Council funding approved for Cumnock Tryst

The incredible success of the Cumnock Tryst is set to continue for the next three years after the Council’s Cabinet agreed to award a grant of £30,000 towards the music festival.

Established in 2014 by world renowned composer Sir James MacMillan, the Cumnock Tryst has brought world famous performers to the town in its first two years, including choral superstars The King’s Singers and the festival’s patron, violinist Nicola Benedetti.

The festival programme has successfully combined these first class musical performances with genuine community engagement, involving local schools and venues, and working with people with additional support needs.

Its success has attracted local, national and even international media attention and the 2015 festival was shortlisted for an award in the Festivals and Concert Series category of the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.

This year’s festival will run from 29 September until 2 October with headline performers including world-famous bass-baritone opera star Sir Willard White and Nicola Benedetti with her trio. Festival artists in residence, Headspace and Pandora’s Box, will perform a new piece commissioned for the festival by local composer Scott Lygate, entitled ‘Barony A Frame’, in tribute to the town’s mining history.

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council, said: “The Tryst is not just a music festival that runs for a few days each year; it is making a huge impact in Cumnock in terms of music education, helping local people to develop skills and, of course, tourism.

“Figures show that over a third of those who bought tickets for the 2015 festival came from outside Ayrshire, the rest of the UK and even outwith the UK. Local hotels are always fully booked and I understand that more bed and breakfast accommodation will be opening up and that some local hotels are being refurbished in recognition of the growing demand. This is something we will continue to build on so that people will come back year after year to enjoy the festival and to spend money in the town.

“I know that Sir James would like to bring larger events to Cumnock in the future and this is something that could potentially be hosted at the new Knockroon Learning and Enterprise Campus. This festival is one that will constantly grow and evolve and I am delighted that we are able to support it.”

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