four grant awards are being made to applicant organisations to the Council's Regional Events Growth Fund, a new Fund set up to support festivals and events with the potential to grow and attract visitors from across Dumfries and Galloway. The Council is delighted with the response to this new Fund and believes it is helping to lay down the foundations for dozens of successful festivals and events in the region for years to come.

Councillor Ian Blake, Chair of the Council's Communities Committee said, "The Council is making a significant investment in our region's festivals and events due to their contribution to the community, cultural and sporting life of our region. Across Dumfries and Galloway there are superb events that are working closely with businesses and tourism agencies to bring in thousands of visitors to our region and delighting local people with their programmes. The Council's Events Strategy 2023-2027 is being fully delivered and creating tangible results for the regional economy."

Councillor Jackie McCamon, the Vice-Chair of the Communities Committee said, "There will be something for everyone in the festivals funding we are providing this year. Whether you love getting out to our forests to see the Scottish Rally live or live for ice hockey, if you love seeing authors you admire at the Wigtown Book Festival or enjoy the buzz and cookery demonstrations of the Oyster Festival, the Council's events grants will sustain and develop events that our population and visitors support in great numbers."

A New Generation of Festivals and Events is Emerging

A new generation of great festivals and events across Dumfries and Galloway is emerging.  The Council has awarded 24 grants totalling just over £64,000 to assist these festivals and events to grow and develop, from the newly established Regional Events Growth Fund 24/25. There will be many great days out to enjoy across Dumfries and Galloway thanks to the partnership between the Council and our region's dedicated events organisers.

Come Organise Festivals and Events in Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway Council is committed to supporting the work of festivals and events organisers, already based in the region or keen to take forward projects here.  For more information contact

The region has a competitive advantage in rural Scotland as a location to plan, manage and deliver great festivals and events.  There are many reasons for Dumfries and Galloway's position of competitive advantage regarding rural festivals and events, and these include but are not limited to:

  • The availability of funding, which acts as a clear incentive, from the Council and other sources such as Community Benefit programmes, EventScotland and Trusts unique to our region such as the Holywood Trust and the Galloway Association of Glasgow
  • The emergence of the themes towns e.g. Wigtown, Scotland's Book Town and Kirkcudbright artists' town, and the need for high quality festivals, events and exhibitions to drive forward this branding
  • The vibrant voluntary sector and the high levels of social capital in our region
  • Our towns and villages have strong senses of local identity, which manifests itself in festivals and events development
  • The consecutive events strategies that have assisted the regional events sector
  • The sector has a virtuous cycle of development, learning, peer support and expansion
  • We have regional distinctiveness, in our heritage, landscape and geography which makes our events distinctive and stand out in a crowded national market
  • A high percentage of creative people and early retired people capable of facilitating and managing events development
  • Festivals and events in many locations have replaced traditional entertainment such as cinemas, which are rare in Dumfries and Galloway


Page last updated: 04/04/2024
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