Yay! Finally, EWEfest has found a home . . .
and is making its debut on August 17 and 18, 2018, in Dundee
EWEfest will be Scotland’s first truly National Wool Festival. Akin to the original American models, it will be held out of doors, on grass, with the opportunity to buy and learn anything woolly.
EWEfest will be a little bit like the wonderful wool festivals held in the rest of the UK, but then again, it will also be rather different too! Firstly, it will not be held in a wool mart but in Slessor Gardens, Dundee. A huge marquee will be home to many of the exhibitors, and a sensational fashion show. There will also be smaller marquees with further opportunities to buy and a series of workshops to attend.
If you haven’t been to a wool festival yet, it’s a huge love-in of all things sheepie, well, all natural fibres really. It’s educational with fantastic opportunities to buy everything you could need to card, spin, weave, dye, knit or crochet – words alone cannot convey the atmosphere. It’s saturated with inspiration, colour, talent, happy people, happy sheep (and alpaca). Demos, talks and workshops will progress your talents or set you off on a new adventure of discovery. And, we are in the City of Discovery after all!
Another newbie, EWEmarket, our outdoor market in the very centre of the festival selling unique handmade products.
We’re going for it with traditional market stalls selling a mouth-watering array of high-class, artisan-made goodies. This means that your not-so-interested-in-wool friend (sadly, there are a few of them about!) will have plenty of retail therapy in which to become immersed!
EWEmarket may ultimately be seen around the country at other times of the year.
Well, that catwalk mentioned earlier? 2018 is Rowan’s 40th Anniversary. From someone who has all their magazines, it certainly doesn’t seem that long, but they have been keeping us supplied with top-class yarns for all that time. Rowan turned the knitting market around and paved the way for our massive interest in all things woolly now.
Rowan will have a series of celebratory events all year. However, we are extremely proud to announce that Rowan will be a key partner to EWEfest. We will have the very first catwalk showing of their brand-new autumn/winter collection that will be launched in magazine number 64 the week before. They are also supplying us with items for Goodie Bags. A dedicated Rowan Stand will be at the ready with everything you’ll need to recreate the stunning designs on show.
Of course, we’ve not forgotten the stars of the show… wonderful, fabulous, amazing sheep and alpacas. There will be live animals, rare breeds and not so rare breeds, with their live-in staff and servants ready to tell you all about them.
Just a wee word of caution, this isn’t a petting zoo, these wee souls are not often in the public gaze and we would all appreciate if that’s kept in mind. However, WHAT a photo opportunity!
Caught your interest yet? There is so much more. For example, instead of a ticket when you enter the festival, you will be given a commemorative ceramic pin with the year on it. (If you’re coming both days, we have ways of getting you back!)
Each year, the pins will be of a different design, and from year two, we will be giving spot prizes to anyone wearing all the pins. There will not be any further opportunity to acquire these pins, so they will become collectors’ items. We are also having a small amount made for our Crowd Funding programme. These will be the rarest of all and anyone wearing that one as well will be further rewarded.
Fabulous workshops are in the pipeline so you can spend time fuelling your creativity from some of the best teachers around.
A list will be put online for you to choose from, so sign up for the nEWEsletter and be first in the queue when they are announced.
All that walking is certainly going to build up an appetite, so we are offering EWEeats in Street Food Alley. We do aim to keep it somewhat Scottish but it’s a fair assumption some of the items on the menus may just have Mc in front of them! With a twisting of a few arms, there may also be some treats specially devised just for EWE. Get it, just for EWE (you)!
And, what goes with food, yes, drink! Scotland possibly has more gin stills than any other country in the world, so it would be wrong not to have a EWEgin House. Rumour has it that other drinks will also be available! Of course, even ginaholics love a nice cup of tea, a caffeine fuelled coffee or something sweet and sticky, that’s also all in hand.
Who doesn’t like a party? Having the amazing street food vendors, not forgetting the bar, we thought there should be a celebration on the Friday night. For a small entry fee, we will lay on a live band or two and make new friends. The marquees with products will not be open as we hope the vendors will accept our invitation and party with us.
We are delighted to say that applications for the inaugural EWEfest event in 2018 are now open.
If you have a business that is wool or natural fibre related and would like to exhibit at EWEfest, application forms are now available to download. Please see below.
We aim to offer a varied collection of high quality goods, so we are asking that all applicants supply pictures of work to help us recognise what they are promoting. From 2019, we will only be asking new applicants, so it may be a bit of a pest, but it is a one-time only exercise. Send us anything that will help us understand your ethos be it promotional material or sample goods.
ALL STALLS WILL BE WITHIN MARQUEES UNLESS OTHERWISE REQUESTED.
There will be different types of stalls, and most will be in the 42m x 36m marquee on the south side of Slessor Gardens. The central walkway in the gardens will hold market stalls for traders who wish to sell only readymade (must be completely handmade) goods. The North side of the gardens will hold the live animals, smaller marquees and gazebos. Workshops will be held at this side, however, from 2019, we will be using the V&A for workshops, freeing more space for demos and vendors.
PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS A WOOL FESTIVAL, THE STANDS WILL SIMPLY BE MARKED OUT ON THE GRASS FOR YOU AND IT IS UP TO YOU WHAT YOU BRING TO ENHANCE YOUR SELLING AREA. ALL STALLS UNDER CANVAS WILL HAVE HERAS FENCING BACKS.
We are happy to work with you if you want something special such as a certain size/shape of stand, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Return form and info electronically to: email@example.com OR Send form and info to: EWEfest, c/o Red Pepper Events, Vision Building, Unit 5, Dundee Maker Space, 20 Greenmarket, Dundee DD1 4QB.
The application deadline is February 23, 2018 and we will inform you by March 16 at the latest about your application. There will be a link to take you to hotels offering businesses special rates over EWEfest.
Here’s looking at EWE!
Why Dundee? Dundee is a city that is fast becoming the Scottish home of creativity. It is the only UNESCO City of Design in the UK and next year (2018) it will be opening the only Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum outside London. £1b has been spent on this waterfront facelift which will compete with any iconic waterfronts worldwide. The facilities for events such as EWEfest are top-class. The flythrough at https://www.dundeewaterfront.com shows Slessor Gardens right across from the new V&A.
We want this to be two days to remember with a smile on your face. We ultimately hope to attract people from all over the world making EWEfest an International Wool Festival, but we also want to bring back the vanished hereditary value of high-quality wool and textiles in Scotland. EWE (Scotland) Ltd will be using profits from its subdivisions to offer employment plus facilities for sheep farmers to process their fleeces in Scotland. Our long-term goal is to have a collaborative development that will bring artisans and farmers together to promote our luxury wool heritage.
There’s lots of parking all around the event, the train station is literally on our doorstep and the bus station is around the corner. There are numerous hotels also a few minutes away and our cute little airport is only a couple of miles away.
We cannot wait to welcome you to EWEfest.