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Hello 2020 at The Stove Network!

2019 was an incredible year for us at The Stove – we had the opportunity to work with an amazing host of people and groups, and to share a wide range of events and projects, both in-house and led by other organisations and artists.
Our programme for 2020 is starting to fill up fast and we’re gearing up for another jam-packed year of art, community and creativity at 100 High Street, aiming to encourage, gather, educate and inspire. We thought we’d share a few projects that we’re looking forward to in the coming year – so get those diaries oot!

National Theatre of Scotland: Just Start Here

Next month, we’re delighted to be working with National Theatre of Scotland to bring you a two-day festival of brand new work from a wide range of Scottish artists. ‘Just Start Here’ features bold new work and will take over shop-fronts, working men’s clubs and the streets of Dumfries this February.
Throughout the day, intimate performances and provocative talks will take place in between a bite to eat and time to mull ideas over. The evening will see live music performances, engaging conversation and a chance to experience something unique.
The lineup includes Nic Green, Behavin’, Two Destination Language, Ashanti Sharda, Stuart Macpherson, Emma Dove & Pete Smith, Stewart Laing, Mele Broomes, SUE ZUKI plus much more to be announced! To keep up to date please visit the National Theatre of Scotland Facebook or website by clicking here.

Dumfries Music Conference: The Plaza

Inspired by initiatives set up throughout the country, DMC launched ‘The Plaza’ at their seventh annual conference back in October. The Plaza is a roving music venue, dedicated to the takeover of the under-utilised, the abandoned, the ruinous and the unusual.

The first Plaza took place at Soul Soup on Irish Street, with live performances from Quiche, Megan Airlie, Prussia Snailham and the Lutras, with the second Plaza taking place just before Christmas at the Secret Gallery on Friars Vennel. A special Christmas themed evening with live performances from Kate Kyle, Steven Thomas and Callum Easter.
With plans for a Plaza event every second month, the DMC team are gearing up for a year of scoping out the hidden music venues of Dumfries and providing a platform for bands to showcase their talent in a unique space. Keep up to date with the latest Plaza info on the DMC Facebook here or visit their website by clicking here.


It’s now over two years since the Lowland project began with its first writer-in-residence, Stuart Paterson whose work with the Stove generated a mass of over 500 written postcard responses from poetry, short fiction, illustration and observations of life in a town in the midst of a transition. The project, first conceived as a means by which local people and visitors could contribute to a new contemporary portrait of Dumfries, has now since quietly developed with a core team of emerging writers and theatre-makers, contributing, devising and workshopping in the heart of the High Street. Now, entering into the rehearsal stages for its debut production in late March. For more information on the Lowland project and to find out how you might like to take part please email [email protected]

The Stove Café: Community Table

The Stove Café is the social heart of our network and, following a refurbishment last year, we’re looking forward to an exciting year of events and projects in the café and working with our community on a more regular basis. The Stove Café team are currently putting plans in place for a regular ‘Community Table’ where community groups and organisations can make use of the café space for regular meet ups, discussions or informal gatherings in a comfortable space with a hot drink and delicious food from local producers.

Nithraid 2020

Save the date – Nithraid is back! Dumfries’ annual River Festival returns to the Mill Green on Saturday 22ndAugust to celebrate our beloved River Nith with our community and partners. Nithraid is the biggest event in the Stove calendar, and with our eighth one approaching this year we’re looking at our biggest one yet – including opportunities to work with organisations, artist commissions, local food, live music performances, art installations and so much more!

For Nithraid 2020, we are looking forward to welcoming Dorothy Lawrenson to the team as our poet-in-residence. Dorothy will be researching the River Nith and its role in the life of the local community. The resulting work will be a collection of poems and podcasts, with each one concentrating on a specific aspect of the river.
Make sure you keep up to date with all our Nithraid news over on the Nithraid Facebook page here.

Embers – Igniting Culturally-led Regeneration across Dumfries and Galloway

Last year we had conversations with and gathered information from 21 groups and organisations from across Dumfries and Galloway with additional feedback and input from regional and national support bodies and agencies. We wanted to find out directly from groups and organisations working successfully as part of their communities more about the strengths and challenges of their work and build a picture of effective creative place making in Dumfries and Galloway and its impact for our places.

