Tickets for Scotland's first pug festival on sale
Organisers of a festival devoted entirely to pugs have announced that tickets for the first ever Scottish event are now on sale.
The event will venture north of the border next year after Scots fans of the cute dogs kept calling for it to come to Scotland.
PugFest will be held on 29 April 2018 at the Scottish National Equine Centre in West Lothian after organisers launched an appeal to find a venue last week.
The festival, which has been dubbed the Glastonbury for pugs, began life in South Wales in 2014 in memory of one amazing rescued pug called Poppy.
The event, which is in its third year, has attracted more than 125,000 visitors to various PugFest events - with many travelling down from Scotland to attend.
And now organisers will host a Highland Games themed festival for pugs all over Scotland after tickets went on sale today.
Co-organiser, Martin Clowes, 49, said the group received a huge amount of interest and suggestion from venues all over the country.
He said: “We had a lot of interest from people, but we couldn’t ask for more with the equestrian centre - it’s perfect.
“We hold a lot of our events at equestrian centres. They give us this amazing indoor space, which will be good with the often unpredictable Scottish weather.
“The location will be great for people coming from all over Scotland - it’s very accessible.
“Everyone is really excited about the event already. We have wanted to hold PugFest in Scotland for a long time and we are so pleased it’s finally happening.
“There is a real buzz about the event already, and we have already had offers from Scottish people who want to have stalls at the event.
“We think it’ll be called ‘Och Aye Pug The Noo’. I can just see all the pugs in kilts already.”
The festival is the brain child of father Martin and his son Rob, 29, whose pug became a global sensation on Twitter.
Poppy the pug racked up a whopping 17,000 followers from all over the world.
Martin said: “My son Rob was obsessed with pugs and I kept saying when you’re old enough to have one you can get one.
“So I got him a rescue pug - Poppy - who was three-years-old.
“Poppy had her own Twitter account, with thousands of followers from all over the world.
“Rob would put up videos called the Poppy diaries. People would follow her journey and were always saying we need to meet up at some point.”
The father and son decide to hold a pug meet-up, bringing together people with a love of a breed and those fans who had been following Poppy on social media.
But tragedy struck shortly before the pug meet up.
Poppy got very poorly and the event was put on hold as she was rushed to the vets.
What Rob thought was Hayfever or a cold turned out to be a tumour.
And after loads of X - Ray’s vet’s decided there was nothing more that could be done for Poppy in 2014.
With tributes to Poppy pouring, and her death trending in on social media, Rob decided to host PugFest in her memory.
Martin added: “I said to Rob if 50 people turn up with their dogs that’ll be great.
“But more than 1,500 turned up. There were no car parking spaces left, people were double parked on the road within 15 minutes.”