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Festival set to make a splash this summer in Irvine in celebration of Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters

Posted on 11 Mar 2020


The Council has officially announced an exciting new summer festival for the whole family at Irvine’s Beach Park and Harbourside.

The two-day event called the ‘Making Waves Festival’ will take place on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July 2020.

The plans for the festival were officially launched at Sail Scotland’s Marine Tourism Conference where Fiona Hyslop MSP announced £400,000 funding towards boosting Tourism in Ayrshire.

It’s an exciting time for North Ayrshire with projects such as the Ayrshire Growth Deal marine tourism projects and The Coig which is a series of five tourist routes covering Ayrshire, Arran, Bute and Cumbrae. The Coig offers people an exciting way to explore the unique coast and countryside on their doorstep.

On Saturday 18 July, festival-goers will enjoy free live music performances on an open-air stage at Irvine Beach Park.

Throughout the weekend visitors will enjoy activities on and off the water with dragon boat racing, beach sports, a big beach clean, watersports taster sessions, traditional seaside entertainment and an eco and wellness village. The history of the harbour is also being brought to life through theatre and many more activities with family appeal.

The Scottish Maritime Museum will host a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) exhibition and various arts and crafts will be on show at the Harbour Arts Centre and WASP Studios.

On the Sunday, there will also be a special guest appearance from Scotland’s largest puppet, Storm. This spectacular 10-metre-high sea goddess created by VisionMechanics is made from recycled and natural materials and is fully animated by a team of ten puppeteers and mechanical support.

Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Economy, North Ayrshire Council, said: “We aim to attract visitors to Irvine over the weekend and showcase the Beach Park, attracting commercial event promoters to use the facilities in the future. The Festival will put North Ayrshire on Scotland’s tourism map, attracting visitors from across the country.”

The Festival is supported by the Council’s  Tourism & Coastal Economy team, working in partnership with community groups and local organisations and has received funding support from EventScotland, in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

There will be an opportunity for staff and the community to volunteer to support the event.

Marie Christie, Head of Development for VisitScotland said: “We are delighted to be supporting Making Waves Festival as part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 celebrations.  With a wide range of activity on offer across the weekend, the event looks set to present an exciting programme showcasing the region’s important historical, seaside and maritime connections with a fun, contemporary edge.”

Anyone interested can email makingwaves@north-ayrshire.gov.uk to find out more.

Watch out for more news about the Making Waves Festival programme coming soon on our Facebook page: North Ayrshire Council