A Spiegeltent could be coming to Slessor Gardens

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What’s a ‘Spiegeltent’? That might be the question that first springs to mind for a few of us. Well, in simplistic terms it’s a big fancy tent. But it’s much more than that. It’s a big, fancy tent that Dundee could use to base a jazz festival, a winter festival and possibly Hogmanay celebrations too. With that comes the potential to bring visitors into the City and help drive occupancy up at a traditionally quiet time for accommodation owners.

Dundee Rep and the Scottish Dance Theatre Limited have proposed bringing the Edinburgh based Spiegeltent to Slessor Gardens and creating a five week-long celebration to the new events space in the City Centre. A feasibility study into this proposal was commissioned with support from Scottish Enterprise and Dundee City Council’s Cultural Tourism Fund. The feasibility study, conducted by Electric Theatre Workshop, will set out to identify the financial sustainability of the project.

The Spiegeltent would be situated in Dundee’s Slessor Gardens from the third weekend of November 2018 until the end of that year. The first nine days could see the venue used for the Dundee Jazz festival, with events staged within the enclosed space. After the end of the festival, a ‘village’ would be created, which as well as in-tent entertainment, would include outdoor catering and bar outlets and market stalls to create a new festive hub that would operate until Christmas Eve. The venue would then be adapted for use post-Christmas through to the New Year. A Hogmanay event in Dundee would be especially welcomed, with the City being heavily criticised for not providing any celebrations in previous years.
The Spiegeltent would be managed by the Rep and made available to partners to promote their activities. Local partners, including performers, musicians, retailers, caterers, etc. would be invited to be part of the event. The expectation is for the Spiegeltent to return annually.

DAVAA members, Christine Milne of Westpark Conference and Events Centre and Stuart Clark from Balmuirfield House B&B attended a meeting at the Dundee Rep, where tourism stakeholders in the area were shown the proposal and then asked to give their feedback on the project. Transport, retail and tour operators also attended the meeting. The group were in agreement about the potential positive effect on the City centre the Spiegeltent could have, especially during the evening hours and all the representatives present could see how each individual sector could benefit. With a focussed event such as this visitors to Dundee could plan to stay longer and spend more; as well as the prospect of attracting new visitors to the City.

The feasibility report would be completed in September 2017 with an application to Event Scotland National Events Programme by 6 October 2017. A decision would be given from Event Scotland by 30 November 2017.

An information sheet that covers the proposal in more detail is available on our members page. If any of our members wish to give any feedback on this subject that we can pass on to the leaders of the project, please send to info@davaa.co.uk or if you wish to contact the organisers directly – dundeespiegeltent@gmail.com