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Linking Traditional music and Tourism
  29th August – 24th November 2001
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Overview:

The aim of the project was to increase visitor awareness of traditional music and to ensure that visitors had ready access to
traditional music during a visit to Dumfries and Galloway thus enhancing their visitor experience and encouraging a return visit.

The project was funded in the final year of Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Tourist Board‟s (SAC/STB‟s) joint 3 – year initiative
for Traditional Music and Tourism.

A series of subsidised music performances & sessions was organised in various venues throughout the region. This benefited both
the musicians involved by providing them with work within the region and the venues involved by increasing trade and revenue
through attracting more customers.

This also helped to raise the profile of live, traditional music, local musicians and of the region.

It was intended that this project would establish the basis of a network of venues and musicians for the future benefit of both.


The sessions were originally intended to take place over the peak tourist months of June, July and August but, due to the onset
of Foot and Mouth Disease in the Region, were postponed until late Summer/Autumn.


Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association‟s (DGAA‟s) Traditional Music Development Officer led the project and recruited the
musicians, who were asked to provide a short description of their performance along with contact details and a price for a session
of approximately 2 ½ hours.

Word of mouth and local media was also used to advertise the project and try to contact as many Regional musicians as possible.

A database of 41 musicians and bands was compiled to be presented as a „Musical Menu‟ (Appendix 1) to interested venues.


At a meeting with the Area Tourist Board (ATB), it was agreed that 80% of the venues should be Tourist Board members and
that the Area Tourist Board would contribute to the advertising and promotional costs of the project.

A list of 320 Tourist Board venues was drawn up and the Tourist Board mailing list used to send a letter to potential venues
offering the subsidised performances.
One of the venues was a Historic Scotland Site (Threave House) and 2 were Leisure facilities (1 campsite and 1 golf club). The
remainder of the venues were hotels and pubs.

Non Tourist Board Members who had contacted DGAA after hearing about the project through the media coverage were also
given the opportunity to participate in the project.


When the all clear was given on the Foot and Mouth in July, appointments were arranged with the 28 interested venues and they
were given the „Musical Menu‟ to choose their own performers to best suit their premises and requirements. A final list of 22
venues was drawn up (Appendix 2) and musicians booked for the chosen dates.



ATB assisted with the design and print of 10,000 flyers and 500 poster frames for the project (Appendix 3)
The flyers had a “More information?” section and return address, which enabled DGAA to enhance their database of interested
customers & clients.




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 More Music LIVE! was launched in the Cressfield Country House Hotel in Ecclefechan on 29th August.
The launch was planned in conjunction with funding partners SAC & STB/visitScotland.


An invitation list was drawn up and Minister for Tourism & Culture, Allan Wilson, opened the proceedings and Sheena Wellington
was invited to compere the event.
Wendy Stewart was booked to play for the invited guests, which, in addition to representatives of the funding partners, included
participating venues and musicians, ATB & DGAA Board members and Local Enterprise Company representatives.


The launch received national and local TV and press coverage (Appendix 4), which drew interest from additional venues.

This resulted in the oversubcription of the project and since additional funding was not forthcoming, a waiting list of venues was
drawn up for participation in future projects if further funding became available. (Appendix 8)



The first session took place on the 6th September and the final one on the 24th November.




   22 venues took part in the project.

   72 sessions took place over the 10 weeks of the project. (Appendix 5)

   23 acts took part in the sessions

   A total of 62 musicians benefited from 296 hours of work.

   Out of the 72 sessions booked,

    -    17 were performances

    -    2 were ceilidh dances

    -    53 were sessions open to all participants.




                               All sessions/performances were open to the general public.




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Promotion and Publicity:

The 10,000 flyers were distributed to:
   All libraries in Dumfries & Galloway
   All the participating venues and musicians
   All folk clubs in Dumfries & Galloway
   Various folk clubs & Festivals throughout Scotland
   All Tourist Information Centres (TICs) in D&G
   TIC at Southwaite Services (last stop on the M6 coming North to Scotland)
   Stena Line ferry terminals in Stranraer and in Larne
   Stena Line ferries crossing between Ireland and D&G also carried them
   Midsteeple in Dumfries (local booking agency)
   Barnstorm Records
   Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) members
   DGAA‟s mailing list
   D&G Council Arts Team‟s mailing list
   Gracefield Gallery & Café
   Various local cafés
   RSAMD (via placement students)
   Gaelforce outlets

Poster Frames were distributed to:
   All participating venues for local distribution.

