Rise Up! returns to celebrate Black and People of Colour creatives

Rise Up!, a two-day festival celebrating Black and People of Colour creatives in Aberdeen and Scotland, will return next month. The festival takes place on 5th - 6th May. It'll be hosted at the Music Hall and The Lemon Tree and is curated by We Are Here Scotland, commissioned by Aberdeen Performing Arts.

Rise Up! is a celebration of unity, creativity, and expression. It promises to be a bit of a feast for the senses with an exciting program of events. The festival will showcase the talents of Black and People of Colour creatives from Scotland and beyond. The festival's events will begin with a keynote speech from Yahya Barry, a leader and consultant in culture, heritage and the creative and screen industries.

Rise Up! Festival Poster

Rise Up! features diverse performances

One of the festival's highlights is a cabaret kicking off the weekend's performances on Friday, 5th May. The event features diverse performances. These include poetry from acclaimed Scottish writer and performer Courtney Stoddart, a comedy set by the hilarious Safeena Rashid, and a dance piece by international talent Dorine Mugisha.

Rise Under debuts on Saturday, 6th May. It's a new strand of the festival aimed at 12-17-year-olds. It will include workshops exploring filmmaking, music, and screenprinting, hosted by rising Aberdeen musician Chef the Rapper, film practitioner Sara Stroud, and visual artists Caitlin Dick and Phoebe McBride. There will also be an Open Mic showcasing new talent in music, spoken word, poetry, and creative expression, hosted by Aberdeen poet and spoken word artist Mae Diansangu.

Workshops and panels

Rise Up! also offers workshops with decolonisation and pro-liberation coach Ravideep Kaur, and widely published writer Andrés N. Ordorica, who will explore the power of friendship in 'An Ode to Friendship'. The festival will host a series of panels exploring important and thought-provoking themes. This will include discussions on mental health and well-being, generational experiences, and uncomfortable conversations in safe spaces.

The festival will conclude with a night of music at The Lemon Tree, featuring pop/R&B girl group 4TUNE, singer-songwriter Rue Cooper, musician and singer Djana Gabrielle, and Aberdeen-based Iranian DJ Pooyan Saadati.

Loved Seeds

Finally, in a new initiative to support Black and People of Colour artists in Scotland, We Are Here Scotland has collaborated with Look Again to celebrate the launch of their upcoming exhibition 'Loved Seeds'. Poet Noon Eldin and artist Helen Love will host a performance combining clay, poetry, and projection to create a three-dimensional family tree of the nine children of an enslaved woman from 1832 Jamaica.

We Are Here Scotland founder and director Ica Headlam said: “I'm pleased that for another year We Are Here Scotland is working in partnership with our friends at Aberdeen Performing Arts to produce our second Rise Up Festival. Last year we were able to provide a platform for a multitude of artists and creatives from our community. And this year's festival is a continuation of everything we developed last year, whilst also highlighting the importance of providing a platform for Black and PoC artists and creatives from the North East of Scotland and further afield.”

Overall, Rise Up! sounds like it'll be even bigger and better than last year, with an exciting program of events that celebrates the creativity and diversity of Black and People of Colour creatives in Scotland and beyond.

Aberdeen International Comedy Festival | Your Guide

Aberdeen International Comedy Festival returns to the granite city this week with a riotous line-up of gut-busting comics. The festival runs from 6-16 October and takes place at multiple venues across the city centre.

Rising talent on the Scottish comedy scene will rub shoulders with international stars fresh from the Fringe and several comedy legends, this year's lineup has something for everyone.

As you can expect from the team at POST, we've put together a guide to the 2022 festival. We'll add to it over the weeks approaching AICF, so do check back.

On Thursday 6 October, David O'Doherty will open the festival at the city's iconic Tivoli Theatre for two nights. Among the things he'll bring with him are loads of chat, some apologies, and some songs played on '80s plastic keyboards glued together.

Magic Gareth | Aberdeen International Comedy Festival

Also headlining during the opening weekend is Phoenix Nights favourite Justin Moorhouse with his new routine, Stretch & Think. He'll appear at Aberdeen Douglas Hotel on Sunday 9th October. This show sees Justin exploring ideas around yoga, running, middle-aged cyclists and his love-hate relationship with football. Having last appeared at the festival in 2017 he told us “Aberdeen is my favourite new city. After only coming for the first time in the last few years I’ve fallen in love with it. Its people, its spirit and its massive seagulls. Too much? Maybe. Need to flog some tickets though."

