Our festival takes place across the country, with diverse events being programmed and delivered by and for communities in multiple Scottish regions. We wanted to shine a light on some of these incredible regional programmes so audiences can more easily find events that are happening locally to them. Today we’re looking at highlights for North Ayrshire.

This year’s programme for North Ayrshire boasts a whopping 27 events. Things kick off slightly earlier than the official festival dates of 4-22 October with a celebratory launch of North Ayrshire’s Arts & Culture programme on Wednesday 27 September in Irvine. This welcoming evening, organised by North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, will feature live performances, guest speakers, art demonstrations and refreshments.

The sun rising from a calm sea.
Sunrise Walk

Irvine residents are invited to seize the day on Saturday 7 October by taking a Sunrise Walk along the beach at 7am. Starting at Harbour Arts Centre, and taking in some gentle stretching, beach photography, and colouring for wellbeing along the way, this will help to clear your mind and start your day on a positive note!

Join award-winning poet Caroline Johnstone for Vive la Revolution! on Monday 16 October in Irvine. This night of music and poetry will focus on social change around mental health. Continuing the poetry theme, North Ayrshire poet Simon Lamb is offering two opportunities for audiences to explore words and their power to stick with Velcro Poetry. Participants of all ages will be encouraged to express their emotions through the blank universe of a piece of paper at an entertaining taster session on Friday 20 October, and on the previous Friday there’s a chance to hear children read their own work, developed as part of Simon’s schools programme which uses poetry as a platform for positive words and self-exploration.  

People taking part in a community drum circle.

We all have a heartbeat, so we can all drum and make in-the-moment music together. This is the idea behind the hugely popular Village Music Circles movement. Folk in Ardrossan are invited to take part in a fun interactive Drum4urLife workshop on the afternoon of Wednesday 18 October, while in the evening legend Arthur Hull, the renowned father of Village Music Circles, will lead collective music event The Community Drum Circle Revolution in Largs.

Still from Ali and Ava.
Ali and Ava

Over on Arran, Corrie Film Club screen Bafta-winning Ali and Ava on Sunday 8 October. This heartfelt drama stars Adeel Akhtar and Claire Rushbrook as two lonely people who develop a deep connection despite the lingering legacy of past relationships and emotional turmoil. In Lamlash, Tunnell Trust Award winners the Stroud Zhang Duo will give a violin and piano performance on Saturday 21 October, providing an enjoyable evening of music, mindfulness and relaxation.

The kids will be kept busy at Kilwinning Library’s mindful mandala craft sessions, Be Kind to Your Mind, running on 6, 9 & 13 October. Meanwhile adults are invited to explore community craft, mental health and advocacy, and produce their own zine at Creative Advocacy: A Zine-Making Workshop in Stevenson on Wednesday 18 October.

There are lots more events to explore, browse the full North Ayrshire programme and book tickets here.