We are excited to share what has emerged from our consultation work and help build a case for a holistic approach to community focused enterprise and economic wellbeing, with the Embers going live at the end of February.


DMC returns for 2019!

Dumfries Music Conference (DMC) is set to return to the town on 17-19 October, with their SEVENTH annual conference featuring an exciting mix of film, discussion, live music, art and workshops.

This year, DMC presents its most ambitious programme to date, featuring national and internationally renowned musicians, innovative live events and radical venue takeovers across four venues. It includes Scottish Album of the Year Award winner, Kathryn Joseph, who plays The Brigend Theatre on Friday 18 October.

This year’s conference programme has shaped up to be one of the most rounded and possibly most engaging to date. Most of the sessions and events are free to attend, so everyone is encouraged to take advantage and get involved. Everyone is welcome!

On Thursday 17 October, DMC hosts screening of ‘Beats’ at the Robert Burns Centre, a Scottish coming-of-age drama set during the summer of 1994 as two friends encounter illegal parties and rave culture for the first time. Shot entirely in black and white, the film is directed by Black Mirror director Brian Welsh and features a killer soundtrack from Keith McIvor (JD Twitch of Optimo).The evening then moves to The Stove Network where a collective of Dumfries and Galloway and Cumbria based MCs and DJs will battle between the borders in ‘South/West/Sound/Clash’. Expect bar spitting, beat thumping, lyrical assaults.

DMC Sessions will fill the Stove Café on the afternoons of Friday 18 and Saturday 19 with live music from an array of regional musical acts. Also on Friday, Glasgow-based music publishers, 23rd Precinct, host a Songwriting Masterclass with professional songwriters and musicians Scarlett Randle, Lee McGilvray (Flew the Arrow) and Mark McGowan in The Stove’s Room 2.

Friday evening will see one of Scotland’s most talked about and celebrated musical artists, Kathryn Joseph, arrive for her first headline show in Dumfries & Galloway with a special performance at the unique and intimate Brigend Theatre, with support from Zoë Bestel.Saturday 19th includes an exciting Musicians Market come to The Oven on Dumfries High Street, with a record fair, local DJs and info stalls from some of Scottish music industry’s key organisations.

DMC also hosts a jam-packed schedule of panels and workshops on Saturday with a wide range of experts working in the music industry across Scotland, including Help Musicians, the Scottish Music Industry Association, Scottish Women Inventing Music and insight and information on marketing and promotion, Scottish Festivals, the SAY Award and self-care in the world of the music industry.

Saturday evening will culminate in the DMC 2019 Showcase gig in association with The Plaza – a new roving music venue concept, which encourages people to take over unusual spaces and fill them with music, art and performance. This year DMC is delighted to feature The Lutras, Quiche, Megan Airlie and Prussia Snailham, performing live at Soul Soup on Irish Street.

For more details, event times and tickets, visit the DMC Facebook page for more details:


Behavin’ Festival Programme Announcement!

A DIY micro-festival of performance, live art and music in an upside-down world is coming to Dumfries over the weekend of Friday 26th – Saturday 27th July, held on the High Street, The Stove, The Plaza and the Oven. Behavin’ is about new spaces, new worlds, radical gatherings and new work from the weirdest corners of the mind. In it’s inaugural year, Behavin’ explores play, permission and public space alongside a whole host of weird and wonderful projects and people.

All events and performances are free and open to the public. However, discretionary donations are welcome but by no means mandatory.Full programme below:


Phone Box Poetry
12 – 5pm / Dumfries High Street

The 21stCentury has played witnessed to a revolution in digital communication, yet in its wake has left the humble public telephone in ruin, a phantom of its former self. From the 26th– 27th, keep your ears open for what may well be the voice of the telephone speaking from its ghostly realm. Ring, ring…ring, ring…

To submit your work please contact [email protected]

Press Play by Zoe Pearson
12 – 5pm / The Stove Elevator

An art-gremlin has set up home in the lift of 100 High Street. Each time you press play, the doors will open to a new improvised performance. Featuring spoken word, sounds, drawings, writing, miming, movement, costumes, and… well, who knows what!

