Tamfest IN Ayr, one of Britain’s largest festivals dedicated to well-known Robert Burns poem Tam O’Shanter, is going virtual this year with an online programme full of events including an appearance from Ayrshire’s own professional wrestler Grado.

Tamfest, a celebration of the character from the poem based on Burns’ friend Douglas Graham who lived at Shanter Farm near Kirkoswald, was founded in 2015 and has breathed life into Ayr’s town centre with a host of family-friendly shows and interactive sessions in art, craft, and drama.

But the festival’s switch to digital for 2020 means Tamfest is now set to reach a global audience with key attractions including a comedic performance of Tam O’Shanter by Ayrshire grappler Grado and a show featuring Still Game favourite Isa, a.k.a. Jane McCarry.

Ayr Advertiser:

Meredith McCrindle, festival founder and chair, said: “The first ever virtual Tamfest will kick off in July with online workshops and activities that will run through October. We will host virtual concerts, family activities, storytelling, Burns lectures, all culminating in a truly Scottish Halloween.

“Having proven popular with an audience from all over the UK during Halloween season, Tamfest now has an opportunity to go global and produce a virtual festival that Halloween lovers and Burns enthusiasts can all enjoy.

Ayr Advertiser:

“Tamfest was created in 2015 with the goal of driving footfall into Ayr’s ailing town centre. Each year Tamfest grows, so does its audience. In 2018, Tamfest attracted more than 8000 people to the town’s High Street and we are grateful to South Ayrshire Council and The Gaiety Theatre for their ongoing support. “

Grado told the Advertiser: “I love getting involved in anything to do with Ayrshire and putting Ayrshire on the map so hopefully it spreads far and wide.

Ayr Advertiser:

“At school I done Robert Burns poems every year and won competitions through it so when I agreed to perform Tam O’Shanter I thought, great, I’ve done it. So it is cool, I’m just trying to remember it all.”

To find out how to get involved in this year’s Tamfest, visit tamfest.co.uk