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Meet Ruari – Music Stage Manager at this year’s Nithraid!

Earlier this month, we selected a young local musician to undertake music stage management at this year’s Nithraid River Festival on Saturday 11th August. Ruari Barber-Fleming from Castle Douglas has been selected to run the small acoustic stage that is held as part of the festival to showcase up and coming talent from around the region. The previous years have included regulars from the Stove’s monthly open mic nights, Brave New Words, as well as other musicians who are based within Dumfries & Galloway.

Ruari has been involved in the Dumfries music scene for several years now, having previously played in local band ‘Gracefell’ as well as photographing live music and working with various artists around the region. He is hoping that through this opportunity he will be able to deliver something unique for the visitors to Nithraid and believes that the stage is a great platform to showcase some local talent.

Ruari feels very positively about the music scene in Dumfries and feels it has been thriving the past few years with a gig frequency that is extremely impressive for the size of the region that it is. He is very passionate about originality and sincerity when it comes to live performance of music, and from this he hopes to be able to deliver just that – performances that the audience can latch on to and connect with the artist.

The commission will provide Ruari the opportunity to work with members of the Nithraid team to gain experience of all aspects of running a music stage at a festival including programming, design/build, marketing, sound engineering and equipment hire. There will be extra opportunities to integrate and learn through this commission with support from Euan Macrory, who undertook a similar internship in 2016 and now programs events both as part of the blueprint100 Curatorial Team and other festivals such as Moniaive Folk Festival.

The Nithraid music stage will be part of the ‘Nithraid Village’ situated on the Mill Green on Saturday 11th August and will run from 12pm until 4pm. Visitors to Nithraid are also invited to join in with other activities happening in the town and around the River Nith. The Salty Coo procession will kick off the day, leaving from Fountain Square on High Street at noon and arriving at the Mill Green at approximately 12.30pm. The Nithraid Village provides a jam-packed day of family friendly activities for all ages, which includes live music, food stalls and creative workshops which include stone carving, public art, zine making, upcycling, origami, badge making and recycling.

For more information, including how to take part in the races (or anything else!), please visit

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