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.

https://youtu.be/z9RziJ0xiGs

True North to soundtrack the city

The True North music festival returns to Aberdeen this weekend from Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 September. Django Django, Scottish alt-rockers Travis, soul superstar Mica Paris, and world music legend Nitin Sawhney are among the acts playing.

With this year's festival celebrating its eighth anniversary, city venues will include the Music Hall and Lemon Tree. True North will also take over the spectacular pop-up venue Wonder Hoose. Furthermore, there's a Fringe program with free festival performances at SiberiaWaterstones, and the Music Hall's Coda Café.



Throughout September, Wonder Hoose has been running in the stunning surroundings of Marischal College's Quadrangle. The venue will host the opening act of this year's True North festival, local up-and-comer AiiTee, along with Emma PollockStina Marie Claire, and Michael Timmons.

Travis will play the Music Hall on Saturday, 24 September performing classic album The Invisible Band in full. They'll also play their other greatest hits. Upon its release in 2001, The Invisible Band spent four weeks at number one in the UK album charts. It is certified four-times Platinum. The album was produced by Nigel Godrich He is also known for his work with Radiohead as well as producing Travis’ nine-time Platinum album The Man Who.

Los Bitchos | True North
Los Bitchos | True North

A True North tribute to Aretha Franklyn

Mica Paris will be joined by Aberdeen’s own international singing sensation Emeli Sande, celebrated jazz singer Georgia Cecile and other special guests at the Music Hall on Sunday, 25 September for a stunning celebration of the music of the legendary Aretha Franklin.

Internationally renowned composer Nitin Sawhney takes to the Music Hall stage on Friday, 23 September. Described as one the most distinctive and versatile musical voices around today, Sawhney has become a modern-day ‘Renaissance man’ in the worlds of music, film, videogames, dance and theatre. He has over 20 studio albums to his name. These include solo albums, film soundtracks and compilations. Sawhney also has over 50 film scores! He has received a substantial wealth of major national and international awards for his work.

Nitin Sawhney | True North
Nitin Sawhney | True North

A diverse exciting line-up

Aberdeen Performing Arts' Ben Torrie said that True North has always been a fantastic opportunity to celebrate great music. "This year is no exception with world renowned artists like Nitin Sawhney, Travis, Mica Paris and Emeli Sande sharing the bill with some of Scotland's brightest new talent.

“It’s a really diverse, exciting line up, and our beautiful pop-up venue Wonder Hoose, which has been open throughout September, has warmed us up nicely for the festival this weekend. “It’s a chance to have a great night out, enjoy your favourite music, discover amazing new artists and let us entertain you this weekend.”

The line-up also includes alt-rock favourites Django Django, latino outfit Los Bitchos and the exuberant African Groove Machine at the Lemon Tree, and joining AiiTee on the Wonder Hoose line up over the weekend will be Emma Pollock, Honeyblood’s Stina Marie Claire and Michael Timmons as well as interactive family shows from CBeebie’s favourite YolanDa’s Band Jam and Sprog Rock.

Travis | The Invisible Band in Concert

True North's free fringe programme

The Fringe programme, taking place across venues including the Music Hall’s Coda Café, Waterstones and Siberia, features a line up of some of Scotland’s brightest talents. This includes Callum Gibson, Nani, Nikhita, Adam Thom and Michael Timmons.

Full details for True North Festival are available at www.truenorthfestival.co.uk. Tickets are on sale now. They are available from www.aberdeenperformingarts.com.

True North 2022 Line Up

Meet the team who keep the WayWORD Festival on course

The WayWORD Festival returns for its third outing next week, hosted by the University of Aberdeen. The student and volunteer-led literary festival runs from 20 - 25 September. And for the first time, most events will be held in person.

WayWORD will feature workshops, author events, book launches, panel discussions and performance nights. And keeping it accessible, a BSL interpreter will be available at all performances, and online performances will be captioned.



There are several big names to look out for this year. These include Monica Ali, Raymond Antrobus, Christopher Brookmyre, Jenny Colgan and Bee Asha Singh, Alan Spence, Booker Prize-winner Douglas Stuart, Nan Sheperd and Esther Woolfson and more.

We spoke to team members, Kirsty, Elisa and Stacey about the festival and who they are looking forward to seeing this year.

WayWORD committee member, Stacey

Let's start out by telling us a little about each of you

Kirsty: I studied MA English and Scottish Literature and MLitt Creative writing at UoA and started as a student committee member in 2020 but have since been employed by the WORD Centre for Creative Writing assisting in the devising and delivering of events, including WayWORD.

Elisa: I am a fourth-year student in English with Creative Writing at UoA. This is my first year being part of the WayWORD’s student committee. So I am using my creativity and determination to help with the organisation of events. That can be by giving new ideas to develop and spread the WORD, but also by designing graphics to promote every event online. I will be chairing the live-streamed conversation with Maya MacGregor at Hazlehead Academy on Thursday 22nd September, 1:00 pm - 2:45 pm.

Stacey: I am a former student of North East Scotland College and I’ve done courses in Media & Communications as well as Technologies in Business. I am a committee member of this year’s WayWORD festival. This means I have been planning my own event as well as promoting a range of events and the festival in general. I will be co-chairing an online event, Discussion: Gaming as a Narrative Art Form, on Saturday 24th September 10:30 am - 12 pm.

2020 was a pretty wild time to start a festival. How did it come about, and how did plans change to accommodate the covid pandemic?

Kirsty: We started planning in 2019, so we were already 5 months deep by the time covid was on anyone’s minds! On so many occasions we were faced with difficult decisions, from moving workshops online to potentially postponing the entire festival!

