The Covid-19 pandemic brought live music events to a real standstill, and it’s something we have certainly missed.

So, with some of Scotland’s best known bands coming to our doorstep, and playing at Irvine beach, it’s certainly not an opportunity to be taken for granted.

With Saturday headliners Del Amitri, Twin Atlantic and Fatherson, coupled in with a show by the famous Red Arrows, followed by a day for all the family on Sunday, rounded off by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers - action packed doesn’t quite cover it.

The first ever ‘Making Waves’ festival will take place in Irvine on Saturday, July 23 and continue on Sunday July 24.


Del Amitri and Twin Atlantic are no strangers to big shows. (Pics: Emma Shepherd and Dave Lawrence)

Del Amitri and Twin Atlantic are no strangers to big shows. (Pics: Emma Shepherd and Dave Lawrence)


Organisers North Ayrshire Council, Event Scotland, The Maritime Museum and local music promoters Freckfest have managed to put together a really brilliant two days of music and fun.

The first major music event to take place at Irvine beach park in over a decade, it will see the top artists and host of activities on offer providing a weekend to remember.

The main feature of Saturday will be the live music at the Beach Park with prominent acts Del Amitri, Twin Atlantic and Fatherson headline the day, with JJ Gilmour, Blue Rose Code, Nerina Pallot and Anna Sweeney completing what is undeniably a strong festival billing.


Nerina Pallot, Saturday, 2.40pm

Nerina Pallot, Saturday, 2.40pm


More of the same is promised for the Sunday. A distinctly laid-back affair, the second day of Making Waves will be soundtracked by family-friendly entertainers The Red Hot Chilli Pipers and tribute act Abbamania. XSM (ex Simple Mind), Big Vern ‘n The Shootahs and Junkman’s Choir complete an eclectic and entertaining line up.

Tickets for the festival can be purchased in advance, at a cost of £45 for Saturday, and £15 for Sunday. Tickets will be available ‘at the gate’ both days, though at a slightly higher price. All ticket information can be found at:

It won’t just be the music providing the entertainment either.

Free activities will run all weekend along the harbourside and beach park – providing something for all ages.

Further to this, the world-renowned RAF Red Arrows will take to the sky and provide a spectacular aerobatic display to kick-start the festival.

It breaks a 29-year absence from the skies of Irvine, having last performed in the area in 1993 during a Radio 1 Roadshow.

There will be an Ayrshire Makers Market at Maritime Museum (both days) and free entry to Sea Monsters Exhibition & Family Fun Fair. The impressive Kelpie Macquettes are on display over the weekend outside the Museum’s Boatshop.

And it’s not just the fans who have something to look forward to, the events headline acts have expressed their excitement at coming to North Ayrshire, ahead of the weekend.


Fatherson, who play Saturday at 6.15pm, are hoping this won’t be their last trip to Irvine

Fatherson, who play Saturday at 6.15pm, are hoping this won’t be their last trip to Irvine


Justin Currie of Del Amitri said: “For its first year, Making Waves seems like the ideal boutique festival. There’s a small but perfect line-up and I’ll enjoy watching all the bands as much as everyone else who’s there.”

While Sam McTrusty of Twin Atlantic added: “I’ve been to Irvine Beach and it’s a lovely setting for a festival.

“I have this romantic idea for Making Waves that Twin Atlantic would, if we time it correctly, be reaching the peak of our encore just as the sun sets over Arran. Follow that Del Amitri!”

And Ross Leighton of Fatherson is certainly looking forward to his first performance at the beach park, though he is hoping it will not be the last.

He said: “I can’t wait for Making Waves. I’m really looking forward to it and I hope it becomes an annual event. It’d be brilliant to get a local music scene positively thriving again.

“I know the Irvine audience will be right up for it.”

Nina Pallot and Anna Sweeney can’t wait for the festival

ANNA Sweeney has the distinct honour of opening up the Making Waves Festival, the first ever act to do so.

A local artist with universal appeal, she can’t wait to play the festival, something she feels Ayrshire has been missing for a while.

She said: “There’s been nothing like it for years and whole generations of music fans are missing out. 

“Their parents might have been used to seeing all the big acts turn up in Irvine, but the young people of Ayrshire deserve the same opportunity. 

“To have a local, independent organisation pulling all of this together is amazing.”
Anna will be followed up by Nerina Pallot and artist who has worked on tracks for acts as varied as Kanye West, Mel C and Bananarama’s Siobhan Fahey. 

Despite having played some of the biggest festivals going, she said: “I’m really looking forward to Making Waves.

“I really enjoy playing festivals and I know that this will be a good one. Festivals are great when there’s a brilliant line-up, which Making Waves has got, and when the audience appreciates good music, which, I know will be the case.”


Saturday July 23
Gates open: 12pm
- Red Arrows perform: 1pm-1:25pm
Artists begin playing: -
- Anna Sweeney: 1.50pm
- Nerina Pallot: 2.40pm
- Blue Rose Code: 3.45pm
- JJ Gilmour: 5.00pm
- Fatherson: 6.15pm
- Twin Atlantic: 7.30pm
- Del Amitri: 9.00pm
Event finishes: 10.30pm
Sunday July 24
Gates open:12pm
Artists begin playing: -
- Junkman’s Choir: 12.45pm
- XSM: 1.40pm
- Big Vern ‘n the Shootahs: 2.45pm
- Abbamania: 3.50pm
- Red Hot Chilli Pipers: 5.05pm
Event finishes: 6.00pm

And there is plenty more to look forward to, which including: Ayrshire Makers Market at Maritime Museum (Both Days), An Open Weekend Maritime Museum, Paddleboard Flotilla up the river (Saturday 11am), paddleboarding try-out sessions (Throughout Sunday), open weekend at Courtyard Artist Studios, crafts & drama sessions at the HAC, fairground rides at the beach park, a portable football pitch, climbing wall on the harbourside, wildlife tours and scavenger hunt with North Ayrshire Rangers, and a mobile youth centre.