Fabulous Fittie Fashion Fest brings a summer splash of colour

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen loads of colourful social media posts about the upcoming Fabulous Fittie Fashion Fest. So, intrigued, we got in touch with organiser Laura Mears-Reynolds. It's great to see new events happening in the city. We wanted to find out what she had planned, and a little about her background too.

The event is a unique festival-themed shopping experience in Fittie Community Hall. The newly renovated hall located near Pocra Quay and New Pier Road. It takes place on Saturday 20 August.

What can people expect as they arrive at Fabulous Fittie Fashion Fest?

On arrival, you will see that the Open Road team and I have gone to town decorating the beautiful, newly renovated Fittie Community Hall with festival and Ibiza vibes. You can expect bright colours, disco balls and a sequin wall supplied by Lombardi Events to compliment the stalls of our Aberdeen Creatives.

We are showcasing my own work, HATHOR, Wardrobe Foxes Vintage, Prolong and Aubin. And to top it all we have the incredible Rhiannon giving tarot readings. All this to the backdrop of classic house and disco beats from local DJ Angela Michael. We're a local creative girl gang joining forces to champion local creatives, raise awareness about ADHD, and boycott fast fashion!

What inspired you to host this carnival of couture?

I’d been trading at festivals such as The Secret Garden Party and events in Ibiza for a decade when the pandemic hit. Lockdown ruined everyone’s plans and completely halted every aspect of my industry. I plummeted into a mental health crisis. This resulted in discovering I’d been battling through life, like so many women, with undiagnosed ADHD. Post diagnosis and treatment, I felt stronger just as the world reopened.

Having been amazed by Zandra Rhodes’ exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery, I serendipitously bumped into her on my Fittie doorstep and felt inspired to carry on Zandra’s Aberdeen fashion mission.

Why did you choose Fittie Community Hall as your venue?

What better place than the colourful and creative village of my chance meeting with the iconic Dame Zandra Rhodes? She loved Fittie so much!

You chose to raise funds for ADHD Adult UK after your diagnosis. How have they helped you and other adults who have been diagnosed with ADHD?

Dr James Brown and Dr Alex Conner have greatly supported my late ADHD diagnosis journey. Having both been through the same, they offer information about the disability and diagnosis online:
https://www.adhdadult.uk - via their peer support group for adults with ADHD and invaluable knowledge via their podcast: The ADHD Adults Podcast; which was the inspiration for the one I created with my neighbour Dawn Farmer.

Your podcast has gathered a bit of a following of its own. Tell us all about it and where people can find it.

Dawn and I moved to the same street, at the same time, at the same age, with the same undiagnosed disability, what are the chances?! After the shocking discovery that we had both been battling through life with brain disorders, we were further horrified to discover just how common an occurrence this is! Many women go mis or undiagnosed, and if missed in childhood the average age for a woman is 36-38!

We decided to use our voices to raise awareness, break the stigma and share our personal experiences in the hope that they help others… and we’ve achieved exactly that. Daily we receive messages from listeners all over the world on our Instagram telling us we’ve helped those in desperate need seek diagnosis, treatment, help in the workplace, at university and to feel validated and less alone.

Unbelievably in just three months since launch, we’ve hit 30K downloads and #31 in Spotify’s Top 50 Podcast Chart for Society & Culture GB and #28 in Australia! We can’t believe it!

You can listen here.

Do you have plans to hold more events in the future?

I hope that visitors love mine and Open Road’s efforts to create this unique shopping experience, enabling us to put on more events in the future, so fingers crossed!

Remind us when and where Fabulous Fittie Fashion Fest takes place.

Fittie Community Hall on New Pier Road (NOT to be confused with the Mission Hall in the Squares!)  Saturday 20th August 11 am-3 pm. It’s a FREE entry event, though we would love any donations to ADHDadultUK on the day. We are unable to take cash payments, so please remember your bank card.

We have upcycled hedonistic headwear and festival accessories, vintage clothing, one-off bags handmade from trash, and jewellery made from sea glass and discarded objects found on Aberdeen Beach.

On top of that, you don’t want to miss the raffle! Each creative has donated an item and local businesses have also donated; including a £50 voucher for The Silver Darling Restaurant! It’s a seriously fabulous raffle with all proceeds donated to ADHDadultUK and The Fittie Community Development Trust.

