South Scotland

Big Burns Supper payment complaints persist

Strong man Image copyright Colin Hattersley
Image caption Strong man Leopold Aleksander was part of the Le Haggis show at the Big Burns Supper

The Big Burns Supper festival has encountered fresh complaints about the time it has taken to pay some of the acts at this year's event.

Scots hip-hop act Hector Bizerk took to Twitter recently to voice frustration about the situation.

Fellow performer Leopold Aleksander has contacted the BBC to say he has suffered similar problems.

Festival director Graham Main said outstanding payments should be made this week.

Hector Bizerk performed at the Spiegeltent venue but complained late last month that their payment was two months overdue - a situation which has now been resolved.

However, strongman Leopold Aleksander - who was part of the Le Haggis show, a centrepiece event which ran throughout the Big Burns Supper - has encountered similar problems.

He told the BBC Scotland news website earlier this week that he was still awaiting payment and said other artists from the show were in the same position.

'Avoiding calls'

He added that he had been frustrated by claims earlier this month that the situation would be tackled "immediately".

He said festival organisers should be "ashamed of themselves".

"I'm in contact with other artists from the show and they're in the same situation too," he said.

"They constantly say things like 'payment has been processed today' and 'the payment will be triggered'.

"The money never arrives and they just keep avoiding calls and not replying to emails."

'Regret inconvenience'

The performer said that regardless of what happened with his payment he wanted to highlight the situation "as widely as possible" so others would not end up in the same position.

Mark Kydd, who also performed at the festival, voiced some concerns on Twitter.

He said he had been told he would get paid this week.

"Based on this experience, I certainly would have to think long and hard about whether I'd be willing to participate in Big Burns Supper again," he added.

Mr Main said: "We very much regret the inconvenience that has been caused to certain performers as we are hugely grateful to them for their work and their support.

"Outstanding payments are being made this week. Indeed, some have already gone out."

The fourth edition of the Big Burns Supper ran over nine days from 23 to 31 January this year.

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