A Stunning September of Festivals Brings Thousands of Visitors to Dumfries and Galloway


A stunning series of festivals and events in September attracted thousands of visitors to Dumfries and Galloway. Electric Fields at Drumlanrig Castle, the inaugural Stranraer Oyster Festival, the Galloway Hills Rally and the Wigtown Book Festival all experienced exceptional numbers of visitors and were highly successful in profiling the region.

The events followed on in quick succession from August’s World Gold Panning Championships that were held in Moffat, which attracted competitors from across the Globe. All five events were funded by the Council’s Major Festivals and Events Strategy, 2014 – 2018, which has helped secure the growth of the region’s biggest and best cultural and sporting events. In the case of Electric Fields and the Wigtown Book Festival, more than 50% of ticket-purchasers were visitors to Dumfries and Galloway. Both events, as well as the World Gold Panning Championships, also received support from EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Councillor Adam Wilson, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Events Champion said, “We have had an awesome Autumn of festivals and events across the region that have been exciting to visit and which have proved their worth for the local economy. The proactive work the Council undertakes to support our region’s professional and volunteer events organisers has benefitted the whole region. The Events that have taken place have helped to stimulate our rural economy, brought communities together and provided fantastic entertainment to many thousands of people. Within the Council we are now looking forward to delivering World Championship Under 20s Mens Ice Hockey in Dumfries from 10 – 16 December. A real highlight will be Team GB playing their games at Dumfries Ice Bowl at 8pm on the five evenings of tournament play."

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “Scotland has a varied and boundary-pushing events portfolio as shown by the recent events and festivals that have taken place across Dumfries and Galloway this last month. Events play a significant role in Scotland’s visitor economy so it’s great to see so many visitors heading to the region to enjoy these events that in turn deliver economic impact for their local communities. “I’m sure the new regional events strategy will continue to build on this success and drive further economic impact for the region.”

The Council will be requested to adopt a new regional events strategy, the Major Festivals and Events Strategy,, 2018-2021, on October 19, when the new Strategy is reviewed by the Council’s Communities Committee. All the funded events of the existing Major Festivals and Events Strategy are required to provide detailed post-event reports on their projects, which includes information on visitor numbers and their origins.