A winter festival is snow joke!

2211056 SSFF stephen barbour 'Stephen Barbour a lifeguard at Kirkcaldy Swimming Pool who is organising a snow sports festival for charity - at Kirkcaldy Swimming Pool
2211056 SSFF stephen barbour 'Stephen Barbour a lifeguard at Kirkcaldy Swimming Pool who is organising a snow sports festival for charity - at Kirkcaldy Swimming Pool
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AVIEMORE is in line to host something completely unique next year - a non-profit making music and comedy festival – in the winter.

The Scottish Snow Sports Festival is set to take place next February, and it’s being organised by a Kirkcaldy man.

Stephen Balfour (32) is a lifeguard at Kirkcaldy swimming pool and a keen snowboarder in his spare time who came up with the idea for the event last year.

“I’ve been snowboarding for over 10 years now and whenever I’ve gone up to Aviemore the people up there have been a huge help to me,” he said.

Positive

“So in February of this year I organised a small event through snowboard forums and Facebook. It went really well and I got lots of positive feedback from the local community up there, so I thought I could maybe develop it further.”

Through a shared love of snowboarding Stephen became friends with the comedian Craig Campbell who has also got involved.

Stephen said: “He spurred me on to to do it and he agreed to book comedy acts. So as well as Craig we have Andrew Maxwell and Ed Byrne set to appear. And Dirty Sanchez are keen to come up too.”

As well as comedians, bands such as China Bull Shop, Daywalkers and Fife’s own Slipstream are set to appear, with events happening elsewhere at the festival.

Prizes

Stephen explained: “We’re going to try to get events on the hill. We want novices to take part, there’ll be free skiing and snowboarding for kids and discounted lessons for adults with prizes for the most impressive jumps - or falls!

“We want to attract people who’ve never tried anything like that before to come along. It’s not just a festival for die-hards.”

Though plans are well underway and a website is soon to be launched, Stephen still needs funding to make sure the festival goes ahead.

“I’ve had lots of help from volunteers and friends so most of it is coming together. Aviemore Council and community council are being hugely suppportive and are working hard to try and make it happen and hopefully they’ll come back with a lot of the funding.

“That’s our final hurdle to overcome, we desperately need to attract sponsorship. I’ve spoken to a few companies and it looks promising, especially as I’m aiming to make this an annual event.”

Stephen is keen to point out that the festival is non-profit making.

He said: “It’s to give me something to look forward to and to give something back to the local community.

“It’s an event for the whole of Scotland in my eyes in terms of the acts we’re bringing and it’s the first time something like this has been done.

“A comedy and music festival in the winter is completely unique. And if it does snow, it’ll make it even better!”

For information on the festival go to the Scottish Snow Sports Festival page on Facebook.