Festival of Ideas: The buzz and excitement across a great weekend

Adam Smith Global Foundation - Kirkcaldy - FiFe -   'You me & him premiere  -  'credit- Fife Photo Agency
Adam Smith Global Foundation - Kirkcaldy - FiFe - 'You me & him premiere - 'credit- Fife Photo Agency

You know you’ve got a special event on your hands when you can detect a buzz of excitement and anticipation.

From the huge crowds which packed the foyer of the Adam Smith Theatre waiting on David Tennant’s arrival to the jam-packed atrium at Fife College next door for Kirkcaldy’s Food and drink fair, to the standing ovation for Sandi Toksvig’s outstanding lecture, the 2018 Festival Of Ideas had it all.

The Adam Smith Lecture by Sandi Toksvig at the Adam Smith Theatre on Friday 16 March 18

The Adam Smith Lecture by Sandi Toksvig at the Adam Smith Theatre on Friday 16 March 18

Across the weekend, the one comment I heard time and again was ‘’we need more events like this.’’

And we do.

I shake my head in despair as I read news of another major tour which seems to hop from Edinburgh to Aberdeen with barely a thought to coming to Fife, let alone Kirkcaldy.

Events like the festival of Ideas help to tackle that mindset – and also allow us to shout a little bit louder about what we can actually do here.

While David Tennant sprinkled showbiz stardust throughout the theatre and made it special for so many – the gasps of excitement as people who’d submitted questions for him were name-checked, and the smiles which followed selfie after selfie along the red carpet - it was Sandi Toksvig who tapped into the ethos of the event.

For me, her lecture was the highlight of the weekend.

We’ve been staging them since the 1970s and many great names have come to town over the decades, but none of them have been as accessible, as genuinely enlightening, or thought provoking and richly entertaining as Tokvsig’s.

Mr Smith would surely have approved.

I’d have absolutely no hesitation is setting up screenings of her lecture to every single school across the Kingdom to engage the sharpest of young minds and to keep the debate rolling.

The buzz from the Friday evening lecture spilled into the Beveridge Suite where Kieran Hodgson staged his Fringe hit show, Lance – ands it was good to see the Two Doors Down star stay for the weekend to enjoy the other events.

The food and drink fair at Fife College was simply jam-packed, despite the return of a wintry blast complete with a wind-chill factor which made venturing outside a daunting thought.

It was the biggest event yet, and the numbers pouring through the door seemed to be up as well – again, underlining the point that people WILL turn out to events that catch their interest.

It was the same story for the gala screening of You, Me And Him, plus the closing set of live music from Lights Out By Nine – both went down very well, and both added something different to the weekend.

Should we do it again next year? Absolutely!

The Festival Of Ideas pulled in a much wider audience and also encouraged many people to come to our town which can only be good for local businesses – the Whovians in the audience for David Tennant certainly travelled the furthest!

The bar – and the buzz – has been set by Tennant and Toksvig.

The challenge is to meet it and then raise it higher still in 12 months time.