Page last updated at 14:02 GMT, Friday, 23 May 2008 15:02 UK

Rockers Quo top bill at Burns gig

Status Quo
Some Burns purists have objected to Status Quo

Veteran rock band Status Quo is headlining the "Rock at the Racecourse" gig in Ayr, which is part of this year's Burns an' a' that festival.

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will also play on Saturday along with singers Eddi Reader and Amy Macdonald.

The festival, which runs from 17 to 25 May, aims to showcase Scottish and international talent.

Some Burns purists have objected to Status Quo being given top-billing at Saturday's gig.

The band's singer, Francis Rossi, said that was understandable.

"I've been sent lots of press cuttings from Scotland where people are upset that an English band is playing at the Robbie Burns festival," he said.

What we try to do is bring the best acts we can to Ayrshire and have a celebration and festival for everyone
Michael McDade, Festival director
"I think they've got a point. We're a rock and roll band. What's it got to do with literary wonders?"

The Burns an' a' that festival will see more than 100 events take place across Ayrshire.

Festival director Michael McDade said he was aware of some objections but he believed he had the balance right between pure poetry and old-fashioned entertainment.

"What we try to do is bring the best acts we can to Ayrshire and have a celebration and festival for everyone," he said.

"The way we look at it is what would Robert Burns do if he had the chance to put on a festival in this day and age.

"We're trying to celebrate the bard as well as the best talent that is available now."


SEE ALSO
Burns manuscript on display in US
19 Mar 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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