Aberdeen to ‘Play the Night’ as plans for SPECTRA 2018 unveiled

Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens will be lit up by the power of competitive cyclists as popular festival of light returns to the Granite City.

SPECTRA will light up the dark wintery nights in the city for the fifth year in a row during a four-night festival in February.

This year’s theme, ‘Play the Night’, will tie in with Aberdeen marking 2018 as the year of young people.

The festival will feature a wide range of international and local artists, including Vivendimultiplex, which will light up Union Terrace Gardens with their competitive bicycle installation, Lightbattle.

Favourites from previous festivals, including Paul Friedlander and Impossible, will return and Seb Lee-Delisle will take over the Marischal College quad with graffiti artist and light painter SOLA.

Stanza’s “The Reader”, shown above, will diligently read every book published since 1958.

St Nicholas Kirk will be illuminated by Icelandic musician Halldor Eldjarn’s Poco Apollo, inspired by the sun and the moon.

And David Henckel will tell the story of a year in the life of our star with his work The Sun at Night.

SPECTRA 2018 will run between February 8 and February 11.

Aberdeen City Council culture spokesperson Councillor Marie Boulton said: “SPECTRA 2018 will once again be an exciting event for all, which will shine a light on our beautiful city in the depths of winter.

“SPECTRA is coming into its fifth year and really highlights Aberdeen as a cultural hub of the North-east. The festival is constantly evolving and this year is no exception as we are excited to introduce our new music programme next week.

“As part of our Aberdeen Events 365 Strategy through our City Centre Masterplan, Aberdeen City Council is committed to making our city an even more vibrant place to live, work and visit – and SPECTRA encourages people into the city centre at a quieter time of year, boosting the local economy and reactivating city centre spaces.”

Andy Brydon, from Curated Place, said “For Spectra 2018 we’re aiming to massively up the ante on the festival experience by introducing a spectacular music programme alongside incredible artworks from around the world.

“Our close partnership with Aberdeen City Council has enabled us to develop an ambitious, effective and close-knit team across the two organisations whose enthusiasm allows us to deliver an event that is helping to expand horizons for the city and the possibilities for major cultural events in the North-east.

“2018 will also see us expand the festival into a major conference bringing the best cultural leaders from Europe, inspiring speakers and some of the most amazing visual and sonic artists together to explore cultural leadership on the edge”.