Lauren Asher – Young Promoter

Lauren Asher PhotoLauren Asher is one the Young Promoters from Dumfries & Galloway’s Arts Live’s Young Promoters Group. We sat down and talked through their involvement in the upcoming Arts Festival, how she got involved in the Young Promoters Group and what to look out for in the next few months in Dumfries & Galloway:

Can you tell us a bit about the Young Promoters Group and the Stage iT programmes?

The Young Promoters Group (or YPG for short) is a collective of young people aged 14-26 from across Dumfries & Galloway who work in partnership with the Arts Festival to programme new and exciting performing arts for young people. This year to celebrate Year of Young People, we have programmed several different events under our Stage iT programme. Stage iT is the YPG’s signature events for the festival which all kicks off on the 26th of May with the takeover of Dumfries High Street. This event will see different professional companies like NoFitState Circus & Motionhouse, Janis Claxton Dance and Tinderbox Orchestra performing in spaces not usually used alongside a host of different local performers – a day certainly not one to be missed.


Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in the YPG?

I first got involved with the YPG after working alongside Louise Davies – the festival producer – on another performing arts-based event. She explained what the YPG did and offered for me to go along to a meeting. After this I continued to work with them and volunteer as part of the group. It is now two years later, and I am still there! The YPG has gone from strength to strength and we now are beginning to create some really exciting programmes for young people.


What are your highlights from the Festival this year?

I have to say that I am really looking forward to all of the events, particularly the ones which the YPG have programmed. I cannot wait to see Tinderbox return and perform again with more local talent as they were superb last year. I am really excited to see Amy Conway’s Super Awesome World and hear the feedback from local young people. Most of all though, I have to say I am excited for our Stage iT High Street Takeover. I think this event will bring a lot of community spirit together and highlight the talent of young people, which I cannot wait to see.


Why should young people come to the festival?

In my opinion, young people should come along to the festival to try new things. We have a vast array of performances, which a lot of people have not seen before, and it is a really good opportunity for people to experience this for the first time. I would also say that the festival has made accessing performing arts a lot easier than it has been before. Young People get half price tickets and have the chance to get even more of a discount if buying for multiple shows. This year’s festival is a really good opportunity for people to learn about what types of performance they like and to try out some of these things for themselves.


What other projects are the YPG working on just now?

At the moment, the YPG are working alongside Youth Work Services to programme some exciting performers for Youth Beatz. This is Scotland’s largest free music festival and will be incredible this year, so we are very excited to be working with them on this. We are also working on a mini festival for September which will focus on young people as professional performers. This is again something not to be missed!


What do you hope will happen as a result of the Stage iT programmes in Dumfries and Galloway?

I hope that young people within the region will feel that they have the best opportunities to access performing arts. Sometimes living rurally can lead to a lack of opportunities and through Stage iT, I hope that this will change. I also want young people to feel that they have a platform to showcase their talent and to feel valued as a part of the community. Overall, I just want the programme to highlight how amazing the young people living here truly are!


Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival takes place from Fri 25 May – Sun 3 June 2018 – find out full information on their website at The Stage IT High Street Takeover is free entry and takes place at Plainstanes Midsteeple, High Street, Dumfries, DG1 2BH on Sat 26 May 2018, 12 noon – 5pm. Keep up to date with all their activities by following them here:

Instagram @youngpromotersgroup • Snapchat @dgypg • Twitter @PromotersGroup
Facebook Young Promoters GroupHashtag #DGYPG


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