Nuart 2024 hailed as signature year for world-class street art festival

Hera of Herakut's latest artwork. (Photo: Aberdeen Inspired)

NUART Aberdeen 2024 has been hailed as a signature year for the world-acclaimed street art festival which attracted thousands of people into the city centre over the weekend. 

Aberdeen Inspired, which stages the event in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, said as well as creating a vibrant atmosphere, it has left a legacy of stunning new works including at the principal transport gateways welcoming visitors to the city whether by air, sea or land.

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Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said the four-day festival, which ran from Thursday, 6th June, to Sunday, 9th June, had given the Granite City a carnival air. 

And he was delighted to see so many people discovering the new murals, enjoying the food, drink and fun at Inspired Nights on Shiprow, and taking part in the family-friendly Chalk Don’t Chalk event, with hundreds of youngsters creating a massive mural at Marischal College Quad.

“It was just a joy to see the way Nuart Aberdeen brought the heart of the city to life, especially over the Saturday and Sunday of the festival,” said Adrian.

“It was quite a sight to watch the Nuart walking tours leaving from Shiprow, with a mass of over 250 people on each one, all excited to be guided around the works both old and new. We had four sold-out tours which on their own brought more than 1,000 people into the city.

“Inspired Nights on Shiprow gave Nuart Aberdeen a real hub and a focus this year, that left people in no doubt something special was happening in this city. I was delighted to see so many visitors from around the world enjoying the festival and singing its praises.  

Adrian said as well as lifting the mood of Aberdeen, the festival offered a boost to local businesses as visitors came for Nuart then stayed to enjoy the shops, restaurants, bars and other attractions of the city centre. 

He added that this year’s Nuart Aberdeen had also left a remarkable legacy for the city, especially those welcoming visitors arriving by rail, ferry or airplane.

“We now have the magnificent mural by Hera towering over the harbour and ferry terminal at Union Point – a work which is visible for miles around and is destined to become an iconic emblem of Nuart Aberdeen. It will also be a stunning backdrop to the Tall Ships Races next year.

“In addition, Aberdeen’s own KMG has created stunning folklore-inspired pieces on the walls at Aberdeen International Airport, while Mahn’s though-provoking mural of a father and daughter at Wapping Street across from the train station is already becoming a firm favourite of Nuart fans. 

“This truly has been a signature year for Nuart Aberdeen and I believe 2024 will go down as one of the finest festivals leaving the most memorable mark on our cityscape.

“Nuart Aberdeen was recently named as one of the top six must-see street art festivals – I believe that after this year it will be even higher in the rankings. It now thoroughly deserves to be recognised as the best street art festival in the world.”

Nuart Aberdeen is curated by Martyn Reed, who agreed that 2024 had been a signature year for the festival. 

He said: “We’re getting similar messages from the artists, academics and industry professionals and not least quite a few international guests who flew in for the event. We’ve met people from St Petersburg, Holland, France and the USA who flew to Aberdeen for Nuart, something we haven’t experienced on this scale previously.

“Personally, I’m really happy with the event, a defining year by any account. It’ll be a while until everything sinks in but I think we have something really special here to build on.”

Martyn said he would encourage people to discover the new Nuart works – and previous ones – for themselves. 

“The festival is just the launch for us, the real work starts now, mediating the content to the world and getting eyes on the art and Aberdeen itself, something we and Aberden Inspired work on all year around. 

“I’d encourage everyone to take a tour and by all means send us feedback. The city is yours to explore anew.”

The impact of Nuart Aberdeen was also welcomed by Aberdeen City Council, which generously funds the festival. 

Julie Wood, Chief Officer for City Development and Regeneration at Aberdeen City Council, said: “As a key funder of the Nuart street festival, the Council was delighted that so many people enjoyed seeing their city transformed. 

“The artists’ work will add interest and colour over the summer months, and the supporting events have helped strengthen the event’s cultural legacy.”

Meanwhile, Adrian thanked everyone who made Nuart Aberdeen 2024 possible, including all the festival partners, but especially the volunteers.

“This army of people freely give up their time to support the festival, its production and the artists as well as being the friendly face of Nuart Aberdeen for the thousands of visitors who flock here.”

While this year’s Nuart Aberdeen is over, visitors can still enjoy discovering the works with walking tours happening every Sunday until September. There is also an online map to help people create their own walking tour. 

You can find out more information – including a full list of the new works for 2024 – here.

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