In the end, we stuck with our original dates and embraced the power of zoom, which was a wholly different vision from the brainstorming in 2019.

WayWORD committee member, Kirsty

There's an increased community and school programme attached to this year's festival. What can folk expect from that?

Kirsty: We are all about community and have spent several months in Hazlehead Academy working with pupils to create these events.

We never anticipated how innovative and ambitious these groups would be. They approached each task with so much thought and took their events very seriously. They considered the impact on the audience and the impact on the wider community. How much it would cost; logistics; potential guest speakers; impact on diversity and inclusion.

Elisa: Creativity, diversity, and inclusion, as Kirsty rightly pointed out, but I would also add humility.

It was absolutely wonderful to see the young people of Hazlehead Academy organising the events not thinking about themselves and about who they would like to see and what they would like to do. Instead they worked on what their audience would love. I believe that is something very rare today. To put others first instead of yourself, not be too egotistical. And these teens really did that well.

Their thinking was broad and thorough. And some of them who were very shy overcame that. They can be very proud of what they did, and I am sure our guests and participants will feel how much fun they had helping us with the festival.

WayWORD committee member, Elisa

You'll be seeing a lot more people in person this year, what extra challenges does that bring?

Kirsty: There is the added challenge of travel and accommodation logistics which we have only done on a much smaller scale but it is now nearly the entire programme!

Elisa: To do as well as last year? No, seriously, we have to think a lot about attracting people and making the trip to in-person events worth their time, which is not always an easy thing. But to be utterly honest with you, I think seeing more people brings much more excitement than challenges on the team!

Stacey: With previous festivals being held fully online in 2020 and semi-online in 2021, it will be interesting to see how 2022’s festival will come together with more events in person than online. The building will be quite busy with guests, audience members, team members, and volunteers so it may be a challenge to manage a lot of people and make sure everybody knows what they are doing.

Christopher Brookmyre

Building a festival like this takes a great deal of work and organisation. How does the university provide additional support?

Kirsty: We are partly funded by the University and have access to some of their support teams, such as Media Services, Marketing, and Estates, who all help to make things happen on the ground, and catering who will be providing a food shack this year.

WayWORD is run by The WORD Centre for Creative Writing. Its part of the School of Language, Literature, Music, and Visual Culture. So we have access to some of their resources such as the venue, King’s Pavilion. Staff from across the university offer to mentor the students who organise the festival. And many academic staff help to pitch ideas, contact speakers, and chair events as well.

Our Creative Director Dr Helen Lynch wears many hats and pulls together all the different strands of the university support. It is a real team effort between WayWORD staff, wider University Staff, and the students.

Jenny Colgan

The whole festival is programmed by students and young people. Why was this important for the WayWORD Festival, and what benefits does that benefit those who volunteer?

Elisa: More than being a youth-led festival, I believe WayWORD invites different generations of people to exchange and broaden everybody’s artistic views.

Students get the opportunity to learn about new things, just like professors and adults that help them. It is a constant act of sharing. That’s what made me embark on the journey and join this third iteration.

I am a very introverted and anxious person, and as I am not a native speaker. I don’t have much confidence in speaking with local people. But I love sharing about books and art in general. So volunteering in WayWORD really pushed my boundaries. It helped me find people with shared interests that were eager to listen to my broken English.

Stacey: It is beneficial having the festival programmed by students and young people because they know what kinds of topics younger people are interested in and to engage them to come and check out what’s on offer at the festival.

As the only college student on the committee who has never studied at university I felt scared being in an environment I know very little about. I worried that I wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the group. But that fear soon disappeared when everyone was so kind and welcoming to me.

Being on the committee has helped me to come out of my shell more and developed my confidence. I definitely don’t regret signing up!

Monica Ali

What events are each of you particularly looking forward to at the WayWORD Festival this year?

Stacey - Performing Identities, North East Writers and Chamber Music Scotland, Fan Fiction Panel.

Elisa - Maya MacGregor, Tattered Memory: Memoir with Timothy C. Baker & Helen Taylor, Rachelle Atalla, C. J. Cooke.

Naomi - Tattered Memory: Memoir with Timothy C. Baker & Helen Taylor, North East Writers and Chamber Music Scotland, Raymond Antrobus.

Kirsty - Michael Pedersen, Scottish Contemporary Drama: Debbie Hanan in conversation with Lucy Hinnie, Padraig Regan & Naush Sabah.

Find out more about the WayWORD Festival

Thank you so much to Kirsty, Stacey and Elisa for taking the time to talk to us. You can get more info about this year's WayWORD Festival, and all the guests at www.waywordfestival.com

Although all events are free, ticket booking is required. Book now to avoid disappointment.


TEDxAberdeen 2022 | Everything you need to know

Following a successful event last year, Aberdeen Arts Centre will host TEDxAberdeen for its second event on Saturday 12 November. It will be a day of sharing interpretations of TEDxAberdeen's theme of "movement." A wide range of topics will be discussed, including social acceptance, racism, language preservation, and resistance to change. In addition, they will look at rethinking values and societal conditioning.

TEDxAberdeen has announced that ticket applications for this year are now open. People who would like to attend are now invited to apply for tickets for the one-day event on 12 November 2022 at Aberdeen Arts Centre. The application window closes on Monday 10 October.

TEDx Aberdeen event at Aberdeen Art Centre Picture by Michal Wachucik/Abermedia


TEDxAberdeen's head, Moray Barber, said that selecting candidates to speak this year was a very challenging task. He said that it “demonstrates the northeast of Scotland is full of thought-provoking ideas and talented speakers.

“Our speakers impressed us with their unique takes on movement - moving beyond, moving minds, and moving bodies - we can’t wait to see how they refine and hone their ideas.”

TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged. Today it covers almost every topic you can imagine in more than 100 languages. The TEDx program is a self-organised series of events that offer attendees a TED-like experience at a local level.

Ten speakers have been handpicked to speak on the famous red dot in Aberdeen this year.

Dr Aileen Alexander | TEDx Aberdeen 2022 Speaker
Dr Aileen Alexander | TEDx Aberdeen 2022 Speaker

Dr Aileen Alexander

Talk Title: The Benefits of Movement

Why as a nation are we more sedentary than ever and how is this impacting our mental and physical health and wellbeing?

Aileen will delve into the benefits of exercise at an individual and a global level addressing some of the reasons why we don’t exercise as much as we should.

Eric Doyle | TEDxAberdeen 2022 Speaker
Eric Doyle | TEDxAberdeen 2022 Speaker

Eric Doyle

Talk Title: Passion will get you moving, passion with strategy and community will get you further…

Eric will share his experience of embarking on a gruelling challenge event, fuelled by the emotion of a conversation with a friend who sadly lost his life. During the event he quickly got into serious trouble and couldn’t complete the challenge. A few years later Eric, decided to do it again with a completely different approach and mindset.

Katie Forbes | TEDxAberdeen Speaker
Katie Forbes | TEDxAberdeen Speaker

Katie Forbes

Talk Title: Autism is a difference, not a disorder

Katie is an autistic marketing professional specialising in digital and social media based in Aberdeen. Katie’s talk discusses the detrimental impact of healthcare professionals and the media portraying autism as a disorder; something that needs to be fixed or cured. She will invite the audience to look beyond this terminology and see autism for what it is, simply a difference. Not bad, nor less - just different.

Fraser Hay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 Speaker
Fraser Hay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 Speaker

Fraser Hay

Talk Title: From Human Being to Human Becoming

Entrepreneur and business coach Fraser will talk about how the events of the last couple of years have caused many people to stagnate. As a result of many industries collapsing, businesses closing their doors, and many individuals being laid off, paid off, or made redundant, thousands have found themselves at a crossroads.

Fraser will share a powerful four step process with specific examples from his life when he had stagnated and was faced with considerable challenges, and the results he was able to achieve in applying the process to his next stage of growth.

Lauren Hay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Lauren Hay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Lauren Hay

Talk Title: Speak Properly: Is Doric Dying?

Cullen born quine, Lauren will share her concerns about the growing disconnection from our North-east dialect doric.

“Doric is at risk of extinction as we are shackled to scrolling on screens and have less and less conversations in ‘real life’ and this is where Doric exists – in the communities around us. It is not a language that we read nor write very often but we speak it every day. The less we speak and more we scroll the more disconnected from Doric we become.” explains Lauren.

Lyly Lepinay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Lyly Lepinay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Lyly Lepinay

Talk Title: Beyond the Chinese Takeaway

Buckie born marketing specialist and creative writer, Lyly, will give us a taster of life beyond the Chinese takeaway.

Lyly says: “Often when we think of the Chinese community in the UK, the first thing that comes to mind is the takeaway or buffet restaurants. There’s little the average person knows about the community other than their own Chinese takeaway order. This comes as no surprise as our community is often invisible in mainstream media despite being the third biggest ethnic minority group in Scotland.”

Zoe Morrison | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Zoe Morrison | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Zoe Morrison

Talk Title: Why we say people don’t like change

Robert Gordon University Professor Zoe says: ‘I’m excited to talk about why we say that people do not like change. All too easily we use this statement as an excuse, identifying other people as the reason for lack of movement. But how valid and engaging are our ideas to initiate change?

She adds: “I'm looking forward to exploding the myths about change and explaining the potential impact if we stopped telling ourselves that people don't like change.”

Del Redvers | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Del Redvers | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Del Redvers

Talk Title: How your hypocrisy can help to save humanity

Corporate affairs director and environmental charity chair Del will challenge our thoughts about hypocrisy and how being a hypocrite is not only okay, it can enable positive change.

Del explains: “To address the biggest challenges humanity faces we must move quickly through social and behavioural transitions. In these transitions there are gaps between what we say and what we do, where our hypocrisy is evident.

“Hiding our hypocrisy as a vulnerability or a failing slows our progress. Instead, we can acknowledge and own it, using the tension it creates to draw us to a better future.”

Sarah Rochester | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Sarah Rochester | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Sarah Rochester

Talk Title: We don’t need a reason

Communications manager Sarah will share her experience of the decision to stop drinking.

Sarah says: “When I stopped drinking, I felt constantly anxious because I didn’t have a ‘reason’. I didn’t have a rock bottom moment and therefore I didn’t have an answer to the question ‘why?’. Until I realised that wanting to was enough on its own. I hope to be part of a change in the conversation around alcohol, to help people see they don’t need a reason.”

Alex Whyte | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Alex Whyte | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Alex Whyte

Talk Title: The Career Mother Gear

Alex’s talk centres around her experience of pursuing her career while also entering motherhood. Alex explains: “This period has been the hardest and fastest pace of life I have ever experienced. A pace I didn’t know I had in me until I was faced with the prospect of failure in one or the other.”

Completing the line-up is Martin Robertson. Martin will share his views on how to live a full life with dementia and why society should not write dementia sufferers off.

TEDxAberdeen 2022 | A diverse and eclectic group of speakers

Program Curator Derrick Thomson adds: “We have a diverse and eclectic group of speakers who will now embark on an 18-week coaching process to craft their ideas ready for the event in November.

“This is the exciting part; taking the speaker’s raw concept and working them to create an idea worth spreading. I am really looking forward to supporting the speakers as they prepare for their moment in the red dot - we’re co-creating an engaging and inspiring event for our community.”