And where can people keep in touch with you on social media?

Follow us on Instagram and join the event page on Facebook.

Book of Deer goes on display at Aberdeen Art Gallery

The Book of Deer, a 10th-century text, has returned to the North East after hundreds of years. Aberdeen Art Gallery will display the rare pocket gospel which is on loan from Cambridge University Library.

There are several inspiring illustrations in the Book, including formal full- and half-page representations of the authors of the four gospels. Later additions in the margins show human figures, animals, birds and shapes. The unknown writer has appealed directly to the reader at the end of the book. "Let anyone who reads this book pray for the soul of the wretch who wrote it."

There is a remarkable cultural importance to the Book of Deer in Scotland, especially in the North East. It is the earliest surviving Scottish manuscript. The author wrote the text primarily in Latin between 850 and 1000.

Oldest example of written Gaelic

It is the Book’s Gaelic notes which are truly remarkable. The additions dating from the 1100s are the oldest known surviving examples of written Gaelic. The monasteries at Deer and Pitfour in Aberdeenshire are mentioned, as well as other places like Ellon and Pitfour in Angus. They tell how St Columba and his follower Drostan travelled to the area from Iona and were given the land by a local leader after his son recovered from a serious illness thanks to Columba’s prayers. Columba gave the land to Drostan to found a church. An archaeological dig is underway, as part of the Book of Deer Project 2022, to find the site of the early medieval monastery.

The Book of Deer | Reproduced by permission of Syndics of Cambridge University Library

As well as the Book of Deer, Aberdeen Art Gallery will display four medieval Aberdeen Burgh Register volumes that also contain illustrations. Aberdeen's civic archive has been running continuously since 1398, making it the oldest and most complete in Scotland. The archive also contains the earliest eight volumes dating from 1398 to 1511. They are recognised as being of outstanding historical significance to the nation by UNESCO.

The exhibition is part of a wider programme in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire delivered by The Book of Deer Project and its partners. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has supported the exhibition to celebrate the Book of Deer’s temporary return. It includes talks and tours, storytelling, creative writing, illustration and textile workshops, family trails. There will also be a special Gallery Late event at Aberdeen Art Gallery on 30 September which invites revellers to ‘party like it’s 1399!'

Splendid little book

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Councillor David Cameron, said: “I congratulate all the partners who have worked together to bring the Book of Deer ‘home’ to the North East for the first time in hundreds of years. There can be no doubt that the ‘splendid little book’ is one of Scotland’s greatest treasures.

He also added, “Visitors to the Art Gallery will have a rare opportunity to see it up close, as well as the chance to learn more about its significance and what it can tell us about this fascinating period in Scotland’s history through the associated programme of talk and activities.

Anne Simpson, Chair of the Book of Deer Project, said: “The Book of Deer Project is delighted to realise its long-term ambition to have this precious wee book exhibited in the North East of Scotland where it can be seen by the many visitors to Aberdeen Art Gallery. It’s such an important part of Scotland’s history and culture, that’s perhaps not as well-known as it should be.”

The Book of Deer will be on display at Aberdeen Art Gallery from 9 July until 2 October. Admission Free.

Fresh new plans for Lemon Tree

Aberdeen Performing Arts have announced that The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen’s iconic live venue, is set to get a striking refresh. They've moved the project on to the next stage after approving a new outline scheme. They will now also begin a fundraising campaign.

They have planned a new studio, foyer, café, meeting room, and an accessible entrance on Shoe Lane. There is also a proposal to create a new outdoor seating and performance area within an urban cottage garden. Although Lemon Tree Lounge and Lemon Tree Studio will continue to exist, the team will work to improve improve staging, sight-lines, technical facilities, and accessibility.

Radiohead, Snow Patrol, Travis, Texas, Mogwai, Public Service Broadcasting and also Emeli Sandé have performed at the iconic city venue. In addition, the Lemon Tree is an essential stop on the performing arts tour circuit.

The board unanimously adopted the proposed scheme and agreed to move to the next stage of design development. They will also submit an application for planning consent by year's end. Previously Aberdeen Performing Arts commissioned architects to undertake a study to look at options for upgrading the venue.

