Tango dance enthusiasts from across the UK and beyond visited Paisley at the weekend to take part in the first ever Paisley International Tango Festival.

Paisley International Tango Festival 26.8.17 Diego (El Pajaro) Reimer and Natalia Cristobal Rive

The festival which took place at the Coats Memorial Church from Fri 25 – Sun 27 August saw hundreds of people come along to learn new moves and see the experts in action. The event attracted dance fans from across Scotland, England, Germany, Spain and even as far away as Queensland.

The Paisley International Tango Festival was funded through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund (CHEF). It also shows the range of cultural activities taking place throughout the town as part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Over the course of the weekend local people were invited to come along and take part in free taster tango classes. There was also a series of masterclasses and workshops which took place.

The centrepiece to this fantastic event was the Grand Milonga, an Argentinian social dance, on Saturday evening which featured world renowned tango music performer Juango Lopez Vidal and Orquesta Tipica – an international ensemble band working with members of Scotland’s highly regarded McFalls Chamber Orchestra.

The event was organised by Drew Moir who has been teaching argentine tango for six years and was delighted by the response to this event which is the first of its kind in the town.

He said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve had such overwhelming support for the event not just in Paisley but from the whole of Scotland. People have come from Europe, America and even Australia to visit the festival and it’s given them a great excuse to visit Paisley and Scotland. It’s great to be able to show that Paisley can host international events like this.”

The Culture Heritage and Events Fund enabled Drew to bring internationally renowned tango dancers to Paisley to deliver masterclass workshops and inspire the crowds. The instructors travelled to the town from as far afield as New York, Paris, Lyon, Russia and Australia to share their talents.

Bid Director for Paisley 2021, Jean Cameron, said: “It’s fantastc to see yet another great festival come to Paisley which attracted such world-class talent to the area as well as hundreds of visitors.

“The festival was so vibrant and fun and was a real celebration of dance. Paisley has a great relationship with dance, we are above the Scottish national average in terms of uptake in dance, so I’m sure tango will be another art form that people from Paisley and the surrounding areas will be keen to explore and learn more about.”

Drew is hoping to turn the Paisley International Tango Festival into an annual event following its success.