For more information about TEDxAberdeen visit their home page.


Aberdeen Mela back in style

Aberdeen Multicultural Centre created Aberdeen Mela to celebrate and promote the diversity of culture and community. Both within Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland. It's a fantastic day out for the family. A chance to connect with the many cultures the city is home to.

Alongside the festivities and cultural exchange, the Mela also aims to promote more widespread awareness of global development issues. Organisers hope this motivates and inspires people to help create a more equitable world. And that it shows them how they can get involved.



Back for the first time since 2019, Westburn Park in Aberdeen will host Aberdeen Mela from 12 noon to 7 pm. Acts ranging from Bhangra dancers and international choirs to Asian singers and traditional Scottish musicians will appear on different stages. The event will feature a variety of ethnic food stalls, crafts, clothes, information stalls, and loads of family activities.

We had a chat with Ahashan Habib the manager at Aberdeen Multicultural Centre about what they have planned for Aberdeen Mela this year.

For many visitors, this will be their first Aberdeen Mela. What can people expect when they arrive at Westburn Park on Sunday?

The Mela is the largest family fun day celebrating multiculturalism and diversity in the North East of Scotland. It’s a massive festival with over 10,000 people coming from as far as Edinburgh, Glasgow and even London to see over 100 performers on the main stage. We also have local acts that are just fantastic too!

Expect a feast for the eyes and the ears as we have food stalls sharing cuisine from around the globe, arts and crafts stalls, workshops and a funfair! You can come and stay the whole day as there’s always going to be something happening. This year we even have a Zumba class with Baila Venezuela from Edinburgh and a roaming stage whereby the acts will be performing across Westburn Park. They will be engaging with our audience and bringing a taste of Mela to them!

What acts will be on stage at Mela this year?

We have Gurusoundz coming from London who has performed at the Queen’s Garden Party and the Royal Albert Hall. This year we are having our first ever Mela Afterparty at the LemonTree. Guru Soundz aka Dj Sandyman will be spinning amazing Bollywood classics, to keep the Mela vibe going from 8-10pm. We also have RAAG Qawwali Group from London who are on a mission to bring the same Sufi Mysticism brought by the Sabri Brothers in the 20th century. They offer a very unique listening experience that is visceral. They have performed on BBC.

We also have Desi Braveheart from Glasgow, an amazing Bollywood/ fusion dance group that always gets people dancing! This year we will have Shashwati which focuses on two different dance forms. Mohiniyattam – an Indian classical dance form that developed and remained popular in the state of Kerala. And Bharatanatyam (the oldest classical dance tradition in India). Her outfit is incredible, with bells on her hands and feet, and brightly coloured make-up on the soles of her feet and hands too! She’s performed for the Scottish parliament and is definitely one to watch.

We will also have local Chinese communities and local groups like the Red Phoenix Dance Group and Yee’s Hung Ga, a martial arts group. Keep your eyes peeled for the dancing lion that will be roaming Westburn Park and get your picture taken!

For us, the highlight of Mela is the wide selection of food stalls. What will be on offer this year?

We have food from Portugal, India, classic British, ice cream, sweet stalls, candyfloss and much, much more!

I was lucky enough to be in Edinburgh for their Festival Carnival. It was a kaleidoscope of colour and sound. What benefits do you think multicultural festivals like this bring to Scottish cities?

We’re really excited to relaunch the Mela as culture can bring people together. Especially after the past two years as Covid has greatly impacted people’s mental health. So this Mela will bring a lot of joy to the community as there will be lots of different cultural activities and food. It’s just such a great family event. The festival is about celebrating our similarities and respecting our differences. Aberdeen is a real melting point of cultures and #AberdeenMela brings us all together to celebrate, dance, and eat good food. To take part in amazing workshops, learn about each other’s cultures and bring together and unite the city.

Music is a brilliant way for people to share their cultural backgrounds. How big a role does it play in Aberdeen Mela?

Music is essential for #AberdeenMela it goes beyond language and creates an atmosphere that transports you into another world. It really brings the feel-good vibes of Aberdeen Mela to Westburn Park.

It's very much a family event, isn't it? What will be on specifically for kids?

We have a funfair, ice cream, sweet stands, and workshops such as Chinese calligraphy throughout the day. People can come and learn a character that they can draw themselves and take home with them. There are Henna stalls too and the opportunity for children to drum with the Guarana drummers. They have always been a hit in previous Aberdeen Melas.

Aberdeen is a hugely multicultural city. Do you think there should be more opportunities to demonstrate this? What more could the city be doing to show its cultural diversity?

Togetherness is very important. People have very busy lives so we want to just bring them together for a big celebration and give everyone a flavour of all the different cultures. It’s very important to integrate in our multi-cultural environment and to know each other as that can bring true harmony to the city.

There should be more opportunities but we are hoping that Aberdeen Mela continues to be generously funded by our sponsors and partners such as Aberdeen city council, ACVO, Aberdeen Performing Arts, Instant Neighbour, the Elphinstone Institute, Event Scotland, Station House Media Unit, Aberdeen Lions and Aberdeen Multicultural Centre. It’s months of hard work but so worth it to see everyone smiling on the day. We hope we can continue to be the largest celebration of multiculturalism and diversity in the North East. We will also continue to support other festivals that are similarly uniting the city and bringing people together.

Brilliant, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Remind us about the date and times of this year's Aberdeen Mela.

Aberdeen Mela takes place on Sunday 21st August at Westburn Park. We kick off at noon and party all the way through until 7 pm. Entry is FREE!