Discovering tomorrow's legends today

Jane Spiers Aberdeen Performing Arts Chief Executive said: “2022 is the 30th anniversary of the Lemon Tree. In that time, it has built up an enviable reputation nationally and internationally for discovering tomorrow’s legends today and supporting homegrown talent.

“The plans retain the informal, friendly, intimate, off-beat style and story that is so unique to the Lemon Tree and are focussed on creating a more accessible, integrated environment and experience for audiences, artists and employees alike.”

The plans for the Lemon Tree also align with Aberdeen City Council’s commitment to regenerate the city centre. A new culturally-integrated development at Queen Street will also hopefully bring tangible benefits to the local economy and community.

Shape the next chapters of Aberdeen's story

Culture Aberdeen, a partnership of cultural organisations in the city, have welcomed the proposals. Dr Duncan Cockburn from Culture Aberdeen was clear about the benefits of expanding the Lemon Tree. He told us, “This development has the potential to be a distinctive feature of the Aberdeen economic development story”

He also added that it was a great opportunity for arts and culture, artists and creative practitioners to help shape and drive the next chapters of Aberdeen’s story.

Richard Murphy Architects have been working on the project. They have undertaken several transformational arts and cultural projects. Past work includes the Stirling Tolbooth, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre Peebles. Furthermore, they have worked on Perth Theatre and the New National Centre for Music in Edinburgh.

Aberdeen Performing Arts chair Craig Pike told us, “The Lemon Tree has a special place in Aberdeen’s story and we are now setting the stage for a bright future which will benefit communities, business and the cultural sector in the city. Aberdeen Performing Arts has also pledged to get the fundraising campaign underway, we hope everyone will join us on the journey and get behind this exciting project for the city and nation.”

The Umbrella Project celebrating neurodiversity

Aberdeen Inspired and the ADHD Foundation have launched The Umbrella Project. A colourful summer installation with umbrella canopies in Aberdeen City Centre.

Dr Tony Lloyd of the ADHD Foundation and Adrian Watson of Aberdeen Inspired hosted a special weekend of celebrations. Organisers held a launch event on Saturday, where they welcomed sponsors, spectators, and performers. And so under the umbrellas on Shiprow and Bon-Accord Terrace, local groups like Robert Gordon College Pipe Band, Sinclair School of Highland Dancing, Citymoves, and Danscentre performed for spectators.


Multi-coloured umbrellas suspended across city centre streets celebrate the umbrella term of neurodiversity, including ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyspraxia. You can see these vibrant installations hanging across Shiprow Village and Bon-Accord Terrace in Aberdeen's city centre until September 2022.

Additionally, the project aims to raise awareness of the support that is available to individuals and families. Scotland welcomes The Umbrella Project for the first time after huge success in other UK locations.

The Umbrella Project flips the narrative

Adrian Watson told us how thrilled he was about the launch of The Umbrella Project. He said: “We are delighted that so many businesses and schools across Aberdeen City and the Shire have signed up to have mini-installations to celebrate neurodiversity”

“We are not only proud to bring such an uplifting project to the city for the first time. We're also playing such an important part in flipping the narrative of neurodiverse individuals. Instead, we recognise the strengths and abilities of those with cognitive differences.

“The displays will encourage people from all walks of life to come into the city centre, and enjoy all it has to offer. Visitors can also take part in the celebrations and embrace the joy of the multi-coloured installations.”

“We expect the Umbrellas to become one of Aberdeen’s most exciting and anticipated installations, which will not only capture the hearts and minds of people from across the city but also raise awareness of the importance of the neurodiverse world we live in where one in five people are neurodivergent.”

As part of ADHD's national campaign, the Umbrella Project also invites people across the UK to celebrate neurodiversity by thinking differently about the 1 in 5 people who are neurodivergent.

The campaign will run across hundreds of Clear Channel’s digital Out of Home screens nationwide. This will include large public outdoor Umbrella Project installations in every country. It will also bring together a slew of new celebrity patrons.

Dr Tony Lloyd of the ADHD Foundation told us that the enthusiasm behind this campaign is a testament to his visionary partners. "More and more we’re seeing society change how it views neurodiversity. Business, education and entertainment. We’re finally beginning to shift away from associating neurodiversity with ‘low ability.’”

