This year, the Burns Big Supper Festival had a special series of events entitled The Occupy Dumfries Project. Our contribution to Occupy was to put on The Stove’s Big Burn – a bonfire right in the heart of Dumfries on the High Street outside the Stove. The idea of The Big Burn was dead simple – to tell folk that we were making a bonfire in the middle of the High Street and to see what happened. We hoped to make a place that people would hang out a bit and get a bit of a warm….to bring a little of a familiar bonfire vibe into an unfamiliar setting and see what happened.
There were lots of unexpected interventions, the first from Phoebe Marshall who brought along hazel twigs, marshmallows and chocolate biscuits to make toasted marshmallow sandwiches or smores. The next was the arrival of the Cairn Chorus who were led to the Big Burn by Wendy Stewart. They sang beautifully for 20 minutes and included a very emotionally stirring version of Auld Lang Syne. Next, a troupe of mysteriously masked dancers arrived: there were no clues at all to the identity of the dancers – and if anyone knew, then they were giving nothing away.