Largo Arts Week: Our guide to the festival

David Mach with  Richard Jobson (Pic: Walter Neilson)
David Mach with Richard Jobson (Pic: Walter Neilson)

Fifers have found success across the globe, but something always brings them home - and, incredibly, you’ll find a cluster of famous faces in one village as a new festival launches.

Largo Arts Festival sets the bar for the rest to follow.

Rab Noakes (Pic: Alan McMillan)

Rab Noakes (Pic: Alan McMillan)

For a small community, it has thought big and pulled together an outstanding week-long programme to mark its debut.

From Saturday until July 28, you can browse the work of 37 artists exhibiting their work in 20 venues throughout Lower Largo, enjoy street food, art workshops, take up a painting challenge, enjoy a beach BBQ and even unleash your inner drummer with some lessons.

And there’s more.

The headliners include Richard Jobson, Rab Noakes, David Mach, James Yorkston and Phill Jupitus.

Fife Fre Press magazine, July 18 2019

Fife Fre Press magazine, July 18 2019

Add in the poetry of Liz Lochhead, former Scottish Mackar, and the glorious music of Mari Campbell, and you have the makings of a fantastic programme.

The performers’ links with Fife also run deep.

For many, the vibrant, creative colony of north-east Fife is where they call home, while folk like Noakes, Mach and Jobson have lifelong links to the region, and are always happy to head back over the bridge to support an event or festival.

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Mari Campbell is also Fife-based having travelled the globe, and is a regular performer at the Edinburgh festival Fringe.

The festival has been put curated by local artists Dougi McMillan and Andrew Stenson.

Dougi will be well known to Fife College students, where he is director of the faculty of creative industries.

As well as putting the festival together, he is also one of the many artists showing their work.

Hei sad: ”We’ve been bowled over by the response of artists and the local community.

“Some of the bigger events are now sold out but tickets are still available for a number of gigs and events.”

The festival features a mix of local and leading performers and artists, and it starts on Saturday with short pop-up performances from four musicians at venues across the village – 20-minute sets featuring French horns and sax players to set the mood for the week.

St David’s Church is one of the hubs for the live music across the festival, starting with a performance by Hamish Hawk and Josh Fuschs on Saturday, followed by rockabilly music – and gin tasting – with Raeburn Heights in the Railway Inn.

The excellent Withered Hand take to the stage at the church hall on Monday followed by the first of the big shows on Tuesday – a line-up that includes Mach, Yorkston, Jobson and Jupitus. No surprisingly, it’s already sold out.

Liz Lochhead is joined on stage for a midweek evening of poetry in the company of Hollie McNish and Michael Pedersen.

The sold-out signs are back in use on Thursday (July 25) for a smashing gig which includes Noakes, Jupitus, Jobson and Mach among others; an eclectic night that should be rich in entertainment, music and humour.

Local band Astral Suns perform on the Friday with Mari Campbell scheduled for next Saturday.

The festival also spotlights a huge number of local artists whose studios are open to the public across the week.

Added Dougi: “People don’t need tickets to view the art and a real attraction will be the ability to visit 20 different galleries and studios within a 15-minute walk from one end of the village to the other.“

There is also all-day street food at Temple car park on Saturday, and a host of workshops to learn new skills.

They cover everything from raku pottery to working with sea glass and driftwood, and an opportunity to take your steps into writing under the guidance of Liz Lochhead.

And for anyone with an artistic touch, there’s a chance to enter the festival’s big painting challenge.

This year also the marks the 300th anniversary of the publication of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Artist Roger Palmer will be giving a talk in the local library following his recent exhibition which examined the blurring of facts between Alexander Selkirk and Crusoe.

For more information go HERE www.largoartsweek.com