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Paisley’s Spree festival receives funding boost from EventScotland

Paisley’s national festival is one of 14 forthcoming events to benefit from a share of £145,500 in EventScotland’s National Funding Programme.

The Spree – which this year takes place from 13 to 22 October - has been awarded £10,500 in the latest awards round of EventScotland’s National Funding Programme.

Paisley’s Spree festival receives funding boost from EventScotland

The event, which is now in its sixth year and is part of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, has been awarded £10,500 which is being used for marketing and to enhance the programme in order to increase attendance figures and improve the overall visitor experience. The Spree received £15,000 from the National Funding Programme in 2012 for its inaugural event and a further £20,000 in 2013.

This year’s Spree features a fantastic range of quality entertainment including great music, comedy and film screenings as well as a series of exciting and unique experiences.

The opening concert, ‘A Musical Tapestry’, on 13 October in The Spiegeltent - where much of the festival’s action takes place - offers a distinctive fusion of Celtic and Indian sounds. The Spree is twinned with one of India’s Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), so in celebration of two cities’ close links and their cloth-making and textiles heritage – plus the Paisley Pattern itself – musical and digital ‘tapestries are being created. Traditional Indian and Scottish music will be woven together for a performance at the opening concerts of both RIFF and The Spree. Respected artists Ross Ainslie, Blue Rose Code and Angus Lyon play in the collaboration which will be recorded for BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship folk, acoustic and roots programme to be broadcast on 18 October.

On 17 October the stunning surroundings of Paisley Abbey provide the setting for another unique collaboration – this time between Scottish indie act Frightened Rabbit and The Royal Scottish National Orchestra. And on 20 October, Paisley’s own Paolo Nutini will also be at Paisley Abbey to top the bill for The Spree with an exclusive one-off charity concert to back the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid. All public tickets for the 550-capacity gig have now sold out.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: "The Spree has gone from strength to strength in recent years and is now firmly established as a key date in Scotland's festival calendar. This year is shaping up to the be the best yet, with a number of unique performances in support of Paisley's bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, as well as what will be two very special headline shows from Paolo Nutini and Frightened Rabbit in the stunning setting of Paisley Abbey.

"We are delighted to be working with our colleagues at EventScotland on the event again, and with their support we hope to showcase Paisley and The Spree to new audiences."

VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director Annique Armstrong said: “This flagship annual festival is a real asset to Paisley’s cultural offering; it demonstrates the town’s ability to host large-scale events which will attract audiences from throughout the country. I’m delighted it was selected as a funding award recipient, especially during this crucial period when the town positions itself as most deserving of the UK City of Culture title.

“These awards provide invaluable support for regional events create an even more attractive proposition to attract spectators - which in turn boosts the area’s reputation. The National Funding Programme plays a vital role in maintaining Scotland’s reputation as a great destination for events that celebrate our culture and heritage whilst delivering real economic benefits to their local communities.”