Brave New Words: Behavin Spectacular
7pm / The Stove Network
Theme: Behaviour 

For words spoken, sung, signed, shot or silenced. The Stove’s monthly open mic night returns for the inaugural Behavin’ festival opening extravaganza. Expect an evening of scintillatingly scandalous performances from local poets, musicians, filmmakers and performers from ages 8-80. Guest hosted by the spectacular Miss Behavin’. To sign up, arrive prompt for 7PM. Be Brave.

Free / BYOB


Phone Box Poetry
12 – 5pm / Dumfries High Street

The 21stCentury has played witnessed to a revolution in digital communication, yet in its wake has left the humble public telephone in ruin, a phantom of its former self. From the 26th– 27th, keep your ears open for what may well be the voice of the telephone speaking from its ghostly realm. Ring, ring…ring, ring…

To submit your work please contact [email protected]

Press Play by Zoe Pearson
12 – 5pm / The Stove Elevator

An art-gremlin has set up home in the lift of 100 High Street. Each time you press play, the doors will open to a new improvised performance. Featuring spoken word, sounds, drawings, writing, miming, movement, costumes, and… well, who knows what!

Broken Brolly’s by Charnah Watson
12 – 5pm / Dumfries High Street

These broken brolly’s have been among the many unfortunate who have been subject to our dreich Scottish weather. Because of their misfortune they are quite frankly miserable and could do with some cheering up…can you help?

Dumfries Music Conference and The Plaza Presents: The World’s Smallest Music Venue
12 – 5pm / Dumfries High Street

Sit knee-to-knee with some of the finest local and national singer/songwriters in the world’s most intimate acoustic venue – The Plaza.
2 Chairs, 1 performer, 1 audience member, 1 unique experience.

Featuring: Ra, Prussia Snailham, Frozen Shores, Alix Apples and Flew the Arrow

Xing Yi: A Masterclass
12pm / The Stove Network, Room 2
Book your place by clicking HERE.

Xing Yi Quan is classified as one of the Wudang styles of Chinese martial arts. The name of the art translates approximately to “Form-Intention Fist”, or “Shape-Will Fist”

In this introductory masterclass, tutor Felix Waterhouse will take you through all the essentials in this most fascinating and relatively unknown martial art.

Comfortable clothing recommended.

The Accidental Death of An Anarchist by Dario Fo with Mackenzie Claperton
2pm / The Stove Network, Room 2
Book your place by clicking HERE.

‘I ought to warn you that the author of this sick little play, Dario Fo, has the traditional, irrational hatred of the police common to all narrow-minded left-wingers and so I shall, no doubt, be the unwilling butt of endless anti-authoritarian jibes.’ (Inspector Bertozzo, Central Italian Police HQ)

A sharp and hilarious satire on police corruption, The Death of an Anarchist concerns the case of an anarchist railway worker who, in 1969, ‘fell’ to his death from a police headquarters window.

A re-imagining of the classic play by young performance artist and theatre-maker Mackenzie Claperton. Anarchists assemble…

Harm (Less) by Hannah Wright (16+)
4pm /The Stove Network, Room 2
Book your place by clicking HERE.

What do memories weigh?
They can lift you up
They can break you down
They can scatter you
And shatter you into pieces
What is a memory?
Is it truth?

Harm(less) is an immersive and interactive performance, using film and spoken word to explore the topic of sexual assault and memory. Revisiting some of the milestone moments of her life, from that magical first kiss to the ones that are better forgotten,

Hannah explores how trauma affects memories by reflecting on fragments that are scattered throughout her conscious and unconscious mind.

The Behavin Manifesto: A Culinary Calamity
6pm / The Stove Cafe

Join us for dinner and drinks in the Behavin Lounge(Stove Café) and contribute to the Behavin Manifesto: a charter, a symbol and the starting gun of a radical movement in music, live art and theatre for Dumfries. Expect a culinary feast from the frivolous fancies of the resident anarchist chef.

Devine Tension: Intervention
8pm / Venue TBC
Book your place by clicking HERE.

Welcome…to the Haus of Tension.
You’ve been given an exclusive invitation to experience drag in the upside down, with Devine Tension.
‘INTERVENTION!!!’ Is a drag show turned love story, packed with camp visuals, spoken word, lip sync performance & some (sketchy) vocals. Buckle up. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Contains adult themes and strobe lighting.