Press releases and advertisements were placed in local papers on a regular basis throughout the project.
Complete lists of the sessions, updated on a regular basis were sent to:

A3/4posters:
   All Tourist Information Centres (TICs) in the Region
   Southwaite Services
   Ferry Terminals in Ireland and D&G
   Ferries crossing the Irish Sea
   All participating venues
   Local Folk Clubs & Festivals
   All libraries in Dumfries & Galloway

Flyers:
   Everyone who filled in the more information section of their flyer and returned it to DGAA
   All participating venues and musicians
   All folk clubs in Dumfries & Galloway
   Various folk clubs & Festivals throughout Scotland
   All (TICs) in D&G
   TIC at Southwaite Services (last stop on the M6 coming North to Scotland)
   Stena Line ferry terminals in Stranraer and in Larne
   Stena Line ferries crossing between Ireland and D&G also carried them
   Midsteeple in Dumfries (local booking agency)
   Barnstorm Records
   Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) members
   DGAA‟s mailing list
   D&G Council Arts Team‟s mailing list
   Gracefield Gallery & Café
   Various local cafés
   RSAMD (via placement students)
   Local media (Radio Solway, Radio Westsound)
   TMSA website
   Tourist Board website What‟s On section
   All participating musicians
   National Folk clubs & Festivals
   Gaelforce outlets

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Evaluation

Musicians, venues and audiences were surveyed:

   Audiences were given evaluation forms at the sessions. Prizes of a cd and a bottle of whisky were offered on a prize draw
    basis to encourage return of the forms.
    CD‟s were won by Mr (or Mrs) Baxter of Canonbie and the whisky was won by Mr Edwin Evans of Corsham in Wiltshire.

   Venues were contacted by phone to evaluate each session.

   Questionnaires were posted to musicians.

Audience (Appendix 6a)
Over 1500 people attended the sessions over the whole project.
Although only a small sample of the questionnaires was returned the following figures give an overall view of the results.

   30% of audience stayed in a hotel or Bed & Breakfast whilst in the region.

   88% said that this kind of event would encourage a return visit.

   67% of audiences were in the 30 – 50 age group

   58% said word of mouth was the reason for their attendance.


Venues     (Appendix 6b)
   Average rise in takings on night of session was 29%

   5 of the venues said that their takings had increased by 50% on session nights.

   Average attendance at each session was 37

   All but one of the venues said that they would repeat the venture with a subsidy.

   Without subsidy 8 would NOT repeat, 4 would and 10 said “maybe”



Musicians (Appendix 6c)

All the musicians were pleased that they had been given the work opportunities and all thought that the project should be
repeated.

One performer has enhanced his contact list and established enough of a network locally to enable him to leave his day job and
turn wholly professional.

One of the bands has been booked for a performance on Bute after a visitor saw them at one of the venues.

Others of the musicians have had repeat bookings from the venues.




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Comments


Audience

Whaup Hotel, Whauphill:

“Best night out since Bowie at Old Trafford”

“Good bar, good crack, good night! Cheers!”

“A fun and enjoying night!”


Buccleuch & Queensberry Hotel, Thornhill:

“Brilliant!”

“A very worthwhile event & good for local communities.”

“….very entertaining, willing to play to the audience.”

“Not enough free drink!”

“Should be supported by more grants etc.”




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Strengths:
      Enthusiasm and cooperation of venues and musicians
      Regional spread of sessions (Appendix 7)
      High standard of performances
      Partnership with Area Tourist Board
      Establishment of network of venues and musicians
      Increased revenues

Weaknesses:
      Local advertising for individual sessions should be built upon in future
            Partnerships with local organisations will help solve this

      Communication between venues and musicians needs improvement
           More emphasis on the need for direct contact between venues and musicians at the point of confirmation

      Responsibility for cancellation fees was not established. Three performances were cancelled or postponed, one at a very
       late stage causing ill feeling since alternative work had already been declined.
             Clear and understandable cancellation terms mutually agreeable to both parties should be included in the
                confirmation letters.

      Number of audience evaluation returns was disappointing – a total of 47 were received. Responsibility for distribution
       and return of the forms was with the venues but changes in staffing and lack of communication meant that on the night
       of the performance the staff on duty were not aware of the evaluation forms.
             Smaller, more concise questionnaires can now be devised, since key questions have now been identified, and
                responsibility for distribution and return given to the performing musicians.

Opportunities:
      Further partnership with ATB
      Extension of regular music as a tourist attraction resulting in visitor satisfaction and repeat business
      Expansion of network of venues & musicians
      Further provision of local work for local musicians
      Further partnerships with local and national organisations such as:
           1. Dumfries & Galloway Enterprise
           2. Scottish Borders
           3. Local economic initiatives:
                     a. Stranraer & Small Towns Initiatives
                     b. Langholm Initiative
                     c. Moffat Promotions
                     d. Annan Initiative
                     e. Sanquhar Events Group
                     f. Dumfries Town Centre Management
                     g. Newton Stewart Initiative
                     h. Wigtown Book Town
                     i. Kirkcudbright Forum
                     j. Moniaive Action Project
                     k. Glenkens Community Trust
                     l. Dornock & Eastriggs Initiative
                     m. Dalbeattie Initiative
           4. National Trust
           5. Historic Scotland
           6. Association of Visitor Attractions



Threats:
      Difficulties in obtaining seed funding to develop project
      Limited resources with which public bodies can commit to development of the potential of creative industries in the
       economic regeneration of the region


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Appendices:

   1.   List of participating musicians
   2.   List of participating venues
   3.   Flyers and poster frames
   4.   Copy of advertisements and press releases
   5.   Complete list of sessions
   6.   Graphs of:
            a. Audience survey
            b. Venue survey
            c. Musicians survey
   7.   Map showing regional distribution of venues & musicians
   8.   Waiting list




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