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.

https://postabdn.com/event/nuart-aberdeen-2022/

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...

https://postabdn.com/2022/05/01/nuart-aberdeen-2022/

Nuart Aberdeen 2022

Everything you need to know about Aberdeen's street-art festival

Organisers of Aberdeen's street art festival Nuart Aberdeen have announced the full line-up for the 2022 event. 11 international artists will descend upon the city in early June. They'll aim to create art that will invoke connections between people and the city.

The first Nuart festival was staged in 2001 in Stavanger, Norway. It was and still is under the direction and curation of its founding director Martyn Reed. His mission is to bring art to the masses.



Nuart Aberdeen 2022 Reconnects

"RECONNECT" is the theme of Nuart Aberdeen 2022. Its a response to the disconnection and uncertainty that have characterized the past two years of social isolation and lockdown. Martyn hopes that Nuart Aberdeen 2022 will help to alleviate the stress that has become a part of our everyday lives.

He told us “We have connected with artists, academics and industry professionals from across the globe to explore and present the very best that this culture has to offer for Nuart Aberdeen.

https://postabdn.com/2022/05/20/nuart-plus-more-than-murals-nuart-aberdeen-2022/

“I think the theme of ‘Reconnect’, is pretty self-explanatory. We're aware of the connections we've stretched to the limit or lost during two years of pandemic and enforced isolation. If art presented in a festival format is good for anything, then it's making connections. Art to people, people to place, to the city, to each other, across borders, genders and race.

"At the very least, I'm hoping it inspires someone to pick up the phone and call their mum. I'd consider that a win.”

Nuart Aberdeen 2022 Tours

Nuart Aberdeen has also announced the return of their popular street-art tours. Due to the large number of work now on display throughout the city, they have now split these into two separate tours. The west end tours and the east end tours will begin in late May.

Over the two-hour long tours, you'll hear about the artists behind the murals, and what inspired them. The expert tour guides will also share all the behind the scenes stories about how the works were created. Tickets can be bought on the day from the guides and also from the Eventbrite website.

Who are the artists?

So below is the full list of artists for Nuart Aberdeen 2022. We've included links to their websites and social media channels, so you can explore their work further. On top of that, we've added guides so you can find the work of each mural for yourself. If that's not enough, there's an interactive map that you can add to your phone while you are out hunting down this year's spectacular selection of street art.

This Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural is painted on a rounded grey wall. It depicts a man painted in black and white holding a hammer and chisel. He sits on a wall of multi-coloured graffiti, chipping away at it.
Martin Whatson | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Martin Whatson | NCP, Virginia Street

Included in the lineup of inspiring national and international street artists is Norwegian street artist Martin Whatson. You may remember him as the artist who created a mural on Queen Street as part of the first-ever street art festival in 2017.  His mural, featuring a golfer was hugely popular with the crowds. A few locals were also given the opportunity to create their own graffiti tags as part of his creation.

HOW TO FIND IT: You can find Martin Whatson's spectacular return to the city right next to the exit of the NCP on Virginia Street. The multi-coloured graffiti and stencilling. It is absolutely unmissable, especially as it is right next to James Klinge's massive mural.

A hotel and gym on the left and a multi-storey car park on the right. Between them is a ten-storey wall. On the wall is a Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural of a woman with dark hair, a black top and dark blue jeans. She is holding her finger up to her mouth telling viewers to be quiet.
James Klinge | Photo by Chris Sansbury

James Klinge | Ibis Hotel, Virginia Street

Also in the Nuart Aberdeen 2022 artist lineup is Scottish stencil artist James Klinge. He was born in Glasgow, where he continues to live and work. His work is primarily figurative using intricate and detailed hand-cut stencils as the foundation of the process. Yet he describes the process of his paintings as controlled chaos. It is difficult to see that his paintings begin from stencils. His complimentary blend of intense detail with expressive strikes from his palette knife. He brings abstraction to his paintings by attacking the canvas.

HOW TO FIND IT: The Ibis Hotel is one of the city’s tallest blank walls. Perfectly visible to visitors arriving in the city by boat. It's absolutely huge and unmissable.

A look down at what looks like a welcome mat. On closer inspection, you can see that the Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mat is made up of pictures of thousands of little people. You can see the photographer's red and white trainers at the bottom of the image.
Pejac | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Pejac | Union Street

The global appeal and influence of the festival is demonstrated by the inclusion of Spanish artist Pejac who will make a rare appearance as part of the event.  Pejac mainly paints with black to create silhouetted figures and shadows but sometimes uses splashes of colour to show them in a smart and poetic manner in both playful and serious scenes. His creations have enchanted audiences around the world and it’s a real coup to secure his place in the 2022 lineup.

HOW TO FIND IT: Nuart makes its Union Street debut. It's a difficult one to spot...especially when the city centre is busy and bustling. Head to Citizens Advice and LOOK DOWN!

A huge yellow Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural. It is bright and yellow with a picture of a masked person. You cannot see the face. The mask and headscarf are mostly white but have a Queen playing card design.
Nuno Viegas | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Nuno Viegas | Gerard Street

Portuguese artist Nuno Viegas was originally on the artist lineup for the cancelled 2020 edition but secretly visited the city as part of a ‘lockdown edition’.  His clean and minimal work draws on traditional graffiti for inspiration.  Nuno is looking forward to returning to the city and told us “We are finally going to make it happen! 2020 was marked by the Lockdown Edition after covid ruined our plans and stopped us all from travelling. It feels great now to join the Nuart Aberdeen family in person once again for the Aberdeen jam!"

HOW TO FIND IT: These buildings are already home to a Nuart Aberdeen Mural. The spectacular crystalline head mural was painted by Norwegian Henrik Uldalen. If you walk along Gerard Street from George Street you won't miss it.

A Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural on the side of a multi-storey car park. It depicts a person standing on a rock holding a huge white flag on a pole. The flag is covering their face.
Jofre Oliveras | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Jofre Oliveras | Frederick Street Car Park

Explorer, landscaper, and activist. Jofre Oliveras uses art as a communication tool with a social focus. The main location for his work is in public space. His community-based and self-sufficient lifestyle led him to become part of Konvent, a cultural and artistic community-organised residency space. He has produced works and organised events with an international trajectory in the muralism sector and as a realist painter.

HOW TO FIND IT: This is a very large mural that is best viewed from Princes Street. So if you approach from Park Street, you won't miss it.

A Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural on the side of a multi-storey car park. It depicts a family around a table. The mother and father are standing, but the mother is obscured. The father holds a white towel.
Mohamed L'Ghacham | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Mohamed L'Ghacham | Lime Street

Painter and muralist Mohamed L'Ghacham was born in Tangier (Morocco) and based in Mataró (Barcelona). Always interested in the Plastic Arts, he discovered the world of graffiti and years later he started to be attracted by Classical painters and the language they use. His work is mainly figurative with a realistic aspect and Impressionist touches. He creates scenes from everyday life happening around him.

HOW TO FIND IT: Lime Street is towards the Fittie end of Aberdeen Harbour. It's a small street between Apollo House and a car park. If you are walking from town and have the harbour to your right, you'll find this tucked away on the left.

This Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural depicts a young girl wearing a kilt. She is standing on top of a chair in front of a blackboard. She has been writing lines on the board, saying "I will pay me taxes" in cursive writing.
Slim Safont | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Slim Safont | Union Row

Nil Safont was born in Berga (Barcelona) and graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona. He is a muralist and painter, mainly interested in urban art and interventions in public space. His works are large-format paintings that use the walls of the streets as canvases. He works on topics closely linked to the different daily lives he discovers in the social contexts where he works.

HOW TO FIND IT: This site is near an older Nuart Aberdeen mural by Lithuanian-born artist Ernest Zacharevic. If you walk past the huge toddler and the seagull with Union Plaza on your right, you will fund it on the back side of the same building.

This Nuart Aberdeen 2022 mural depicts a bathroom from above. You can see the sink, the door and the entrance to the shower.
Erin Holly | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Erin Holly | Union Grove

An artist who paints indoors on canvas and activates public spaces with her murals. She has also implemented and curated a DIY art venue called the Abacus and a street art project in Cardiff Wales called Empty Walls between 2013 and 2015. Erin seeks collaborations in and around the LGBTQ+ community and is an activist for trans rights. She lives and works in London, UK and studied at the City and Guilds School of Art, London.

HOW TO FIND IT: The side wall of Brodies on Union Grove is a huge blank canvas. Three storeys high and also easily visible from the road. It's close to the junction with Holburn Street.

A massive mural on the side of an office building depicts the head and neck of a woman looking out a window, curtains partially drawn.
Elisa Capdevila | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Elisa Capdevila | Wapping Street

Barcelona based muralist Elisa Capdevila began her artistic career began in 2014 when she studied painting and drawing in a traditional school in Barcelona. She started painting murals during that time, first as a mere exercise where the canvas was replaced by a wall, later realising its broader possibilities and deciding to focus her personal work around these larger-scale projects.

This Nuart Aberdeen 2022 depicts three nude women in a close embrace.
Jacoba Niepoort | Photo by Chris Sansbury

JACOBA | Justice Mill Lane

Copenhagen-based muralist Jacoba Niepoort is a muralist who has been painting in the public space since 2009. Scale is a personal obsession, and the streets are often her playground because they are where everyday people move. JACOBA’s work is grounded in her belief that connectedness facilitates a better understanding of self and others, and is a powerful tool to address and change current social issues.

HOW TO FIND IT: Holburn House is currently partially empty, but there is a HUGE wall to the rear on Justice Mill Lane. You'll find it across the road from the Bon Accord Baths and Park Inn hotel.

This Nuart Aberdeen 2022 work is a small black and white collage of a woman in a smart 1960s suit. There are smaller pieces of the work that show red and yellow fire.
Miss.Printed | Photo by Chris Sansbury

Miss.Printed | City Centre

Norway based Miss.Printed is sure to delight and surprise with her delicate miniature paper collages which she will place in the streets. She photographs her collages on location under adverse conditions. She loves to combine paper elements and their predators: water, fire, snow, wind and sky. In an urban environment, she leaves her papercuts behind for others to reflect upon.

HOW TO FIND THEM: Look hard and look down. These murals are all over the city centre, especially near the other Nuart Aberdeen 2022. They are likely to disappear over time though so catch them while you can!

Nuart Aberdeen 2022 Interactive Map

We've created this interactive map to help you find the amazing work from 2022. It has been a very special year, and the work will remain part of our cityscape for years to come.





Transforming the streetscape

Brought to the city by Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, the multi-award-winning Nuart Aberdeen has transformed the streetscape of the Granite City. Commenting on the return of the festival, Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired said “At its heart, Nuart Aberdeen 2022 is all about connecting people with the city through the art that is created by the talented street artists which the festival draws.

“Nuart Aberdeen has helped put the city on the map in terms of its cultural offering and it has changed the face of the city since it first began in 2017. Over the years we have played host to groundbreaking street artists and delivered projects that have involved participants from all walks of life. We are excited to see what people make of this year's programme of events.

Aberdeen City Council is a key funding partner for the festival. Council Leader, Jenny Laing told us “The city is delighted to welcome back Nuart Aberdeen. I expect residents and the public at large will be excited by the announcement that the festival is back and the lineup of artists.”

