Aberdeen’s light festival has again attracted huge numbers.
The opening night of SPECTRA 2018 saw record numbers with over 11,000 visits to over 30 installations across three stunning sites in the city, topping the 7500 that enjoyed the opening night of the 2017 festival.
BAFTA award-winning artist Seb Lee-Delisle’s Lightning Strikes and Lightbombing by SOLA wowed the crowds at Marischal College; while St Nicholas Kirk was transformed into an ethereal and contemplative space by the beautiful and hypnotic OctopusGarden by RaumZeitPiraten and Sun at Night by David Henkel inside the Kirk itself.
Union Terrace Garden is the location of the eagerly anticipated installations Wave-Field by Lateral Office and Light Battle by Venividimultiplex, as well as Aberscreen by local art collective, STACK and the incredible Lightweight by Impossible.
This year sees His Majesty’s Theatre bathed in light with King Orpheo by Illuminous, and the welcome return of arts space The Anatomy Rooms behind Marischal College hosts Felix’s Machines with Compositional Automata.
Aberdeen City Council deputy leader Councillor Marie Boulton said: ‘The opening evening of SPECTRA 2018 has been tremendous. Each of the sites has been packed with families and friends enjoying the installations and the new additions of His Majesty’s Theatre and the return of The Anatomy Rooms have been very well received.
‘Each installation is so unique and it is such a thrill to see these installations by internationally renowned artists here in Aberdeen. Year-on-year SPECTRA gets bigger and better.’
SPECTRA, supported through Aberdeen City Council’s Culture Programme, demonstrates the Council’s ongoing commitment to recognise the city’s cultural aspirations to deliver a major step change in perception, opportunities and legacy. SPECTRA is also celebrating Scotland’s 2018 Year of Young People, which showcases the amazing young personalities, talents and achievers that make up Scotland.Thursday 8 February was also the opening night of this year’s music programme – a new edition for SPECTRA 2018. Venues across the city were brought to life with a smorgasbord of UK and Nordic Talent including Lindstom, Steve Cobby, Science of the Lamps, and Plaid, to name just a few of the artists playing over the weekend.
The music programme is funded by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: ‘Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and in SPECTRA, we are proud to host one of the world’s most innovative light festivals, especially as it celebrates Scotland’s Year of Young People through its theme Play the Night.
‘EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the festival to enhance their music programme. The exciting mix of Nordic and UK talent set to perform will no doubt capture the imagination of locals and visitors alike.’
SPECTRA ran until Sunday, with three festival sites in the City – Marischal College, St Nicholas Kirkyard, and Union Terrace Gardens.