Dear Friends & colleagues,
Hope this finds you well.
I am glad to share with you the SPECTRA 2018 press release
8 - 11 February, Aberdeen's Festival of Light 'Play the Night'.
SPECTRA, Aberdeen’s Festival of Light has been a signature event on the
Council’s event and cultural calendar since 2014.
The vision for SPECTRA was to be a signature winter event for the region
and beyond, a high-end forum with which the city can profile itself
distinctively in the area of light and creativity, recognising Aberdeen as
a contemporary city of design and technology with a strong cultural
Piloting in February 2014 with an array of light installations, exhibitions
and events in Aberdeen City Centre, it was experienced by 17,000 people and
included school and community participation with a series of installations
and projections by local, national and international artists. The festival
was well received it provided an excellent platform to showcase the city’s
unique qualities and cultural offerings.
The 2015 festival saw a change of model, with the festival moving to a
single site in Union Terrace Gardens. This proved very popular with
attendees but meant a reduction in estimated reach across the city. SPECTRA
2015 presented a very different experience which was successful and popular
with festival attendees. The engagement projects in schools and community
groups retained the festival accessibility and buy-in from communities out
with the city centre.
Building upon the success of the 2015 model, SPECTRA 2016 organically grew
to cover 3 main sites across the city – Union Terrace Gardens, Marischal
College and St Nicholas’ Kirkyard. Fringe activity at Seventeen, the city’s
creative hub, and The Anatomy Rooms helped Spectra deliver it’s biggest and
best event to date. Over 20 installations lit up the city across the 4 day
event and 35,000 people took in the festival.
2017 saw a significant rise in attendance this year – with visitor numbers
reaching 63,286. That is nearly double the attendance of 2016 and SPECTRA
has grown to become Aberdeen’s leading cultural festival. The festival also
received prestigious industry recognition through The Drum Scottish Events
Awards when it won Festival of the Year against stiff competition.
Following the success of 2017 and the approval of the 2017/18 Culture
Programme budget, SPECTRA will return in 2018 with the theme of ‘Play the
Night’ – exploring innovation, creativity and the benefits of play to
kick-off the national Year of Young People.
In addition to the presentation of international works, SPECTRA 2018 will
support and commission emerging young artists from Aberdeen to collaborate
and develop new work with international partners. Organisers will also be
seeking to expand participation opportunities as well as developing the
impacts of the education programme to those most in need.
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