Photo by Chris Sansbury

streetartaberdeen.org

If you loved the world-class murals on display at Nuart Aberdeen, you might like to explore Aberdeen's very own street art and graffiti scene. Finding where to look can be challenging though, and that's why Andy Gaskell set up Street Art Aberdeen.

It's a guide to all the work on display in the city with a record of over a thousand pieces of work and growing. You can start with unofficial Nuart Aberdeen pieces, work by Aberdeen writers, and even work that has long gone. It's a brilliant record.

Visit streetartaberdeen.org and begin exploring. Remember to check in regularly as new work is added every few days.


Nuart Aberdeen 2022 announced

Nuart Aberdeen 2022 has been confirmed for this summer and will be held on 9-12 June. Once again, the city and its walls will serve as the canvas for world-class street artists.

The streetscape of Granite City has been transformed by Nuart Aberdeen over the last four years. More than thirty street artists, hailing from the USA, Europe, Australia, South America and the UK, painted stunning works of art. The city's walls, pavements, billboards and even potholes have transformed the city centre into an outdoor art exhibition featuring everything from golfers to leopards.



The event began with the production of the first mural by Herakut at the Green in 2017. It was an iconic piece and many people were heartbroken when developers tore it down over the past month. All the way up to the remarkable mural Helen Burr painted on the gable end of the Meridian building on Union Row last summer, portraying a couple and their baby. People are hugely attracted to the art and consider it part of the city. It's expected that the murals from Nuart Aberdeen 2022 will have an equally big impact.

It's been a rough couple of years

Martyn Reed directed and curated the first Nuart festival in Stavanger in 2001. His goal has always been to make art accessible to everyone.

Martyn commented, "It's been a rough couple of years. Having to cancel the 2020 edition a month before the launch was absolutely demoralising. The team had worked so hard getting plans into place with so many local businesses, partners and volunteers. But this paled into insignificance compared with the challenges we all faced individually and collectively as the reality of the pandemic became clear. I think many of us, cities included, became more insular. Siloed and focused on getting through a major global crisis.

“But even through all of this, we managed to stay connected to friends. Our extended family and network in Aberdeen, was always more than "business". Returning to "reconnect" was always a light at the end of the corona tunnel. I can't adequately express how happy we are to be back amongst those friends and family who kept things moving through 2020 and 2021.

Bring something special back to a city we regard as home

“We've asked the artists and guests to consider this theme of "Reconnect" for 2022. Reconnecting with each other, public space, dreams, and hope for the future. Hopefully, Nuart Aberdeen can help in easing some of the collective anxiety we've all been feeling these past few years. We can bring back a sense of community. I don't want to make any grand claims about art’s place in the grand scheme of things. We’d just like the people of Aberdeen to know we're going to do our best to bring something special back to a city we regard as home."

The festival weekend will feature a full line-up of street art productions. It' will be back with events, community workshops, creative spaces, talks, conference programmes, and tours. It’s shaping up to be the most exciting festival to date.

The city centre is expected to be flooded with thousands of people throughout the weekend. They'll be able take in the murals and installations created by the artists. And also enjoy all that is on offer as part of the festival experience.

The finest internationally acclaimed street artists

Commenting on the return of the festival, Adrian Watson, of Aberdeen Inspired said “Nuart Aberdeen is a festival unlike any other seen in the city. It has a mass appeal and inspires people of all ages to enjoy art in their own way at their own pace.

“We are delighted to bring the festival back to the city centre this year. Locals and visitors can expect to see work from some of the finest internationally acclaimed street artists.

“Nuart Aberdeen has firmly placed Aberdeen on the global stage as a destination of choice for street art enthusiasts.  This coupled with our developing food scene, café culture, reopening of Union Terrace Gardens, superb theatres, clubs and pubs and other attractions all help to position Aberdeen as a great place to live, work and visit.”

Walls are critical to making Nuart Aberdeen 2022 a success.  Organisers at Aberdeen Inspired are appealing to property owners to become part of the event. They can put forward potential walls for artists to make their own during the festival. In particular, they are still on the hunt for a few big external city centre walls in good condition, visible to the public and not granite or listed.

To submit a wall, please send an email to callforwalls@aberdeeninspired.com with the following information: a photo of the wall, address and approximate dimensions of the wall.


Aberdeen Jazz Festival Returns and Here's This Years Programme!

Good news, Aberdeen! After last year’s successful online events and October hybrid programme, Scotland's second-largest jazz event 'The Aberdeen Jazz Festival' is back for 2022, from March 17th - 27th with a full 10-day programme of exciting live events across the city!

This year the Aberdeen Jazz Festival will be featured in an expanded range of venues and even some stunning and unexpected settings! With favourite Festival places like The Blue Lamp, Lemon Tree, Spin, and Queen’s Cross Church on the schedule, but also the first-ever chance to hear top-quality acoustic artists in the afternoon at the Cowdray Hall; to step inside the magnificent, wood-panelled Society of Advocates plus check out a series of specially-commissioned performances in the historic Bon Accord Baths.

Soundbath (photo by Alastair Robb)

Aberdeen Jazz Festival – Venues and artists

The wide variety of venues is matched by the diverse range of music on offer from swing to funk; gypsy jazz to blues-rock; classy jazz vocals to late-night grooves. Highlights include ‘Jazz the Day!’ - a chance to mix and match 8 great events, across 3 venues, all with 1 ticket on Saturday 26th March - the perfect option when there are simply too many great events to choose from.

Included in the afternoon are well-established names alongside newcomers and new collaborations plus the chance for the audience to get in amongst the action by singing, dancing or playing with Ali Affleck’s all-star band.

