Festival of Light
Festival of Light

SPECTRA: Connecting you to the Granite city through light

Scotland’s Festival of Light returns to Aberdeen for its 10th year and the line up is as bright and colourful as ever, finds Grant Dickie. 

Iconic locations across the Granite City have been transformed by light for the tenth year in a row, as SPECTRA curates a collection of immersive and striking artworks for this year’s event Connections.

It promises to be a sensory explosion with many of the installations pushing the boundaries of perception with sight, sound and touch. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Hospitality venues have also joined the fray creating SPECTRA inspired goodies for festival goers to enjoy.

Follow the map found on the SPECTRA website [www.spectrafestival.com/map/] to ensure you experience every one of the spectacular displays and wend your way from His Majesty’s Theatre through the city to Marischal College.

Credit: Ian Georgeson

A personal favourite of the festival stands proud in the centre of Union Terrace Gardens. Affinity is a treat to the senses, resembling a monolithic molecule inspired by the connections within the brain and offers both a programmed music and light experience as well as an interactive moment. Get involved, touch the sensors and you can create your own responsive light patterns with those joining you.

Move along to the Art Gallery which will also play permanent host to one of the installations from this years festival. Winds of Change commands the atrium of the gallery and charts the city’s history and future from tall ships to oil rigs and on to renewables. Stand in awe as butterflies twirl and glow above your head with Butterfly Dream before completing the experience with the stunning offerings at Marischal College and Marischal Square. 

Credit: Ian Georgeson

When exploring the artworks make sure to pay a visit to the different hospitality venues that have some special creations just for the festival. The Terrace restaurant is offering up the Northern Lights cocktail while Common Sense have a SPECTRA toastie. Head down Belmont Street to Dough and Co to grab yourself a tasty SPECTRA doughnut with strawberry icing, popping candy and candyfloss drizzle – what’s not to like? And round the night off with a delicious cocktail at Resident X.

SPECTRA dazzles Aberdeen from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 February. For full information on SPECTRA’s 2024 offering, the artworks and the hospitality partners and promotions visit the website. spectrafestival.com