Bumper year for Aberdeen festival as record numbers attend

Light the Blue 2024 - Skene Square School

ABERDEEN Performing Arts’ multi-arts festival, Light the Blue, is celebrating its biggest and best year yet as the curtain comes down on 13 packed days of theatre, music, dance, workshops and performances across Aberdeen.

Young families, teenagers and emerging artists alike were invited to step in to the world of performing arts, creating opportunities for over 1,000 young people in the process and watched by almost 5,000 people.

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Highlights included a Family Arts Day at Union Terrace Gardens, a pop-up festival at Skene Square Primary School and a Takeover event with teens taking over the Music Hall for the day . There were collaborations with organisations from around Scotland and beyond including Imaginate, Look Again, Scottish Culture and Traditions (SC&T), Big Noise Torry and many more.

Jordan Blackwood, Light the Blue Creative Producer for Aberdeen Performing Arts, said: “It has been amazing to see so many young people coming together to celebrate the performing arts in so many different ways; from taking centre stage to showcase the incredible talent here in the North East to pathways events and networking, and lots of fun in between.

“This year was our most ambitious programme yet but our region’s young people made it a huge success, helping to make this the best attended Light the Blue yet.
“We were lucky to be able to team up with so many amazing organisations and groups with young performers rubbing shoulders with professional artists in a true celebration of the performing arts.

“Light the Blue has reaffirmed that the future is bright!”

Families and youngsters enjoyed free and low-cost performances at Union Terrace Gardens, His Majesty’s Theatre and the Lemon Tree covering drama, dance and music, while specifically tailored backstage tours of His Majesty’s Theatre proved hugely popular for young people and their families. Interactive workshops and shows offered the chance to become immersed in the arts and step into the spotlight.

Aberdeen Performing Arts Youth Theatre Groups collaborated to present The Circus of Life and Death at the Lemon Tree, featuring music specially composed by the arts organisation’s group of young music producers, Beats & Rhymes.
So Far So Good, a joint commission with Imaginate and Aberdeen Performing Arts co- produced specifically for Light the Blue, saw performers use daring acrobatics to explore flying, falling, steep places, precipices and the sharp rocks you come across on the way up.
A Production Pathways event offered teens an open and welcoming insight into different career opportunities backstage in technical theatre and the production arts in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, North-East Scotland College, and Aberdeen Art Galleries and Museums.

Emerge continued the journey for emerging artists with a day of networking, conversations, workshops and performances focused on connecting, supporting and inspiring early career creatives aged 18-30 from Aberdeen & the North-East. A range of activities were on offer, along with the opportunity to meet with local and national organisations such as National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Youth Theatre, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland and Ten Feet Tall Theatre Company.

Aberdeen Performing Arts Chief Executive Sharon Burgess said: “Light the Blue is fast becoming one of the country’s leading youth arts festivals with a real focus on collaborating with the amazing networks of creatives we are lucky to have here in the North East to celebrate the wealth of young talent in our region.

“We are so proud to be able to create a platform to open doors and encourage creativity with our work and this festival is a fantastic opportunity to showcase these vital opportunities.”

To find out more about opportunities for young people to get involved in performing arts, visit www.aberdeenperformingarts.com

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