SoundBath - a series of site-specific performances in the historic Bon Accord Baths

Another of the festival’s more unusual events is SoundBath - a series of site-specific performances in the historic Bon Accord Baths. Closed to the public since 2008, the vast, light-drenched, atmospheric cathedral-like space will inspire new music by Victoria Fifield and others. Not only a visual spectacle, but the acoustics of the cavernous Art Deco building will also create an amazing aural experience, with sound reverberating around the tiled walls and pool floor. A great unique opportunity to step inside and immerse yourself in this hugely atmospheric space filled with memories.

Soundbath (photo by Alastair Robb)

To further illustrate the diversity on offer, pianist Brian Kellock will take centre stage at Queen’s Cross Church to perform a sumptuous version of Gershwin’s classic Rhapsody in Blue, specially arranged for piano and a hand-picked 8-piece string orchestra. Meanwhile, at the other end of the musical spectrum, Young Pilgrims - an extraordinary 9-piece brass band brimming with jazz-rock energy - will be in residency for the festival’s final weekend. This is part of the festival’s drive to encourage sustainable practices, with travelling bands encouraged to contribute to the festival in several ways such as through collaborations and workshops.

Well-known names on the Scottish jazz scene abound with the Martin Kershaw Quartet; Latin jazz heroes, Son al Son, and pianist Alan Benzie’s Tribute to Herbie Hancock at the Blue Lamp; Rose Room and Ali Affleck’s Jazz Divas at the Cowdray Hall. Aberdeen musicians are also well represented, both those living here and star performers coming back home. Matthew Kilner will lead a two tenor sax band with Konrad Wiszniewski; Trombonist, Kieran McLeod, now a top name on the London jazz scene, will make his Festival debut as a leader, there will also be several performances by musicians from further afield including the genre-defying Shapes of Time Trio featuring Oone Van Geel and Mark Haanstra from the Netherlands plus Scotland’s very own Graeme Stephen. Blues-rock is well represented in the programme with the legendary King King and Gerry Jablonski and the Electric Band performing at the Lemon Tree, plus Missouri-based blues power trio Hooten Hallers set to raise the rafters at the Blue Lamp.

Matt Carmichael

First time national jazz organisation has been based in Aberdeen!

This will be the first Aberdeen Jazz Festival organised by a new team, as Festival promoter Jazz Scotland is delighted to announce the appointment of its new CEO Coralie Usmani. With a background in music education and community engagement as well as being a regular performer on the Aberdeen jazz scene, Coralie brings a wealth of experience and fresh ideas to the role.

Tickets and info

Ticket prices range from free to £25 and are available from www.aberdeenjazzfestival.com

The full line-up is available here: https://jazzscotland.com/collections/aberdeenjazzfestival

Featured image: AiiTee


Dark Nights Film Festival | from Bond to zombies

Dark Nights Film Festival

Aberdeen will play host to the Dark Nights Film Festival this March. The festival, brand new to the city, runs from 4-5 March and will share a dazzling array of Scottish screen stories from Bond to flesh eating zombies. The exciting programme of events will see writers, directors, editors and actors share their experience of the industry. It's expected to be a celebration of Scots and their silver screen stories.



A shrouded figure walks up a snow covered hill with and oddly shaped wooden lodge at the top. The sky is dark and forboding.
Dark Night Film Festival | 2019 Hammer horror, The Lodge

An intriguing line-up for genre movie fans

Dark Nights, which is open to all, includes a spine-tingling screenwriting workshop with Sergio Casci, the screenwriter perhaps best known for scripting the 2019 Hammer horror 'The Lodge'. What's more, zombie film fans will be herding their way to a special screening of Zombie Flesh Eaters where Scottish actor Ian McCulloch will share his thoughts about his role the controversial 1979 horror.

Diversity in the industry will play an important part in Dark Nights. A panel session featuring Alexandra Maria Colta from 50/50 Women Direct, Dr Clive Nwonka, lecturer in Film, Culture and Society, and also POST regular Ica Headlam, founder of We Are Here Scotland will take a critical look at gender and racial representation in the Scottish film industry.

Organised by the University of Aberdeen, Dark Nights is the first in a series of new festivals the University is hosting in 2022. UNI-Versal is part of the University’s commitment to supporting the city region’s recovery from Covid-19. Vice-Principle Professor Peter Edwards told us, “Scotland has a rich history in the cultural arts with its people, places and stories creating a vibrant creative sector whose influence resonates around the world.

“The University itself is a cultural focal point for the local community. We are a catalyst for creativity, nurturing new ideas and, through our wide range of engaging and interactive festivals and events, providing the forum for bringing people together, something we believe is hugely important to our role in the North-east."

Bond and Highlander

Designed to showcase Scotland’s stories and links to film with a curious slant, the festival also includes two events dedicated to the James Bond series and the Highlander mythology.

Edinburgh-based author Jonathan Melville will be answering audience questions after a screening of 'Highlander', with a focus on his epic book that also covers the entire production history of the Celtic sci-fi smash-hit.

A dashing young Sean Connery leans of the bonnet of his car, with his hands in his suit pocket. Mountain peaks are behind him.
Dark Nights Film Festival | Sean Connery on location as James Bond

Sean Connery's ongoing legacy and lineage as 007 meanwhile will be addressed by a panel of Bond franchise alumni including British film and television editor John Grover (Octopussy, The Living Daylights) and cinematographer Phil Méheux (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) for a talk about their cinematic undercover operations in the panel ‘Shaken Not Stirred - Bond: Past, Present and Future’

Organisers of the Darks Nights Film Festival will announce further events shortly. Details of the UNI-Versal series of festivals and the Dark Nights film festival programme can be found at on the University website.

Booking is required for both free and paid-for events.