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Fans’ anger as music festival quits region

Section:  Dumfries and West  | Tags:

ONE of the region’s most iconic music festivals is relocating —away from Dumfries and Galloway.

This week the organisers of Electric Fields festival announced the event will be moving from its historic home at Drumlanrig Castle near Thornhill to the SWG3 events space in Glasgow.

The summer event, which attracted more than 8000 people last year and generated £1.45 million for the local economy, had previously attracted top names to Dumfries and Galloway, including Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Dizzee Rascal, Frightened Rabbit and Primal Scream.

But on Tuesday organisers said the festival was relocating away from the region due to spiralling costs and logistical issues.

Posting on the festival’s website, they wrote: “Due to the rising costs of producing an outdoor camping festival and ongoing logistical and transport challenges, we have made the difficult decision to move site to an inner city location in Glasgow.

“SWG3 is located in the popular Finnieston area with excellent transport links from around Glasgow and further a field.

“The event capacity is also slightly larger than we normally have so we’ll be able to welcome some more of you to join us.”

Speaking about their time at Drumlanrig, they said: “We have had five amazing years producing the festival there and thank everyone at the castle for their immense support, as well as everyone involved in making those lasting memories in the fields.

“We look forward to you joining us on the next chapter for Electric Fields as we move to the urban jungle.”

However, fans took to social media to express their disappointment at the decision, with many saying they will no longer attend because of the change in venue.

And some were angry that initial communications from festival organisers made no mention of the availability of full or partial ticket refunds.

One posted: “This festival was in a beautiful setting and brought much needed income to a lovely part of the world”, while another said: “Give us a shout when you return to Drumlanrig Castle, until then goodbye from my family and I.”

Organisers have since sent a further email to ticket holders with advice on full and partial refunds, and apologised for failing to include this information initially.

They have also quashed rumours of connections between Electric Fields and Comlongon Castle, which ceased trading earlier this month, stating that while one of the festival organisers used to work at the hotel, there is no longer any link between them.

Electric Fields had previously received major events funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The local authority’s events champion Adam Wilson said: “This is a huge loss for our region. Electric Fields has been hugely successful over the last few years and our council has been proud to support them.

“We were aware that there were concerns over the future of Electric Fields and I was disappointed that support from both the private and public sector nationally could not be secured. I would like to highlight the hard work put in by Nick Roberts as festival director and his efforts to try and keep the festival at Drumlanrig.

“The loss of Electric Fields is a timely reminder of the challenges facing our tourism and events sector and the need for council support going forward.”

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