South Ayrshire Council has announced that The International Ayr Show – Festival of Flight will return to Ayr shore front next September.
The hugely popular event will run from Friday 6 – Saturday 7 September 2024.
Following on from the success of the 2023 event, we’ll be working with our strategic partner, theSKYLAB, to ensure the 2024 festival sees the return of some of this year’s phenomenal aerial displays, as well as other brand-new aircraft to delight the crowds.
Once again, a fantastic entertainment programme will run over both days. So, you can expect another rip-roaring weekend of fun and thrills for all the family.
If you’re left wanting more after two days of stunning aerial displays and fabulous entertainment, we’ve got just the thing! You’ll be able to extend your festival weekend when you join us for our Sunday funday event on Ayr High Street on 8 September. This event will see even more great family entertainment and activities on offer, and we’ll bring you more details about this as they become available.
Planning is already underway for the 2024 event and part of this work has included a review of this year’s festival. A paper that’s set to go to the Council’s Cabinet meeting on 28 November details areas that have been identified for improvement.
This will include increased and improved car parking provision and traffic management measures to help support the flow of traffic in and around Ayr. We’ll also increase toilet facilities at the Low Green and in the surrounding areas and event car parks, so no one is caught short!
Another key piece of work ahead of next year’s event is engagement with local residents, businesses and the Community Council. We’ve already held two community engagement meetings and we’ll keep in regular communication with these groups as plans progress.
We’re also delighted to welcome back our event charity partner, the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity, to the 2024 festival. Representatives from the Fund will be on site during the event to talk about the support that’s available to serving and ex-serving RAF personnel and their families.
CEO of theSKYLAB, Dr Geoff Coxon, said: “With the dates of the airshow for 2024 now in place, we are well underway planning for an even better and more varied flying display, where we will bring back some of the favourite items on the programme and also some new ones too. We are also building on the STEM activities held at Prestwick Airport the week before the airshow. This saw several hundred S2 pupils engaged in workshops with Aerospace companies to understand what an aerospace career would look like for them and how they could pursue a career as an engineer choosing STEM subjects at school. And last, but not least, we have more exciting plans for the Low Green site. So, watch this space!”
RAF Benevolent Fund Area Director for Scotland, Gavin Davey, said: “The RAF Benevolent Fund is thrilled to be joining South Ayrshire Council as charity partner for the second year at the International Ayr Show – Festival of Flight in 2024. Enquiries and support for veterans have increased directly as a result of this charity partnership and our presence at the 2023 Ayr Show. We very much look forward to reaching more of the RAF Family and supporters through our close relationship with South Ayrshire Council.”
South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Culture and Rural Affairs, Councillor Alec Clark said: “This year’s International Ayr Show – Festival of Flight exceeded our expectations. People flocked to the event which ultimately saw over 240,000 attend over the three days. It was wonderful to see the place bustling and I’ll look forward to the return of the festival next year! I’m sure our strategic partner, theSKYLAB, will help us to secure some very impressive aerial displays for 2024. We’re always looking for ways to entice visitors to key areas of our towns, and the Sunday funday event we have planned for Ayr High Street will be a great way to bring footfall to that area. We’ve also taken into account feedback from the 2023 event, and we’ll use this to improve next year’s festival.”
South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sport and Leisure, Councillor Brian Connolly, said: “This September’s air show was an incredible event which drew in huge crowds. It was a fantastic boost for Ayr and the local area, so it’s great that we’ve now got the dates agreed for the 2024 festival. We want to bring new attractions each year, so I’ll look forward to seeing what’s on the itinerary for the next one. Plus, the Sunday funday on the High Street will be something totally different. It’ll also be a pleasure to see our event charity partner, The RAF Benevolent Fund, return to join us at the event to promote the range of crucial support they provide to serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.”
Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Martin Dowey, said: “The 2023 air show was the first time the Council have brought an event of this kind to South Ayrshire, and it was a truly spectacular weekend! I’m delighted that we’ve announced the dates for next year. We want to make the next one even bigger and better! We know there are improvements we’d like to make for the 2024 festival, which will form part of our planning process. I’ll look forwarding to welcoming back the RAF Benevolent Fund and it’s fantastic to be able to give such a worthy cause a local platform to promote the work they do.“