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Scintillating September in store with triple festival boost for Aberdeen


By Alan Beresford

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ABERDEEN Performing Arts have unveiled three exciting events which will hit the Granite City in September.

Alt rockers Django Django are set to appear at True North.
Alt rockers Django Django are set to appear at True North.

Set to come to the Granite City are brand new festival Wonderland, the return of music festival True North, and a spectacular temporary pop-up venue called Wonder Hoose.

Wonderland has been produced by Aberdeen Performing Arts on behalf of Culture Aberdeen which has been awarded funding through the UK Government Community Renewal Fund and Aberdeen City Council. It will see 12 artists and collectives produce 22 brand new art works which will be installed, displayed and performed across the city centre from Thursday to Sunday, September 8-11.

Award-winning music festival True North returns from Thursday to Sunday, September 22-25 and will include notable performances from world music legend Nitin Sawhney, British art rockers Django Django, alongside a special evening led by soul superstar Mica Paris celebrating the music of the legendary Aretha Franklin.

Both festivals will feature performances in the spectacular new Wonder Hoose which will make the stunning surrounds of the Quadrangle at Marischal College its home from Thursday to Sunday September 8-25, and present a daily programme of music, comedy, theatre, dance and family shows, launching on Thursday, September 8 with Aberdeen’s own songwriting sensation Kathryn Joseph.

Aberdeen Performing Arts Director of Programming and Creative Projects, Ben Torrie said: “It is so exciting to be announcing three thrilling events in Aberdeen this September.

"Aberdeen is the place to be as we welcome global music stars, premiere 22 new artworks, and instal a magnificent temporary venue within one of the city’s most iconic sites.

“Wonderland is designed by artists and creatives in the north-east and is inspired by people and place. It was dreamed up during lockdown to reanimate and re-imagine our city centre as part of Covid recovery. We invite people to join us in a celebration of our creative city.

“Two weeks later we are back with Aberdeen’s beloved True North festival, bigger and better than ever featuring world music legend Nitin Sawhney, Scotland’s Emma Pollock and Gentle Sinners, and local up-and-coming talent AiiTEE”

“And what better way to spend an Autumn evening than in our beautiful Wonder Hoose? We’ll be building a stunning pop-up venue in a unique setting with an amazing line up of artists and performers.”

Wonderland is a love letter to Aberdeen and will feature aerial dancers, soundscapes, films, art installations, an enchanted emporium, an urban garden and all for free. The festival will take place across the city centre in both outdoor locations and in surprising spaces including Union Street, Marischal Square, Broad Street, St Andrew’s Street, the Bon Accord Centre, the Rooftop Garden, St Nicholas Kirk, Shiprow, the Art Gallery, His Majesty’s Theatre and more beloved city sites.

True North returns for its eighth year with performances including A Celebration of Aretha Franklin by Mica Paris, and Nitin Sawhney at the Music Hall; At the Lemon Tree, alt rock band Django Django, Gentle Sinners featuring Aidan Moffat and James Graham, latino outfit Los Bitchos and the exuberant African Groove Machine. There will be a series of early evening gigs in the Wonder Hoose featuring AiiTEE, Emma Pollock, Honeyblood’s Stina Marie Claire and Michael Timmons and interactive family shows from CBeebie’s favourite YolanDa’s Band Jam and Sprog Rock.

Wonder Hoose will bring a unique festival vibe to the Granite City for three weeks with a programme that includes folk favourites Saltfishforty, comedians Seann Walsh and Sara Barron, theatre production Tickbox, free local music nights, a stunning setting and the chance to relax and enjoy a drink.

Full details of each festival can be found at aberdeenperformingarts.com

Wonderland events will be free to attend – the full detailed schedule will be announced soon.


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