Marymass organisers have thanked everyone who has offered to lend their talents as plans for 2020’s virtual festivities gather pace.

Despite lockdown cancelling most of the traditional aspects, residents will still be able to enjoy music as the community spirit shines through with virtual dog shows and musical performances lined up.

Irvine Carters Society and the Marymass Festival Committee have welcomed ideas brought forward already and organiser Dillon Green said it has been great opportunity to test out new ideas ahead of Marymass 2021.

He said:”It’s difficult for such an historic event to be moved digitally and not having the things we’re used to, but it’s about keeping the festival alive and keeping it current and also letting us trial some new ideas.

Irvine Times:

“The plan is that 2021 will be bigger and better but in the interim Marymass means a lot to many people so it’s important to keep it going, as we couldn’t let the time go without something happening.

“We’ve got quite a few people interested and we want to get as many local people as we can, the more the better. We’re contacting people who run the events on their own accord, we’re trying to take some and pre-record them in a safe and controlled environment. We’re trying to keep the tradition as much as possible but you obviously have to be careful how you do that as you don’t want a crowd to turn up en masse.

“We’ve been working with the likes of Billy Kerr and the dog show – usually the dog show is run externally but this year we’re going to run our own version.

“We’ve been asked a lot about the parade and obviously we can’t do it. Anything like that is going to attract a crowd. Things like the fireworks and parade won’t be going ahead and obviously the Global Market won’t be back for this year

“The idea of garden parties is something we found quite interesting so we’re keen on anyone holding them to get in touch with us.

Irvine Times:

“For me, Marymass is about meeting up with your family and enjoying the day. When I was really young my gran and papa used to take me to the horses arriving at 7am and it’s always been a big day event for me. It’s all about the family and community aspect.”

The musical performances will all be shown on the evening of Thursday, August 20.

support the arts industry and nurture local, homegrown talent. We want to provide a platform for local musicians to showcase themselves to a wider audience, an opportunity which is not always readily available.

“For years, Marymass has been supported by the community and we, both Irvine Carters Society and the Marymass Festival Committee, feel it is vital to give opportunities and raise the awareness of as many local talents as possible. We want to promote more than Marymass. We want to showcase Irvine and the many incredible people who live here.

Steven Johnston, singer, piano and guitar player, said “During these last few months with opportunities for live performance being taken away, the internet has provided a haven for musicians.

“I’m very grateful to organisations like the Marymass Festival for keeping the flag flying online through this unsettled time and am really looking forward to taking part in an event with such an amazingly long and colourful history, taking an unusual form this year but still continuing on strongly.”

Emily Irvine, local saxophonist added: “I think that it’s a great project that Irvine needs. It’s so important for performers to have a platform to showcase their talents and I’m so happy to be getting involved.”

Singer Evan Keen said: “I think it’s a great opportunity to showcase what our community has to offer and give local talent a platform to put themselves out there and bring entertainment in these uncertain times”

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