Support Us
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].


June Gigs: In Photos

This month at the Stove, we were very lucky to have not one but two DMC:Presents gigs in our Cafe Space! Photographer Kirstin McEwan was there to capture both evenings.

First up was a double headliner evening of folk style ukulele music from Galloway songstress Zoë Bestel, and Danish virtuoso Tobias Elof. The two ethereal artists performed an intimate gig of beautifully crafted songs, both together and solo to celebrate the launch of Transience, Bestel’s newly released album.

Next up was the amazing Glasgow based band from Castle Douglas ‘VanIves’, who held their first headline show in Dumfries at the Stove on 14th June. The electronic pop duo take influences from artists like Boniver, Matt Corby, Disclosure and SG lewis. They were supported by ‘Flew the Arrow’ – a fast-rising contemporary folk artist from Ayr.


Nithraid is Back!

Nithraid 2016 image 2
Nithraid 2016 image 1
Nithraid 2016 image 3
Nithraid 2016 image 4

This Saturday, September 9th will be our fifth staging of Nithraid, a fun family event that takes place on and around the river. The daring sailing race, starting from the Solway Firth and sailing right up to the River Nith in the centre of Dumfries, is made possible by one of the highest tides of the year.

While waiting for the boats to arrive, join us along the Mill Green, opposite the Whitesands from 12noon for food, music and activities for all the family!

This year, our Project Manager for Nithraid is Stove Curatorial Team Member, Sal Cuddihy. She has been working hard with the rest of the Stove team to put together a very exciting Nithraid this year, with some great new additions to the festival; our friends the Vikings are coming to liven up the banks of the Mill Green with re-enactments and combat displays. And for the first time, we will be continuing the festivities into the evening with some live entertainment in a relaxed atmosphere.

Visitors to Nithraid are invited to join us in a full day of activities. Kicking off the day, the Salty Coo procession will leave from Fountain Square on Dumfries High Street, arriving at the Mill Green at approximately 12.30pm.

This year, Nithraid has a Viking theme, with Longfada Viking Group staging a re-enactment which interprets the lives of people living by the river around 1000 years ago. They will be putting on a Viking Combat display at 1pm, at the Mill Green. Wordsmithcrafts, another Viking themed group, will be working with other local groups from the area, and encouraging ‘have a go’ activities for all the family.

Throughout the day, there will also be art activities and demonstrations for all ages, acoustic music on a hand built stage by emerging artists Blueprint100, food provided by Craig Paterson of Catering Plus, and the dunking of the legendary Salty Coo at 4.45pm, where the winning skipper has the honour of lowering the Coo and releasing her into the river.

Then at 7pm, members of the public are invited back to the Mill Green for ‘Nithraid Night Time’ – live music and spoken word performances, visuals, storytelling, food and campfires!

This year, Nithraid is kindly sponsored by the People’s Project. The People’s Project is a non-profit organisation which was set up in 2008 by Mark Jardine to rekindle the meaning of community in Dumfries and Galloway. The project aims to encourage acts of kindness across the region of Dumfries and Galloway through numerous projects and events. Nithraid has also been generously supported by Holywood Trust, Barfil Trust and many local businesses.

For more information, including how to take part, please visit

Skip to content