Duns fast becoming a ‘festival’ town

editorial image

DunsPlayFest, the successful eight-day festival of new dramatic writing, held at the town’s Volunteer Hall earlier this year, has heralded in a new era for Duns as a ‘festival’ town.

Duns Storyfest on October 18 and 19 is another festival first and inspired partly by the success of the storytelling event at DunsPlayFest and building on the experiences of Story Telling Festivals held in Berwickshire schools.

The festival also piggy backs on this year’s Borders Winters Tales Festival and is an integral part of the 31st Scottish International Festival of Storytelling being held throughout Scotland.

On Friday, October 18 the action begins at Duns Primary School, as storytellers from the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, and beyond, work their story magic for children and parents.

In the afternoon Pop-up Storytellers, each with their unique styles and repertoires, will perform at various venues in the town from 2-10pm.

On Saturday, October 19 there will be events at the Volunteer Hall for all ages.

In the morning the fabulous Macastory will perform their own brand of storytelling madness and mayhem for children, and in the afternoon the Purple, White and Green perform their combination of theatre, song and image to tell the story of Scottish suffragettes to adults and older children.

In the evening there will also be a Gathering of Storytellers followed by an open mic for any adult with their own story to tell.

A Heart for Duns in conjunction with the fabulous Allanbank Arts will create an atmospheric, cosy, informal space at the Volunteer Hall where you can enjoy a meal, a drink and the feast of storytelling performances.

There will also be a narrative art competition for pre-schoolers and school pupils of all ages. Their work will be exhibited in the hall during the festival and the winners of the different age categories, will be announced on Saturday.

Organisers are confident that the legacy from the Duns Storyfest will be as fruitful as the legacy from DunsPlayFest which inspired several playwriting workshops in Duns; two of the plays have been performed at different venues in Scotland, and three of the best short plays are being performed each evening in the Volunteer Hall, from 7.30 to 10pm on September 26 to 28. Next year’s DunsPlayFest is from May 2 to 9.

Another popular family festival will be held this Sunday afternoon in Duns, the fourth Duns Beer and Food Festival, which features live music, street food and cookery demonstrations, with local beers on tap, and a new addition this year, a gin bar.

You can find out more about Duns festivals and other events by going to