The project will be in place until September 2022.

Gray's Degree Show bursts with colour

Three years have passed since the last Gray's Degree Show. Like many of us, this year's graduates have spent a good deal of their studies working from home. They've had to self-motivate and have missed out on social interaction and mutual inspiration.

You may think this might affect some of the quality of work, but I'm here to tell you that the artwork on display is some of the most spectacular, fully realised in the show's stellar history.

Over 100 graduating artists and designers have presented their projects at this year's event. Among the disciplines on display are painting, contemporary art practice, fashion and textiles, communication design, photography, and 3D design, many of which are actually on sale.

Image courtesy of The Gatehouse

A highlight of the Gray's calendar each year, the Degree Show celebrates the talents and achievements of the final-year students. The work created by graduates at Gray's Degree show is of really high quality. But that isn't the whole story. It's also very accessible and entertaining.

This show is probably the best way in the city to see such a huge range of art styles all in one place.

A testament to the graduates drive

Show producer Sally Moir was keen to praise the work of the graduates. She told us, “The effort, ambition, thoughtfulness, criticality throughout the graduating student shows across fine art and design is an absolute testament to their drive to put on a physical show after such a challenging art school journey.

“Be sure to come along over the next week to immerse yourself in an array of creative practices, we promise it will not disappoint.”

Image courtesy of The Gatehouse

Speaking personally, I haven't enjoyed viewing art in digital spaces through the pandemic years. It was an imperfect solution to a very real problem. It wasn't great way to engage with the work, but it must also have been extremely challenging for pupils to recreate their vision in digital.

It's clear that many of this year's final-year students have also been keen to ditch digital. The vast majority of the work on display is right there in the real world…and it's so much fun. As a result, the whole space has amazingly positive energy.

Image courtesy of The Gatehouse

It's no surprise that organisers chose "Welcome to the real world" as this year's tagline. These artists are pushing forward to the future. There's a positivity and ambition on display that's infectious. Despite a busy schedule, I actually left feeling refreshed and inspired.

The Grays Degree Shows are always brilliant in their own ways, but this year's iteration was one of my favourites. I'll definitely be taking the time to visit again. You should get down to see it before it ends on Saturday 18 June 2022.

It's free and it's fun so take a friend along with you. You might find it gives you a lot to talk about.

Aberdeen Events

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The Little Kicks back with Ruminations

The Little Kicks are back with a great new single, Ruminations. This is the first piece of music the band has released since 2017. Written during the pandemic, it was a response to the worrying times we lived through.

It’s an excellent track…one of my favourite from the band. It’s bass heavy, harmonious and has a powerful, urgent beat that always feels like it’s trying to push past it’s slumberous pace. I’ve had it on heavy rotation since we got a sneak preview earlier in the week.


Lead singer Steven Milne told us, “Despite its laid-back nature and stately pace, I wrote this song in the middle of a frantic period of life where things felt a little crazy. While excitedly preparing for the arrival of our son I decided to also lock myself away to get as much writing done in the months before his impending arrival.”

Many Aberdeen folk will be particularly captivated by the accompanying video. With footage shot at the city's Bon Accord Baths, the video shows the ‘Uptown Baths' current grungy state, along with glimpses of its impressive Art Deco past.

Opened in 1940 and closed back in 2008, the Bon Accord Baths has a special place in the heart of Aberdeen. It’s currently managed by Bon Accord Heritage who are working to open them up again as a community owned project. This is the latest in a series of projects making use of the magnificent space.

Aberdeen based company Snap were behind the production of the video. The director was James Galbraith, with stunning photography by Will Farquhar.

The Little Kicks will soon be playing live in Aberdeen again. A much anticipated gig at The Tunnels on 25 June will re-introduce the four piece to their home crowd.

Their regular tour schedule has brought them a great deal of success throughout the UK and Europe. They were also shortlisted in the Best Musical Group category of the Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards in 2017.

Aberdeen Events

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Back to Light the Blue

Light the Blue youth festival will return to the city this June to celebrate the best and brightest local young talent. Venues will host a dynamic and energetic programme of dance, music, film, and spoken word performances. These will take place from Thursday 16 - Saturday 18 June.

