BELIEVE in Scotland (BiS) has announced its intention to host a "Festival of Independence".

The campaigning organisation is to host the festival as part of its upcoming march and rally in Glasgow on Saturday, April 20 in partnership with Yes group Pensioners for Independence.

The event weekend will be part of the continued strategy of BiS after members agreed at its recent Scottish Independence Congress that the focus of the Yes campaign should be "less about politics and more about building a better Scotland".

BiS plans to run a series of billboard and social media marketing campaigns in the run-up to the Saturday event which will focus on the eradication of pensioner poverty in an independent Scotland.

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Several leading cultural figures be on the platform at the Glasgow rally and there will also be musical performances, readings and poetry.

Later on the Saturday, there will be an afterparty for hundreds of volunteer stewards, speakers and donors, featuring a performance from Trad Awards Scots Singer of the Year 2023 Iona Fyfe. 

Activists are then invited to a mass local campaign day on Sunday, April 21 in Glasgow's southside. There will be stalls and a leaflet drop in targeted areas.

Believe in Scotland founder Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp said the Yes campaign has become "too politcal – too conservative even – and that can be a bit boring", and told of the organisation's aim to "recapture" the excitement of 2014.

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MacIntyre-Kemp added: "Campaigning for independence – for a better, fairer, greener and more successful Scotland – should be fun and the feedback from our hugely successful rally in Edinburgh last September told us we were on the right path.

“The movement has enough negativity and politics going on. We don't think it's that radical to think that we should make our path to independence a celebration of Scotland's culture and values – we should campaign more than we complain.”

Marlene Halliday, co-convenor of Pensioners for Independence, said the group wants to "make content appealing" and hopes the festival can do this.

Halliday said: “We want to attract more people to join the push for independence so we're making an event that celebrates Scotland’s potential and how independence can unleash that potential.

"We want to make the content appealing to those remaining undecided voters - especially the pensioners who are not yet convinced! Reaching them is what Pensioners for Indy is all about.”

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Yes Pollokshields co-ordinator Bob Furness reflected on the previous local campaign days held in Perth and Linlithgow as part of dozens planned for this year.

He said: “Believe in Scotland’s local campaign days in Perth and Linlithgow have been a massive success and attracted 50 or so volunteers each. We are calling on all Yes groups in Glasgow to join us on Sunday, April 21 to make this Believe in Scotland work day the biggest indy leaflet drive since 2014 – if not the biggest ever."

With the aim of holding dozens of events, the organisation is working with its 142 affiliated Yes groups already established in their local areas to help bring branches of the movement together and facilitate campaign days that are both sustainable and impactful.