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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Rabbie's Birlin'

As we roll ever closer to the annual Burns an' a' that festival that takes place in Ayr it has come to my attention about a few issues.
The local authority have apparently sourced out the booking of the acts that will be appearing, and Ayrshire artists are in very short supply on the bill.
Shame on the suits in their offices.
That's not to say that there are no Ayrshire artists involved, but right at this precise moment we are awash with talent, and I would think that we could have expected more of a presence from those who have been putting the work in and grabbing our attention.
Brown Bear and the Bandits for instance were mentioned by the BBC as a band to watch out for in 2012, and more recently bagged one of the hard to get t-break slots at Tea in the Park.
Previous acts to have played this stage have been Biffy Clyro and Snow Patrol and they didn't do too badly.
Little Fire is another act who has been making a splash for a number of years now.
From appearances on national television to supporting acts as diverse as JLS to the Secret Sisters.
He even has a forthcoming show with Joan Armatrading, so I would have expected to hear that he was playing, but apparently not.
What about Tragic O'Hara?
He's supported post punk legends the Fall, Pete Docherty and more.
In fact he will soon be supporting the Urban Voodoo Machine who Classic Rock magazine are promoting as the must see band of the year.
Now if he can impress people involved with all of these acts then I am sure that he could impress a crowd in Ayr.
Mechanical Smile of Kilmarnock have just won a competition to appear at some of the biggest festivals that the UK has to offer through the Rd Bull Bedroom Jam.
Are they listed?
Nope. Their not.
Fatherson are being punted by Radio One just now, and virtually everyone else in the media.
I nearly forgot about them.
Then there's Rose Parade, A Band Called Cadence, Colin Hunter, Fole, Duffy's Gypsy Band, Melisa Kelly and the Harmless Thieves, Alan Frew and so many more.
Now before anyone makes the inane and crass comment that the festival needs outside acts to provide some variety I'll cover that.
No one is saying it doesn't.
Look at Kilmarnocks Dirty Weekender bill to see how a festival can be created that has more of a balance to it.
Two venues over three days covering every genre that you could think of.
A mini festival that will showcase plenty of talent from the 'shire, and bring in other bands, while also managing to avoid dipping into the public purse to do it.
On a smaller scale there is also the Third Degrees Burns one day event that will be held in the Burns Museum that does purely highlight home grown talent, and does so admirably.
Why the Burns an' a' that festival has missed out on what is right under their noses appears to be just another example of those in power being horrendously out of touch with the communities they represent.
A wee trip to The Firehouse in Ayr, or Su Casa would have provided them with a wealth of talent at their disposal at what I reckon would have been a fraction of the cost.
An email to the people who organise the Troon Festival wouldn't have gone amiss either.
In fact I am sure others could add even more touchstones that they could have availed themselves off.
For myself I'll be giving it a miss this year and instead on the Friday I am going to support the endeavours of the people who are bringing us the Dirty Weekender, and the Saturday I'll attend the Third Degree Burns event.
I hope plenty of others will join me.

If anyone has any other events going on then please feel free to add them to teh comments or list them on Get Gigs Ayrshire on Facebook.


  1. I had a look at the festival page and it is no great shakes.
    Checked the links to the other two and I know where I will be now and it isnt going to be the Burns Square.
    SAC have shot themselves in the foot this time.
    There must have been plenty of locals that could have provided them with a festival they could have been proud of.
    There's no lack of talent or businesses in Ayrshire that could have been involved.

  2. Some interesting facts have been coming to my ears regarding some of the big boys in promoting expanding into Ayrshire.
    There's pros and cons to this.
    We get some bigger bands/act appearing (maybe), but then again will they use local talent in support?
    Would their expansion into Ayrshire freeze out others?
    Will they corner the market resulting in a situation where if you don't go through them then there's nothing for you?
    I'm suspicious of this sort of thing as the track record of businesses expanding isn't a good one.
    very often a situation arises where one party benefits far more than anyone else.

  3. If you have to destroy the dreams of others to realize your own, then your dream will always be tainted as its foundations are rooted in despair.

  4. It's crazy biscuits.
    What could be the 'jewel in the crown' of Ayrshire music festivals (it certainly gets considerable money allocated to it) has been regularly outsourced to organisers and promoters outwith the Ayrshire area including this year.
    There is nothing completely wrong with either of those things, but indeed something feels wrong when the width and breadth of Ayrshire music talent being so grossly unrepresented in what could, and should, be a fine platform for the exposure for these Ayrshire music talents.

    Ever wondered why I'm putting on the Third Degree Burns gig?

    Certainly with outsourcing the running of the festival to promoters outwith Ayrshire there is a distinct and hugely apparent lack thus far of knowledge of (or complete disregard for) the music talent which exists within Ayrshire.