Young people across the region and beyond will have the opportunity to get involved, spark conversation, collaborate and celebrate their talent while experiencing an inspirational event program. Light The Blue is a bold and exciting addition to the North-East’s cultural programme. This is an event created by and for young people.

Susan Whyte of Aberdeen Performing Arts, Susan Whyte, said: “Light the Blue is a snapshot of young talent across Aberdeen and beyond, right now.

“The aim of the festival is to spark imaginations and start conversations. To bring young creative minds together and create unforgettable experiences. So we’re really excited and proud to be showcasing these talented, creative artists and performers.

Light the Blue | Thursday

Music Hall’s Big Sky Studio will be the venue for the opening performance of the Light Blue Festival on Thursday, 16 June. In honour of the city and its achievements, Aberdeen Performing Arts' Young Company and Grampian Hospitals Art Trust will perform 'All About People'. The Foresterhill campus community is the focus of this short film with a mixture of sound, imagery, and live performances from the Young Company. Also, A live beatbox set by Jason Singh will set the tone for the festival weekend.

Light the Blue Festival 2022 | Jason Singh

After that, the first event of the Fuse multi-bill series will be held at the Lemon Tree. The program for the show will include performances from the Aberdeen Performing Arts Senior and Intermediate Youth Theatres, City Moves and Ten Feet Tall Theatre Company. Their performances will showcase the talents of young people through theatre, dance, and film.

Finally the day will close with a DJ set by Jason Singh featuring soul, funk, spiritual house, reggae, bhangra, drum and bass, disco, garage, Afrobeat, and more.

Light the Blue | Friday

The Friday, 17 June event schedule will include free workshops on Hip Hop and a scratch night for emerging artists.

Featuring works in progress by young creatives, this exhibition has been curated by young people from open call submissions and mentored by professional artists. Furthermore this is an opportunity for emerging creatives to test out new material in front of a supportive audience.

Light the Blue Festival 2022 | Zoe Graham

Continuing the Light The Blue festivities, the SC&T Youth Concert is taking place at the Lemon Tree on Friday night. Young folk musicians from around North East Scotland will perform together with some of the country's best musicians to showcase group and solo performances.

Light the Blue | Saturday

An array of free workshops will be offered on Saturday, including workshops on making audio performances and devising performance materials. In addition, Ten Feet Tall Theatre and Aberdeen Jazz Festival will provide insights behind the scenes. While Belmont Filmhouse will host a film screening.

On Saturday, the city's latest up-and-coming musicians will perform at the Bon Accord Roof Garden for a free concert. Learn how to collect and share happiness with The Happiness Collectors, an interactive journey of silliness and sound. Fuse events continue at the Lemon Tree with performances from Aberdeen Performing Arts Junior and Intermediate Youth Theatre, City Moves Dance, Castlegate Youth Theatre, and Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre.

Light the Blue Festival 2022 | Evan Duthie

Light the Blue will present a show with a theme of 'Light the Way'. It will include outdoor pop-ups and cabaret performances hosted by drag star Jordy Delight. Performers will include spoken word, drag, theatre, and music artists. Amongst them will be activist/performance artists Ink Asher Hemp & Mal Fraser, and local singer-songwriter AiiTee. Light the Blue 2022 will conclude with DJ Evan Duthie's under 18s Club Night at the Lemon Tree.

Most events across the programme are completely free, with donation options for selected events. Light The Blue Festival Producer Jordan Blackwood said: “Whether you are taking part in Light the Blue or coming along as a member of the audience, it is a fantastic way to support youth arts in the region. The festival has a fresh and exciting feel, developing new talent in a professional way while allowing young people that hint of rebellion that they deserve.

Events Calendar

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Nuart Plus | More than murals

Organisers have announced Nuart Plus, a program of exciting events to celebrate Aberdeen's much-loved street art festival Nuart Aberdeen. These take place from 9-12 June.

The festival weekend will not only include walking tours and art workshops. But also film screenings, debates, food, drink, and craft stalls, as well as stage entertainment.

Nuart Aberdeen will be officially launched at 1 pm on Saturday 11 June. It will kick off in conjunction with a special Inspired Nights event on Broad Street. Inspired Nights will feature music, street food, bars, and creative spaces for both children and adults throughout the weekend.

Free walking tours around the new murals and art installations will begin after the official launch ceremony. They will also continue at regular times on Saturday and Sunday.


