Aberdeen and its environs is the perfect destination for a short break or long term holiday offering stunning granite architecture in the city itself, spectacular beaches and coastal scenery as well as picture-postcard towns and villages dotted around the Aberdeenshire countryside. No matter what time of year you visit this magnificent city and region, you will be enthralled with its many festivals and cultural events held throughout the year.
Read more (+)
Festivals and Events in Aberdeen cover the whole spectrum and celebrate the city's maritime history, sport, cuisine and the arts, each having equal representation in the city's festival calendar. Like any other major Scottish City, Aberdeen plays host to an exciting and vibrant Hogmanay Street Party every year, with Castlegate and Langstane areas of the City Centre drawing in over 20,000 each year. Like its Edinburgh and Glasgow counterparts, revellers are entertained to an eclectic and vibrant feast of live music from Scottish contemporary groups to more traditional sets. Aberdeen's Hogmanay Street Party gets better year-by-year and is certainly the finest New Year's Eve Celebrations in the North of Scotland.
In the world of sport, Aberdeen welcomes hundreds of youth football soccer teams to The Aberdeen International Football Festival (AIFF) held in the city's Seaton Park each July. The AIFF has become something of an institution in Aberdeen's summer events calendar and brings a host of young football teams from overseas and across the UK and attracts a wealth of spectators in all weathers. This event's focus is on sportsmanship and social contact as opposed to serious competitions and is truly an enjoyable experience for everyone who watches and takes part. What has made this festival successful is its thread of continuity and its emphasis on maintaining a festival atmosphere every year since its inception in 1981.
Music plays an integral part in Aberdeen's cultural life and one of the most prestigious music festivals in Aberdeen is inarguably, The Aberdeen Jazz Festival. This vibrant programme takes place every March at various venues across the city including the Aberdeen Arts Centre and the Lemon Tree Café in Aberdeen City Centre. Launched in 2004, The Aberdeen Jazz Festival has came a long way from being a modest, low-key affair and has transformed into one of the most prominent festivals in the UK Jazz Music calendar. Over the course of its brief history, the Jazz Festival has featured the likes of Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, the sensational Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and award-winning Seb Rochford with his Jazz-influenced band, The Polar Bears. It also showcases a host of more intimate affairs at the Blue Lamp and Rusty Nail Pubs. Why not experience the delights of this cosmopolitan festival that attracts crowds from other parts of the UK, Scandinavia and Continental Europe.
The 'Granite City' is also renowned for its annual literary Word Festival in May, each year. This popular event for the bookish and literati ranks second in Scotland after Edinburgh's International Book Festival and attracts over 50 authors and 6000 visitors to a packed weekend of readings, lectures, art exhibitions, live music and film screenings produced by some of the world's accomplished writers. The Aberdeen Word Festival is staged in the beautiful medieval setting of King's College at the University of Aberdeen, now 500 years old. The College's state-of-the-art auditorium hosts the majority of the festival's events, including discussions with authors and recitals. There is also an eclectic plethora of events that are staged at various venues across Aberdeen, adding a real buzz to this much-loved Scottish city.
Aberdeen is globally renowned for its significant input and achievements in the science and technology arena and this is celebrated every September at Techfest, one of Britain's most prestigious science and technology festivals. Since its inception in 1993, Techfest has offered visitors a diverse programme of events and activities designed to inspire, captivate and to demonstrate the enjoyable aspects of Science, Engineering and Mathematics. This festival plays host to a series of engaging and tactile workshops related to technology, industry and the natural world. Next year's festival is likely to showcase an even greater programme of events and tours of Aberdeen's major industries. The focal point for the festival is at Aberdeen Sea beach with the Beach Ballroom and the adjoining Beach Leisure Centre playing host to the fun-packed programme of events that enthral both young and old each year.
No matter what time of year you arrive in Aberdeen and the Grampian Highlands, you can be assured of a warm hospitable welcome to its eclectic mix of events and festivals that celebrate every aspect of cultural life in the North East of Scotland.