Dae Somethin’: The Variety Showcase
9pm / The Oven

Dae Somethin’ – The Variety Showcase
Warhol’s Factory? Cabaret Voltaire? They were nothing on Dae Somethin’. A variety night featuring Extinction Rebellion, Steven Seagull & The Reguritators and you…yes, you…dae somethin’.

Sleeping in Space

10pm – 10am

Live out of town? Think you might miss the bus? No worries. We’ve a place for you to lay your weary head. Blueprint100 invite you to come stay in a safe space in the town centre. Get in touch for location details.
Sleeping Space is the first in an on-going calendar of sleepovers igniting conversations around regional transport, town centre living and access to the big events of Dumfries town centre. Lights out!

For more information and to book your space contact: [email protected]
(please note booking is mandatory)

Musings News

DMC presents: The Plaza

In a recent survey undertaken by Dumfries Music Conference, ‘music venue provision’ was highlighted as the number one priority for the development and fruition of local bands and solo artists.

Music venues provide the bedrock for musicians to build their audience, hone their sound and cement their unique appeal as a live act. With the increase of streaming platforms and free releases, the live experience, more so than ever, is tantamount to the success of musicians and artists. DMC has always tried to nurture the local sound across a broad spectrum through live gigs at 100 High Street, establishing the Stove as a bold, intimate and thoughtful space to hear the freshest music from local and national acts. Now, moving into the seventh year of the annual conference we want to celebrate the spaces out-with our headquarters and challenge the established notions of where music ought to live. In short, we’re re-imagining the music venue.Inspired by organisations and festivals such as the Hidden Door, Empty Shop Durham, the Moth Club and various other initiatives throughout the country, the Plaza is attempting to redefine the nature of music venues, employing a ‘takeover’ model using the unusual, the empty, the abandoned and the wild, we will expose the places where music could, and should, live. Bringing to the surface some of the key questions around music venue provision in Dumfries & Galloway.

With the deeply unfortunate news of the relocation of the region’s largest music festival we equally want to encourage a greater understanding of the contribution live music makes to the local economy as well as start the conversation with our scene on how a ‘DIY’ ethos may lead to the creative community becoming more than it ever could have imagined. We want to challenge not only our audiences and ourselves but equally ask the right questions of our local authority as well as other ‘decision-makers’, how do we build, together, the infrastructure necessary for this particular (and most lucrative) of creative industries to flourish?

The Plaza affords us the opportunity to encourage, support and, together with our young audiences, develop careers aside from music-making in photography, film, event management, programming and installation – whilst also inviting artists and the music community to help us build a new kind of space, every 2 months.The Plaza, which takes its name from a former dancehall and concert venue on Dumfries High Street, launched in April 2019 at the Rowing Boat Club, a finale showcase, wrapping-up the Female Takeover – a month-long series of events celebrating the contribution of women in music with a programme of industry panels, film, live gigs and exhibitions. Inspired by the stories, photographs and memorabilia of the Plaza, we are re-imagining and re-awakening the experiences of this cherished music venue.

The D&G music scene is a remarkable and a unique thing. It’s down to the festivals, event-makers, marketers, pubs, nightclubs, bands and artists that it has become such a force. We want to celebrate the established, create room for a new sound, support our scene and build new careers, helping to develop the talents and skills of young people in the region through doing what we do best – making it for ourselves and reclaiming the right of access to culture and live music.

Are you interested in the Plaza? Have/know of a space you think would be useful the let us know by contacting [email protected].


DMC Does Merry Christmas at The Stove

Dumfries Music Conference celebrated the festive season with one final gig of the year at The Stove last month. After a busy and productive year of live music, workshops, film, art and music industry discussions, they are delighted to have been able to round off the year with a special festive evening featuring four inspiring local acts, with support from Dumfries’ newest DJ entrepreneurs Double Down Disco.

The evening of live music featured Sapling and the launch of her EP ‘Present + Unearthed’. Sapling is an alt-pop/indie-pop artist and producer from Mouswald in Dumfries & Galloway, now based in Brighton. Having been influenced by indie, electronic and 60s/70s protest music while growing up, she now turns to her own expression of emotion and protest mixed with inspirations of dance, pop and soul.

She wrote her first song at the age of 8, performing in a band with her brother, who later hit the stages of The Wickerman Festival, The Brickyard in Carlisle and various venues in their hometown of Dumfries. Now living in Brighton, she writes, produces and records from her living room in her own home, self-taught through YouTube videos and learning by ear.