In addition, the festival programme includes exclusive film screenings at the Belmont Cinema. You can also look forward to a free conference at the Cowdray Hall that will explore the festival theme of Reconnect.

Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council revealed earlier this month that a total of 11 artists from around the world will converge in the city in June to create brand-new street art for the people of the city to connect with.

Nuart Plus | Martha: A Picture Story

The festival's conference programme will begin with a screening of Martha: A Picture Story. The film chronicles the remarkable career and life of Martha Cooper, an American photojournalist. Throughout her career, she has published photographs in Smithsonian, National Geographic, and Natural History magazines as well as several dozen books and journals.

Nuart Plus | Martha Cooper

In 1984 Martha published a book of photographs illustrating the graffiti subculture known as Subway Art. The book sold millions of copies worldwide and became known as the "Bible" of graffiti.

Nuart Aberdeen's Martyn Reed commented on the festival weekend, saying: “What a privilege it will be to welcome Martha Copper to Aberdeen for the launch of the festival. Born in the 1940’s she is a lady that I have great admiration for and one that has accomplished so much throughout her career.

“She broke new pictorial ground highlighting a grassroots art movement that was later embraced by mainstream culture while remaining steadfast to be recognised as more than just a graffiti photographer.

Nuart Plus | Keynotes from the Cowdray Hall

The conference will also feature keynotes by Dr Erik Hannerz from South Korea, Dr Lachlan MacDowall from Australia, and Dr Stephen Pritchard from the UK. The conference talks and presentations will be held at the Cowdray Hall. They are free and open to the public.

Nuart Plus | Miss.Printed

Nuart Plus | Street Collage

NESCOL is hosting a free Street Collage Workshop with Miss.Printed and Rhed Fawell. Festival artist Miss.Printed has a passion for locative collage. She makes small paper collages and leaves them behind in urban environments for others to find and reflect on.

This hands-on two-hour workshop will allow participants to create their very own collage piece to place on the streets of Aberdeen. Spaces for the workshop are limited and people interested in taking part should apply online.

Nuart Plus | Chalk Don't Chalk

The Chalk Don’t Chalk Workshop will operate outside Provost Skene House on 12 June. People of all ages can drop in anytime during these hours to create their own chalk street art pieces on the ground beneath them. They give everyone the "freedom of the city" to create their own street art.

Nuart Plus | Inspired Nights

Nuart Plus | Inspired Nights and walking tours

Inspired Nights, popular in previous years at The Green will run all weekend, now located on Broad Street.

The popular Nuart Aberdeen walking tours are back too. Also now starting from Broad Street, they are free and open to all ages. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Adrian Watson of Aberdeen Inspired commented on the festival programme: “What better place than Aberdeen city centre to act as the perfect stage for the events that will bolster our highly acclaimed street art festival, Nuart Aberdeen.

“Everyone will find something to enjoy as part of the festival weekend and the programme of events, workshops, film screenings and tours simply act as a further draw to reconnect people with the city.

Do you want to know more about the Nuart Aberdeen 2022 artists? Check this out...


Aberdeen Mela back for Summer 2022

Aberdeen Mela One World Day is all set to return to the Granite City this summer. Westburn park will be ablaze with colour, celebrating the cultural diversity of the city and the North East. There'll be food, music, dance, and loads of kids' activities throughout the day. All of this comes together to bring the park to life in an all-encompassing multicultural festival.

Aberdeen Mela is being held for the first time since 2019. But as in previous years, the program will be led by wonderful and talented performers. All representing Aberdeen's amazing diverse ethnic communities.

Aberdeen Mela is all about the food!

The biggest selling point of Aberdeen Mela for the team here at POST is the food! There's such a huge variety of international cuisines on offer. And so the only problem is deciding which food stall you'll visit next!

Furthermore, the organisers at Aberdeen Multicultural Centre are always looking to expand their offerings with new and diverse catering. Along with the food stalls, you can also expect crafts, clothes, and other fun activities.

Furthermore, organisers will provide pitches to Third Sector and Public Sector Organisations. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to interact and engage with the many diverse international communities of Aberdeen.

Aberdeen Multicultural Centre

The focus of Aberdeen Multicultural Centre is to celebrate Aberdeen's ethnic diversity. Cultural sharing and performing arts are very effective avenues for doing this.

