One Weekend in Falkirk brings four days of music, theatre and spoken word to town venues

Four days of events celebrating the creative arts are set to take place in Falkirk this weekend.
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One Weekend in Falkirk (OWIF) is a mini festival which features music, theatre, art and the spoken word, offering audiences the chance to enjoy the arts for free at a number of local venues.

The entertainment kicks off on Thursday, February 22 with a performance of What the Brontes Did at the Fringe starring Pauline Vallance and an acoustic set from Denny singer songwriter Scott Ashworth at the Seagull Trust Bookshop in the High Street.

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A spokesperson for OWIF said: “2024 marks the eighth year of OWIF although there have been a few hiccups along the way; Covid, certainly not the least of them. We are delighted to once again be able to offer a range of events over the four-day period.

Scott Ashworth will play an acoustic set on Thursday evening.  (pic: submitted)Scott Ashworth will play an acoustic set on Thursday evening.  (pic: submitted)
Scott Ashworth will play an acoustic set on Thursday evening. (pic: submitted)

"The first ever OWIF in 2017 acted as something of an ‘umbrella’ for a number of events that were already happening, as well as some specially created offers. However, the second year set us on our path of craving and creating originality wherever possible.

"We pride ourselves on having given a number of people their first platform to perform their work, whether music or poetry or storytelling.

"We have supported many writers and artists to be able to deliver workshop sessions, to encourage and help others to grow. We create platforms for singer-songwriters to perform their own original material – many saying that we were the first to give them such an opportunity – and we allow audiences to hear amazing music that is being created on their doorstep.

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“A wonderful example of this is Denny-based Scottish Americana singer-songwriter, Scott Ashworth. It has been our pleasure to work with Scott over a number of years, letting him play his own music at every turn. Audiences love his songs, always asking for more and, as if this wasn’t evidence enough of the quality of his musicianship, his debut solo album ‘Ghosts and Broken Men’, released on February 15 was last seen at number two on the iTunes country chart – right behind a certain Taylor Swift.

Pauline Vallance brings What The Brontes Did at the Fringe to Falkirk this week.  (pic: submitted)Pauline Vallance brings What The Brontes Did at the Fringe to Falkirk this week.  (pic: submitted)
Pauline Vallance brings What The Brontes Did at the Fringe to Falkirk this week. (pic: submitted)

"Pauline Vallance is bringing her play, 'What The Brontes Did at The Fringe' to OWIF 2024. Witty, entertaining, informative, and with beautiful songs, we are thrilled that she has agreed to come to Falkirk. Indeed, if audiences can view the OWIF mini-festival as a tiny version of the Edinburgh Fringe, maybe they'll 'get' the concept of trying things that are unknown to them and going to venues they've never been to before.”

Friday’s programme of events includes Invisible – a piece of theatre following one woman’s quest to find out what’s happening to her body; and an unplugged acoustic set by Lewis White, the voice of alt-rock band Danko.

There’s a visit to the Park Gallery in Callendar House on Saturday to view the ‘Shining A Light’ exhibition, which features the creative works of S6 pupils from across Falkirk district’s high schools, as well as some former pupils.

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The bandstand at the east end of Falkirk High Street will come to life between 2pm and 4.30pm for Meet Me at the Bandstand, as Mickey Gerry, Anthony Niven, Calum Baird, DC Thomas and Erin Ramsay share their live, original music.

Falkirk singer-songwriter Will Treeby play on Sunday.  (pic: submitted)Falkirk singer-songwriter Will Treeby play on Sunday.  (pic: submitted)
Falkirk singer-songwriter Will Treeby play on Sunday. (pic: submitted)

The live music continues on Saturday at the Callendar Arms from 7pm with the likes of Graeme Campbell and Taz and the Maniacs.

Sunday’s final day of the mini festival has a focus at the Tolbooth Tavern and includes a creative writing workshop with Dickson Telfer; two spoken word events – Ripples featuring Hjarta, Chris Tait, Michelle Hogg, Mark Lewis, Matt Macdonald and Jen Hughes, and the slightly saucy If Slutty Stilettos Could Speak with Suzanne Egerton and Liza Miles.

There’s also music from singer songwriter Will Treeby, who is often seen busking on the High Street, before Miller & O’Neill bring the events to a close.

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A major guiding principle for OWIF is that all of the events are free to attend – there’s no booking, no tickets and no entry charge.

Lewis White of Denny-based band, Danko  (pic: submitted)Lewis White of Denny-based band, Danko  (pic: submitted)
Lewis White of Denny-based band, Danko (pic: submitted)

The spokesperson continued: “If audiences enjoy what they see and hear, and wish to donate something to the performer(s) - as long as they can afford to do so - then such donations will be gratefully received. All donations go to the performers. The model behind OWIF is fairly simple, it's like busking indoors.”

The spokesperson said that the event began in 2017 as “nothing like it existed in Falkirk”. They added: “Yes, there have been a few flash-in-the-pan festivals and events, but they all involved tickets and entry charges. We want to remove as many barriers to participation in arts and culture as we possibly can. To have managed to get to our eighth year, we like to think we might be getting something right. We'll let our audiences decide, though.”

Full OWIF listings can be found at www.facebook.com/oneweekendinfalkirk

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