The return of Aberdeen Performing Arts

Aberdeen Performing Arts has announced that all of its venues will re-open to the public from Tuesday 7 September. APA closed The Music Hall, His Majesty’s Theatre and the Lemon Tree on 17 March 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic forced the world into lockdown. This resulted in the arts charity rescheduling or cancelling over 700 performances and placing 270 staff on furlough.



Jane Spiers of Aberdeen Performing Arts

Chief Executive Jane Spiers said: “We are so pleased, relieved and grateful to be opening our doors again after such a difficult 18 months.  We earn nearly 90% of our turnover through earned income and that was wiped out overnight. I can’t thank our loyal team enough, our furloughed team who stayed with us in spirit and the handful of retained team who ripped up their job descriptions and did whatever it took to keep us afloat. It’s a milestone moment for all of us and we can’t wait for curtain up. As we start to see people coming back to work it’s hard not to feel emotional. It’s much more than a turn of the key to get our three venues open again after so long and everyone is working so hard to get us there.”

“We are gradually phasing back and plan to offer a full programme again by November. For now, though, our immediate priority is to bring our beautiful buildings back to life and put measures in place to make sure that our customers and audiences feel safe and comfortable going forwards.

We’ve just put the finishing touches to a terrific Autumn/Winter season brochure. We’re so grateful to our audiences who donated so generously during the pandemic to help keep us going. There would be no show without you. Enjoy!”

New opening hours

Box offices at His Majesty’s Theatre and the Music Hall will open on Tuesday, September 7. They'll be open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am – 6pm. Coda Café in the Music Hall will be open from Tuesday, September 14. It opening hours of Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30am – 5pm. HMT 1906 café and restaurant will remain closed until the end of November. This will allow APA to increase circulation space in the HMT foyer/box office as part of COVID safety measures.

What's on

The first performance at the Music Hall will be Nick Cave and Warren Ellis on Sunday 19 September, with the first event, the National Whisky Festival, taking place on Saturday 18 September. The first show at His Majesty’s Theatre will be the 100th Aberdeen Student Show, Freezin’ which runs at the theatre from Tuesday 14 September to Saturday 18 September, while at the Lemon Tree the first show will be The Wandering Hearts on Wednesday 8 September.


Don't miss out on our interview with Aberdeen Rapper Chef. He spoke to us this week about a BBC Scotland documentary about the Aberdeen hip-hop and R&B scene.


TEDx Aberdeen ticket lottery launched

Organisers have announced a ticket lottery for their 31 July TEDx Aberdeen event. Applications are open from now until 5 July.

What is TEDx Aberdeen?

TEDx is a programme of local, self-organized events that bring people together to discuss big ideas. Held in the spirit of ideas worth spreading.

Aberdeen Art's Centre will be the venue this year's live event. It will feature ten speakers from the city and beyond. The series of live 18-minute talks will focus on the theme, New Ways of Seeing Old Things. It is hope the talks will inspire the 100 attendees. Especially in a year where we look to our future beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

From unlocking secrets with forensic science, to using artificial intelligence to improve sustainability in the agri-food sector. Tackling climate change through the power of learning and challenging our consumption of news and the perception of truth. From reinvigorating forgotten and declining communities, to mastering moodset, to the Aberdonian habit using the word ‘fine’ - TEDx Aberdeen has curated a thought provoking line up.

How to be part of the audience

Ticket applications are open now. Organisers will ask applicants to explain in a couple of sentences why they would like to attend TEDx Aberdeen. As well as the number of tickets they wish to apply for. They will then email successful applicants a link to purchase their tickets. Tickets cost £30 each. This includes access to the full day event featuring 10 speakers from across the North East community, lunch and refreshments. Tickets can be purchased individually or up to four in ‘household bubbles’.

Audience Experience Coordinator, Nicole Chidester told us a little more about the event. She explained “TEDx events are unique in the way they are organised, curated and attended. TEDx event programmes comprise speakers and video content to inspire connections, conversations and the power of ideas to spark change. People leave TEDx events feeling inspired and motivated.

“We’re really excited about our speaker line up. I know they can’t wait to share their ideas on 31 July.

“We also can’t wait to hear more about the people who want to attend TEDxAberdeen. Our audience are the final element to the success of the event. As a result of their attendance and willingness to participate, TEDxAberdeen come alive.

A COVID safe event

Nicole explained that this will be a COVID safe event, telling us, “organising a face to face to event in the middle of a global pandemic has been a learning experience! We’d like to thank prospective TEDx attendees for their patience as we navigate the constantly changing situation. We have worked closely with our host venue Aberdeen Arts Centre. Together we'll ensure we adhere to Covid-19 guidance for events and host the maximum number for our event.

“We’re also working closely with student volunteers from the North East of Scotland College events course. The pandemic has curtailed their work experience. So we're now delighted to be in a position to provide some students with a chance to manage elements of the event process.”

Find Out More

The ticket portal will close at 10pm on Monday 5 July. Then, successful applicants will be notified by 9 July and supplied with a link to purchase tickets.

For more information on the speaker line up and ticket application form, visit tedxaberdeen.com or find TEDx Aberdeen on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


TEDx Aberdeen isn't the only big event happening in July. You can now take part in Nuart Aberdeen with your own paste-up artwork. You can now read all about it here.