Sapling was joined by Major League Chemicals – a brand new five-piece from Ayrshire who are ready to cause a stir in the music scene. Over the last six months they have been working hard on their new project and were ready to debut their new material at the Christmas gig last month. For 2019, they’ve already got more shows lined up including a showcase in Aberdeen and a festival in Linlithgow. The band offers a unique and refreshing sound reminiscent of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds spliced with the golden rhythm of a Foals track. With the majority of the band members hailing from Ayr, we’re hoping this brings a new sound to the region, building some soulful bridges between these towns.

Young local musician, Kate Kyle, also took to the stage. The mesmeric singer/songwriter wowed the audience with her unique sound and voice. 2018 was a great year for Kate having played in Glasgow at Resonate Music Conference in November and taking home the Culture Award at The Young People’s Awards 2018. We’re looking forward to seeing what 2019 holds for Kate!

Opening the show was 20-year-old singer/songwriter Jenni Martin hailing from Dumfries. Jenni, who has been writing since a young age, delivered a face-melting performance with a sound straight from the crypt of Jim Morrison, by way of the lowland sands of Dumfries. We’re expecting big things from Jenni this year. Keep your eyes and ears open…

Musings News

What we’re looking forward to in 2019!

We’re gearing up for another jam-packed year of exciting events, art and creativity to encourage, gather, educate and bring life back to our town centre so we thought we would share what things we’re exciting about in the year ahead. And, as always, if you’ve got an idea, need some space, advice on starting a project or want to partner with us – we’re here!

So here’s what we’re looking forward to in 2019 – diaries oot!


Our literature projects are all about unwrapping the potential of the written word to provoke and inspire new ways of thinking, and this year the Lowland Project will be taking a dramatic step forward with an ambitious community play. The play will be developed over the course of 2019 and will reflect our town in a transitional phase of its history. Stay tuned for more information, opportunities and events!


SAVE THE DATE: 31st August 2019!

Yes, that’s right – NITHRAID IS BACK! Dumfries’ annual River Festival and sail boat race held in celebration of our beloved River Nith is the biggest event in the Stove calendar and returns to the Mill Green for its SEVENTH year! Nithraid is getting bigger and better with artist commissions, stalls, performances, music, sound installations and art throughout our community, so don’t expect anything less for 2019!

Midsteeple Quarter

The Midsteeple Quarter Project had a brilliant year in 2018, rounding off with the news of the asset transfer of the former Bakers Oven to community ownership. For 2019, they are looking forward to creating an exciting programme of activity in The Oven which includes exhibitions, workshop spaces and events – all open to the public! Programme details will be shared soon, but in the meantime you can keep up to date with their news over on their website here: or by giving them a like on their Facebook page here:

Dumfries Music Conference

After an incredibly successful 2018, the Dumfries Music Conference are back for 2019 with another programme of events for the year, offering people the opportunity to share ideas, learn new skills and make contact with some of the biggest movers and shakers in the industry. As well as their annual flagship conference in October, DMC’s 2019 programme includes ‘DMSHE’ in April – a female takeover month which will showcase the work of women working in the music industry. Expect panel discussions, workshops and a showcase gig – all led by some incredible females working throughout Scotland! #thefutureisfemale

The Stove Café

The Stove Café is the social heart of our social enterprise to bring new life to the town centre through culture and the arts and supporting community activity and career development for local people. This year, we’re looking forward to reimagining the café and making changes to improve on the look and feel of the space (The Stove Café 2.0!). Plans are busy being made at the moment but expect a big launch party in 2019 to celebrate a new era of the Stove Café!


The Stove building is a conversational space to connect with our projects in many ways, and this year we’re planning a ‘Public Space’ Exhibition to provoke discussion and engage everyone who steps into our doors. The Public Space Exhibition will use spaces within the Stove and outdoor public spaces, as well as use creative workshops, participatory activity and conversation events to welcome artists and the community to come together as well as host evening events and discussions located around the Stove and outdoor public spaces. We want artists and the community to come together!


Behavin’? This year we’re excited to be expanding our programme of performance, live art and theatre with an exciting mini festival in the works arriving this summer! To coincide with this, we’re working with the National Theatre of Scotland on the Start Residency. For more details click HERE!

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