Paisley Spree is a triumph
Six months of planning, 24 events and nearly 3,000 people made last weekend’s new national festival, The Spree, a triumph.
The music, arts and comedy festival launches Paisley’s Year of the Mod and showed just how well the town is suited to holding major cultural events. Next October, the Spree will wrap round the Mod; making Paisley the focal point for Scottish music, drama and comedy.
People from Tokyo, Texas, Ireland and throughout the UK visited Paisley to see artists such as Roddy Frame, Damien Dempsey and Karen Matheson, Fidil and Chemikal Underground. They also enjoyed some rip-roaring comedy: Craig Hill’s outrageous Jock’s Trap!, lunchtime improvisation, kids’ comedy and Saturday night’s Best of Scottish Comedy in association with the Stand comedy club.
A Spiegeltent was shipped in from Holland and local people watched on in amazement as this spectacular venue was erected in Paisley’s County Square within 24 hours.
There were four partners involved in funding and delivering the project; Creative Scotland, Renfrewshire Council, EventScotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said:
“The Spree was a great success. We were proud to welcome so many visitors to Paisley and, of course, Renfrewshire’s people got the chance of a great night out on their door step.
“The Spree shows us all how a real town setting like Paisley does can add to a festival’s character. The Abbey and the Spiegeltent were fantastic venues, the town’s people welcomed our visitors in the best Paisley spirit and the atmosphere around the town lively and friendly.”
The Spree organisers worked closely with local organisations such as: Reid Kerr College, who assisted with the photography and radio interviews; the University of West of Scotland, who are working on the festival evaluation; Loud ‘n’ Proud, a local youth charity who help develop young musicians in Scotland; and PACE Youth Theatre.
The festival ended yesterday with a full day of Celtic Connections that included a flavour of the Danny Kyle Stage. Previous finalists such as Breabach and Craig Jeffrey entertained a full Spiegeltent audience who were then treated to a Scottish exclusive performance by Francois and the Atlas Mountains.
Amanda Moulson, Renfrewshire Council’s Town Centres and Events Manager added:
“The Spree has had a great impact on Paisley and has placed us firmly on Scottish events map; proving that great things can happen in towns as well as cities. We’re happy to send out a huge thank you to everyone who attended a Spree event and who supported the festival in its first year.
“Paisley can prepare for an even a bigger Spree next year as we welcome the National Royal Mòd.”