Young people take centre stage as Light the Blue Festival announces full line up


ABERDEENS Performing Arts’ multi-arts festival, Light the Blue is set to return this June with an
electrifying line up of theatre, music, dance, workshops and performances over 13 days. A
festival for young people, by young people, Light the Blue offers all the chance to take those
first steps into the world of performing arts, with events and opportunities for young families,
teenagers and emerging artists alike.

Kicking off on Tuesday, June 4 and running until Sunday, June 16, highlights include a Family
Arts Day on Saturday, June 8 with a programme of performances, workshops, tours, sports
and arts activities for children and their families that are free to attend or a low ticket price,
taking place across His Majesty’s Theatre and Union Terrace Gardens.

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Over at the Music Hall, a free photography exhibition in partnership with Look Again and
Mobile Art School opens on June 8. Running until June 15, the exhibition will showcase work
by young photographers aged 13 – 18 across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, offering the
chance to discover the city through the lens of its young, creative minds.

The festival features a series of collaborations with organisations from around Scotland and
beyond including Imaginate, Look Again, Scottish Culture and Traditions (SC&T) Big Noise
Torry and many more, with young performers rubbing shoulders with professional artists in a
true celebration of the performing arts.

Jordan Blackwood, Light the Blue Creative Producer for Aberdeen Performing Arts,
said: “Light the Blue is a festival of opportunity. It’s a real celebration of creativity of young
people aged 0-30 across Aberdeen and beyond.

“Take a peek behind the scenes to see how it all works, or enjoy the spectacle of the finished
product; be part of the action or sit back and enjoy being entertained. Whatever stage in your
journey, whether as an audience member or performer, you can find your place at Light the

On Tuesday, June 4 a Production Pathways event will set the tone for the festival with 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, including a
backstage tour of His Majesty’s Theatre.

On Saturday, June 8, the Family Arts Day features free to attend drop-in events which include
music performances from Drake Music’s Digital Orchestra: Youth and Aberdeen City
Council Instrumental Music Service’s Junior Strings, dance performances from
Citymoves Dance Agency and Northfield Academy and Family-friendly backstage tours of
His Majesty’s Theatre. A new walkabout piece co-commissioned by Aberdeen Performing
Arts and Imaginate, Low-Fi Hip-Hop Beetroots, will see two giant beetroots and their carrot
microphones dance and interact with young audiences as they roam Union Terrace Gardens.
There will also be low-cost theatre performances in His Majesty’s for youngsters aged 0-8,
with adults free to attend.

Jordan added: “Our Family Arts Day, featuring young performers and professional artists, is
shaping up to be an unforgettable afternoon of fun and creativity over five family fun-filled
hours. Bring a picnic and find a spot in Union Terrace Gardens or wander between our indoor
and outdoor events all afternoon – you won’t be stuck for choice!”

On the evening of Saturday, June 8, a diverse group of over 100 young musicians will
showcase their musical talent on the Music Hall stage. Building upon the success of 2023’s
event, The Big Gig features short sets from individual groups including Scottish Culture &
Traditions Youth, Aberdeen City Council Instrumental Music Service, Big Noise Torry &
Aberdeen Jazz Youth.

On Sunday, June 9, Emerge offers 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 will be 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

From Saturday June 8 to Monday, June 10, So Far So Good, which has been co-
commissioned by Imaginate and Aberdeen Performing Arts, takes place at the Lemon Tree. A
new contemporary circus show aimed at younger children, the performers use daring
acrobatics to explore flying, falling, steep places, precipices and the sharp rocks you come
across on the way up.

Created in the Cairngorms with the children who live in wild places, and drawing on their lived
experience of false summits, dangerous scrambles, and hiking to the top, this is a show which
celebrates the joy of dancing along the edge, scaling the heights and discovering the secret
rest places and long views along the way.

Aberdeen Performing Arts’ Junior, Intermediate and Senior youth theatre groups have
collaborated to present The Circus of Life and Death at the Lemon Tree on Thursday, June
13, and Saturday, June 15, featuring music specially composed by Aberdeen Performing Arts’
group of young music producers, Beats & Rhymes. The play has been commissioned by
Aberdeen Performing Arts and written by Ross McKay with input from youth theatre

The Northern Lens Youth Film Festival, delivered by SHMU (Station House Media Unit) in
partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts and supported by the Sean Connery Foundation,
will close Light the Blue on Sunday, June 16 at the Lemon Tree. Northern Lens will celebrate
youth filmmaking across the country, with a spotlight on the North East. The festival will
include screenings of short films, and be a chance to introduce future filmmakers to the

Also featuring at Light the Blue is a A Play, A Pie and A Pint: The Scaff, which is being
targeted at teenage audiences; the Aberdeen City Music School Summer Concert, the Gray’s
School of Art degree show tour, youth arts networking events and more. The full programme
of events and further information can be found at

Tickets for Light The Blue are on sale to Friends of Aberdeen Performing Arts on Thursday,
May 2 and on general sale on Friday, May 3 from, phone
(01224) 641122 or visit the box office at His Majesty’s Theatre or the Music Hall.

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