Kirkcaldy “Buzzing & Booming” - Thanks to Adam Smith Festival of Ideas

22nd March 2018

The 2018 Adam Smith Festival of Ideas, headlined by former Doctor Who star, David Tennant and TV Celebrity Sandi Toksvig, has been hailed as a huge success, bringing in more than five thousand visitors to the town and firmly re-establishing Kirkcaldy on the map.

The Adam Smith Global Foundation, the organisation behind the festival, has announced that the sell out success of the festival resulted in a huge influx of people visiting Kirkcaldy over the weekend bringing with it significant social and economic benefits for the town and for local businesses alike.

The feel good buzz created by the Adam Smith Festival of Ideas is being seen by all as a tonic for the town and is exactly the sort of event that Kirkcaldy needs. Such was the appeal of this year’s festival, that it has attracted its biggest audiences yet, and drew in crowds locally as well as internationally, from countries as far afield as Germany, Denmark, America and Tokyo.

Marilyn Livingstone, Chief Executive of the Adam Smith Global Foundation said “The buzz and excitement in the air around Kirkcaldy was infectious. I am delighted with the success of this year’s festival and it creates a substantial economic and social boost for our town. It was important for us to put on a festival that would appeal to a wider audience and I absolutely believe we got that engagement right this year.”

The two-day festival, which took place last weekend 16th-17th March, combined great family

entertainment with thought provoking discussions on some of the key issues of today demonstrating that Adam Smith’s legacy is still very much alive today in Scotland and indeed across the world, some 200 years later.

Attracting big names to Kirkcaldy is key to raising the profile of local hero Adam Smith and the Adam Smith Global Foundation and its partners (including Fife Cultural Trust, Fife Council, Kirkcaldy4All, Fife Free Press and Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions Partnership) were delighted with the turnout for the festival with more than 5000 people visiting Kirkcaldy over the weekend.

David Tennant’s live Q&A with Arabella Weir and Sandi Toksvig’s Adam Smith Lecture were both sell out shows and more than 3000 people attended Kirkcaldy’s Food and Drink Fair and to see cookery demonstrations from Scotland’s National Chef and BBC’s MasterChef Gary McLean. More than 500 children and families took part in the free family fun day at the Adam Smith Theatre and Kirkcaldy Galleries enjoying activities such as a giant LUDO game devised by librarians, book-bug sessions, drop-in coding clubs, digital animation with LEGO, face painting, Henna painting, Gaby the clown, and creative writing courses.

The Adam Smith Global Foundation aims to build on this year’s two-day event with the ultimate aim of extending the festival to a week-long event. Chief Executive, Marilyn Livingstone said “I am especially grateful for the support of our partners and to the efforts of Gordon and Sarah Brown and our Creative Director Arabella Weir. I am so proud of what we have achieved together for the benefit of Kirkcaldy, Fife and Scotland and I look forward to working with our partners to further develop the festival and perhaps grow it into a week long event.”

Heather Stuart, CEO Fife Cultural Trust said: ““We are delighted to have hosted many of last weekend’s festivities and see the local community rally behind the Festival of Ideas in such a way.

“There were some truly inspirational moments, from the hysteria around David Tennant’s entrance to the Adam Smith Theatre foyer to Sandi Toksvig’s incendiary lecture, and of course the huge attendance for the family events we ran in Kirkcaldy Galleries and the Adam Smith Theatre throughout Saturday. We thank all our visitors, staff and Adam Smith Global Foundation’s guests for making this one to remember.”

Councillor Neil Crooks, Chair of the Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions Partnership, said the four main contributors to the Festival, Adam Smith Global Foundation, Kdy4All, Fife Free Press and Fife Cultural Trust deserved massive praise for pulling together such an ambitious series of events. He said: When Kirkcaldy works together Kirkcaldy works really well and Fife Council are committed to supporting the event on an annual basis in future. The big names attract big crowds and our challenge is to continue growing the content and appeal on an annual basis. The Festival is also a fundraiser for local charities allowing them to continue their good work for the benefit of Kirkcaldy area in the year leading to the next Festival and that planning starts now”

Bill Harvey, Manager, Kirkcaldy4All said: “This is a great example of a partnership coming together and organising a fantastic weekend of events here in Kirkcaldy. From our perspective, we worked closely with Fife College to deliver the Food and Drink Fair which this year saw a 30% increase in exhibitors and a greater than 30% increase in visitors. We were delighted that Scotland’s National Chef and BBC Masterchef winner Gary McLean headlined the Food & Drink Fair who was a huge hit with the visitors. We look forward to working together to deliver an even bigger event in 2019.

Our premier partners...