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Light the Blue Festival to ignite imaginations in the north-east


By David Porter

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The best and brightest local talent of the future will be taking centre stage this June as Aberdeen Performing Arts’ youth festival, Light the Blue makes a triumphant return to the city.

A vibrant and lively programme of dance, music, film and spoken word performance will fill the Lemon Tree as well as outdoor performances at the Bon Accord Roof Garden from Thursday, June 16 - Saturday 18.

The programme of events will offer young people across the region and beyond an opportunity to get involved, spark conversation, collaborate and celebrate their talent while offering an inspirational experience.

A festival by young people for young people, Light The Blue is a bold and exciting addition to the north-east’s cultural programme.

Adults are also being invited to visit the festival over the weekend with their involvement and attendance billed as an invaluable contribution to supporting youth arts in the north-east of Scotland.

Aberdeen Performing Arts head of creative engagement, Susan Whyte, said: “Light the Blue is a snapshot of young talent across Aberdeen and beyond, right now.

“The aim of the festival is to spark imaginations and start conversations, bring young creative minds together and create unforgettable experiences. We’re really excited and proud to be showcasing these talented, creative artists and performers.

“There’s so much to see and get involved with across the weekend, so for creative young people across the region who want to get involved, the time is now.”

Kicking off on Thursday 16 in the Music Hall’s Big Sky Studio, a special performance of ‘All About People’ from Aberdeen Performing Arts’ Young Company and Grampian Hospitals Art Trust will celebrate the city and its achievements.

Specifically inspired by the community at Foresterhill Campus, this short film features a mixture of sound and imagery alongside live performances from the Young Company.

Jason Singh will also give a live beatbox set, setting the tone for the festival weekend with this uplifting and engaging show.

The action will then move to the Lemon Tree for the first of the Fuse multi-bill events where Aberdeen Performing Arts Senior and Intermediate Youth Theatre, City Moves and Ten Feet Tall Theatre Company share the bill for an eclectic line-up of performances celebrating the creativity of young people through theatre, dance and film.

Jason Singh
Jason Singh

Jason Singh will close day one with a DJ set at the Lemon Tree with music from around the globe including soul, funk, spiritual house, reggae, bhangra, drum and bass, disco, garage, Afrobeat and more.

On Friday, 17 Jfree events will include a Hip Hop workshop and an Emerging Artist Scratch Night.

This showcase of works-in-progress by young creatives, curated by young people from open call submissions and mentored by professional artists, is an opportunity for emerging creatives to test out new performance material in front of a live, supportive audience.

Light The Blue Friday night continues with SC&T Youth Concert at the Lemon Tree.

Bringing young folk musicians from all over north-east of Scotland together to showcase both group and solo performances, alongside some of Scotland’s finest musicians.

The full line up will be announced soon.

On Saturday a range of free to attend workshops will cover topics including making audio performance and devising performance material as well as behind the scenes insights from the likes of Ten Feet Tall Theatre and Aberdeen Jazz Festival, while Belmont Filmhouse will be hosting a film screening.

Bon Accord Roof Garden is the setting for a free concert featuring the city’s freshest up and coming musical talent on Saturday, as well as The Happiness Collectors, an interactive journey of silliness and sounds to learn the best ways to collect and share happiness, and the Fuse events continue with performances from Aberdeen Performing Arts Junior and Intermediate Youth Theatre, City Moves Dance, Castlegate Youth Theatre, Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre, at the Lemon Tree.

A specially curated series of performances created for Light the Blue with the theme of ‘Light the Way’ will see outdoor pop-up events as well as a cabaret evening hosted by drag artist Jordy Delight, featuring a line-up of spoken word, drag, theatre and music including activist/performance artists Ink Asher Hemp & Mal Fraser, and local singer-songwriter AiiTee.

This will be followed by a celebratory under 18s Club Night hosted by DJ Evan Buthie at the Lemon Tree, closing Light the Blue 2022.

Most events across the programme are completely free, with donation options for selected events.

Light The Blue Festival Producer Jordan Blackwood said: “Whether you are taking part in Light the Blue or coming along as a member of the audience, it is a fantastic way to support youth arts in the region.

"The festival has a fresh and exciting feel, developing new talent in a professional way while allowing young people that hint of rebellion that they deserve

"We can’t wait to see everyone this June and encourage people to get involved and support the amazing young talent we have in the region.”

Tickets for Light The Blue are on sale now and more information on the festival is available at

www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/light-the-blue or phone (01224) 641122


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