Joining headliners already on sale, like the deadpan master of satire Jack Dee, Netflix sensation Daniel Sloss, centre lefty and newly single Hal Cruttenden and Britain's Got Talent winner Daliso Chaponda, the latest shows announced include a host of Scottish performers.

Scottish Comedian of the Year

Some of the hottest tickets will be for Stuart McPherson (Siberia, 16 Oct), who’s bringing his acclaimed 2022 Fringe show The Peesh to the festival and youthful Glaswegian Liam Farrelly (Under the Hammer, 9 Oct) with his highly anticipated Fringe debut show, God's Brother-In-Law. Winner of Scottish Comedian of the Year in December 2021 Liam is said to be leading the way for a new wave of Scottish stand-ups and is set to win audiences over with his appealing wit and charm.

Drag makes its festival debut with What a Gag! (Aberdeen Art Centre, 7 Oct) from Slay Presents. The show features some of the nation's best-loved drag artists. The programme also includes a host of family shows, comedy movies at the Belmont Filmhouse, and musical comedy and improvised acts.

Jo Jo Sutherland - Aberdeen International Comedy Festival

New city centre venues hosting shows for the first time include The Priory on Belmont Street where MC Hammersmith (11 Oct) will deliver his hilarious improvised raps and Union Kirk who will showcase two exclusive festival shows titled Supernova (8 Oct) featuring rising star Connor Burns, the whimsical Gareth Waugh and JoJo Sutherland, the teller of many a saucy story.

Then, on the following night, (9 Oct) the Supernova line-up includes 2021's Scottish Comedian of the Year Award-winner Liam Farrelly, Scot Squad’s Chris Forbes and the delightfully crude Kai Humphries (a Geordie, but an honorary Scot) on the bill.

"Biggest, funniest and best festival yet"

Commenting on this year’s festival Shona Byrne, the festival manager told us “It is hugely exciting to announce the full line-up for what truly will be our biggest, funniest and best festival yet. Whether you’re considering catching some live stand-up for the first time or are a comedy stalwart keen to enjoy the next big thing, then Aberdeen truly is the best place to be this October.

The festival has secured funding and sponsorship from Event Scotland and radio station Original 106 for the first time. It will encourage and attract an audience from the wider region and beyond into the city for the 11-day event.

Liam Farrelly | Aberdeen International Comedy Festival

Local charity Mental Health Aberdeen has been named the official charity partner for the second time running giving them a presence across all the shows during the festival providing an opportunity to raise awareness and much-needed funds.

Commenting on the partnership Graeme Kinghorn, Chief Executive said “MHA are doubly delighted to again be the official charity partner for this year's Aberdeen International Comedy Festival. Laughter does you good, is a bona fide proven form of stress relief and personally, I can't wait to see as many of the acts as possible."

The festival will close in Impossible style with the glorious fast, funny, and absurd Milton Jones bringing down the house at the Music Hall on Sunday 16 October. Organiser Aberdeen Inspired expect that its return will see audiences flock to the city centre in their thousands to enjoy the blisteringly funny line-up of comedy that the granite city will showcase over its 11-day run.

Who can you see at this year's Aberdeen International Comedy Festival?

The stars really are coming out for AICF in 2022. It's an exciting lineup. Legendary Irish comedian David O'Doherty and satirist Jack Dee are among the headliners. Also among them, Britain’s Got Talent winner Daliso Chaponda heads to Aberdeen, and of course, the hilarious Milton Jones. And Daniel Sloss, the star of Netflix's "Dark" will make his AICF debut with newly single Hal Cruttenden.

But there are also a whole host of up-and-coming comedians that you'll not want to miss. These are the funny folk that you'll be able to say "I was there before they hit the big time"

Let's go through the roster and tell you about your new favourite stand-up.

Jack Dee | Aberdeen International Comedy Festival
Krystal Evans | Aberdeen International Comedy Festival
Stuart McPherson | Aberdeen International Comedy Festival
Daliso Chaponda | Aberdeen International Comedy Festival
Kai Humphreys | Aberdeen International Comedy Festival

How to get to the venues

First Bus have put together a hand map of all the venues, along with the bus routes to get you there. As sponsors, First Bus will email ticket holders with a special offer a few days before the comedy festival kicks off. All the venues are in the city centre, so it's convenient to get between them under your own steam.

If you can...leave your car at home

How do I keep up to date?

You can find out more details about Aberdeen International Comedy Festival from the Aberdeen Inspired website, as well as the AICF Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.