‘This is a cultural festival with a local flavourIt makes me proud to see the area I grew up in celebrate great writing in such style’

Our Patron, award-winning author and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature Andrew O’Hagan

Tidelines Book Festival is a community-run charitable trust bringing world-class literary events to Ayrshire at affordable prices. The aim of Tidelines is to encourage involvement with and participation in literature in all its forms. We aspire to reach as wide an audience as possible, particularly those who might not readily think of the written word as entertainment or might lack confidence in engaging in cultural activity.

The Festival was first established in 2013 following a great idea by local Ayrshire man John Steele and runs over one weekend in late September at the Harbour Arts Centre on Irvine’s historic harbourside. Alongside the main festival Tidelines also runs a schools programme, organising free author visits to local schools within North Ayrshire’s most deprived areas, to encourage engagement with reading and literacy. We also run ad hoc community events, such as free creative writing workshops for those at risk of loneliness and isolation. During the 2020 and 2021 covid pandemic Tidelines produced free-to-view content with professional authors and provided the opportunity for local authors to showcase their work via events on our YouTube channel.

Tidelines has grown in strength and reputation over the years and in 2019 was a finalist in the NAC Provost’s Civic Pride Awards, in recognition of our contribution to arts and culture in North Ayrshire. 

Watch some festival footage below: