FESTIVAL!, an exciting new event from the organisers of three of Edinburgh’s flagship festivals, is coming to Aberdeen from 16 to 19 November.  Next month’s four-day mini-festival has been masterminded by Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival and Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival and aims to bring the spirit of the three world-class events to the Granite City.

Festival! will deliver an outstanding programme of screenings, performances and workshops in the city from 16-19 November. From award-winning films, to the complex science of cheesemaking and beer, to a full programme of jazz concerts.

The event is designed to celebrate 70 years of Edinburgh being the world’s original and leading festival city, and for the first time to share some highlights from the capital’s events with the rest of the country.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Ken Hay, chair of the Festival! steering group, said: “Edinburgh is renowned as the home of world-class festivals and this new event is aiming to link that spirit with communities around Scotland.

“Aberdeen was a natural choice for the inaugural Festival! because of its own growing reputation as a festival city, its great venues, and its appreciative and engaged audiences.

“Many of the events on the Festival! programme have already been showcased at the Edinburgh Festivals, while others have been especially curated.  We’re delighted to be working with partners in Aberdeen, and to have support through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, in delivering the event.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “It’s amazing how Edinburgh’s Festivals are reaching out beyond Edinburgh to deliver this pop-up festival in Aberdeen. Over the years, the city has gained further recognition as a festival city, enhancing Scotland’s reputation as the international hub for festival engagement.

“I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to provide £100,000 through the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund to support this exciting programme as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of our world-famous Festivals. I am looking forward to visiting Aberdeen in November to experience this at first hand.”

The project is supported by the Scottish Government’s Expo Fund and is being delivered in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Festivals, Creative Scotland and EventScotland. As well as the public programme, there will be a conference for those working in the management and promotion of festivals across Scotland.

One of the highlights of Festival! will be Cheeseology - one of three gastronomy-inspired events presented by the Edinburgh International Science Festival. The session, which sold out when staged as part of the capital’s programme, takes participants on a tutored tasting journey of the scientific processes and technologies involved in cheese production – with an opportunity to sample several varieties.


Miracle Brew looks at the history, nature and science of beer – along with some thirst-quenching samples – and there will also be a chance to taste-test some freshly made liquid nitrogen ice cream,  created on the back of a busking bicycle.

Award winning films that have formed part of Edinburgh International Film Festival over the years will be screened at Belmont Filmhouse, including a special preview of Edie – the story of an elderly woman who fulfils a long-held dream of climbing a Scottish mountain in the wake of her controlling husband’s death.


The moving documentary about the night and aftermath of the Piper Alpha disaster – Fire in the Night – will also be on the programme, along with children’s fairytale The Secret of Kells. Highly acclaimed drama 45 years will also screen, as will the hilarious New Zealand feature Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire – the true story of Phillippe Petit and his high-wire walk between the Word Trade Centre towers in 1974.

Celebrating country blues through urban hip-hop to classic jazz, the sensational music programme presents top American musicians rubbing shoulders with Scotland’s finest.

The music programme presents a variety of musicians and musical styles, from country blues to urban hip-hop and on to classic jazz.

Innovative jazz drummer Jaimeo Brown, acoustic bluesman Blind Boy Paxton and acclaimed singers Becca Stevens and Joy Ellis will make their Aberdeen debuts at The Blue Lamp, hip-hop group Mouse Outfit’s horn-heavy show will be at the Tunnels, and swinging jazz from the 20s and 30s with the Ugly Bug Ragtime Three will be on the menu at a special brunch at The Carmelite.

Jaimeo Brown

Tickets for all of the events in the Festival! programme, which takes place at venues across Aberdeen from 16-19 November, are available now at www.festival2017.co.uk. Tickets for science and film events are also available at Belmont Filmhouse on 01224 343500, while Aberdeen Performing Arts has tickets for the music programme on 01224 641122.