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Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival: a site for all seasons


An arts festival is a complex phenomenon and the design and build for the website for an arts festival reflects this. That is why Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, one of the oldest and respected festivals in Scotland, chose BDSDigital to build its dynamic and engaging website.

BDSDigital has a long-sustained pedigree for producing websites of excellence that relate to the cultural sector and as web technology and speeds advance, BDSDigital has remained at the forefront of the art of engaging the public with culture.

“The Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival website builds on a long-standing relationship with arts and cultural organisations in Scotland,” says Nicky O’Toole, Design Manager at BDSDigital. “We have worked with the festival before as well as internationally acclaimed artists and other arts events and arts centres, such as the Gracefield in Dumfries, and cultural institutions across Scotland and the UK, including the National Trust for Scotland.”

Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival wanted a site that reflected the breadth and depth of a festival that covers a large geographical area and includes art, dance, music, poetry and theatre. It also wanted the visitor to the site to feel the same sense of adventure that people get when they attend events. BDSDigital offered this breadth and depth through the design of the website and included online booking.

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A festival website with breadth and depth with ticket sales always available.

Another very useful feature was the creation of an interactive map detailing all the arts festival venues and how to get to them and what’s on at them.

“In a region that is one hundred and fifty miles across and includes upland, farmland and coastal towns, information about where an event is taking place is vital,” says Nicky. “There are ninety-five venues!”

The festival has extended its range not only geographically but also in time. There is the main event which takes place in May and June each year but a series of year-round events keeps the festival in the public eye. Hence the website for the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival has to operate all-year round, be regularly updated and also be a point of reference for anyone interested in the arts or offering arts events, such as theatre tours.

“At BDSDigital we understand that a cultural website has to work on different levels,” continues Nicky. “There is the ‘what’s on’ and calendar aspect, there’s the booking of tickets in this instance, which has to be simple and secure, and you also need depth and richness of detail. Space for images and the opportunity for the visitor to find out more are essential. Therefore, navigation requires great attention to detail. The festival goer wants information and they will explore a website. Their need for information must be met and route to get back to ordering a ticket or finding other events must be easy.”

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Visit the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival at www.dgartsfestival.org.uk.