Aberdeen Mela also provides a wonderful platform and showcase for this with performers from across the region, Scotland, and throughout the UK. On each stage, the programme will be diverse and entertaining with a mix of professional artists and community performers.

What you need to know

Westburn Park is brilliant during Mela. It's a great way to sp[end a Sunday with the whole family. There really is something for everyone. You'll definitely head home at the end of the day with a full heart and a full belly. We'll see you there!


Events Calendar

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Rise Up! celebrates black and POC creatives 

Rise Up! is a brand new event coming to Aberdeen this month. The weekend will highlight and amplify the voices of black and POC creatives from Aberdeen and throughout Scotland.

We Are Here Scotland has partnered with Aberdeen Performing Arts to curate the event. Performances, talks, workshops, and community spaces are all part of the festival, which runs from 13-14 May.

Here are some of the many exciting acts set to perform over the weekend's packed line-up.

Ica Headlam

We Are Here Scotland Director Ica Headlam told us: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts on Rise Up! We feel that it is a very important and unique opportunity to spotlight a variety of Black and PoC artists and performers from the North East of Scotland and further afield. With a variety of performances, free panels, and workshops, we hope these events bring new and diverse engagement for Aberdeen’s creative community.”

Friday 13

In Our Own Words is an evening of performance by artists of colour, exploring and celebrating themes of identity, culture and a sense of place in Scotland.

Poetry at Noon is a spoken word artist and poet who believes that art is an extremely powerful tool for personal and social transformation. In her performance poetry, she analyzes and discusses experiences of trauma, political upheaval, migration, and motherhood that she experienced while growing up in Sudan.

Aiysha is a singer-songwriter from Aberdeen. Many will remember her powerful performance at the Black Lives Matter Aberdeen protest in 2020. She also featured in a BBC documentary highlighting Aberdeen's RnB and Hip Hop scene. Aiysha is set to release her debut release as an artist later this year.


Saturday 14

Known as a songwriter and sound smith, Kapil Seshasayee is both a polymath and a true original. Combining the influences of Scott Walker, Blood Orange, Arca, and Richard Dawson into a singular sound.

Rapper Chef has made waves not only because of his music career but also due to his contribution to the community. An ingrained part of his character is his desire to amplify the voices of those around him. He joins Danny Cliff on a lineup which also includes Glasgow based rapper Clarissa Woods and DJ and visual artist DIJA.

One Mississippi takes place at the Lemon Tree at 7 pm. Described as a hard-hitting play that explores how the impact of childhood experiences shapes men’s adult lives, One Mississippi blends humour and storytelling with powerful elements of physical theatre to create an uncompromising insight into what takes us to breaking point.

Danielle Jam

Focusing on Black and POC voices

The weekend will also feature a number of discussions focusing on the issue that black and POC creatives face in our white-dominated creative industries. A series of free talks and workshops taking place at the Music Hall Big Sky Studio on Saturday 14 May cover topics including representation within Scottish creative industries, climate narratives, knowing your worth, and culture and identity as an artistic influence among others.

Ica Headlam and Briana Pegado from We Are Here Scotland will host a talk about how Black and POC need to take the initiative to support their communities by building support structures and community organisations. While Tomiwa Folorunso will host a talk about how there needs to be a change in a predominantly white-dominated industry.

Rachel Thibbotumunuwe, learning manager at Aberdeen Archives, Art Gallery and Museums will discuss how North East Scotland can support Black and POC creatives and artists. There will also be a panel exploring the importance of representation in the industry, hosted by podcast producer Halina Rifai

And much more besides

This is just a small taste of what is on offer at Rise Up! See the Aberdeen Performing Art website for details on all the speakers and performers. Tickets are also available from APA.

Events Calendar

Check out RISE UP on Aberdeen Events

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Aberdeen Performing Arts head Ben Torrie said: “Providing a stage for emerging talent and creating space for all voices to be heard is so important for a thriving artistic environment. Rise Up! is a hugely significant addition to Aberdeen’s cultural calendar this year. The sheer breadth of talent from the artists taking part is incredible. This festival is a fantastic opportunity to discover more about the diverse range of creatives here in the North East and beyond.