Record numbers for SPECTRA 2018

SPECTRA has closed for 2018 having drawn record numbers for the festival.

The award-winning festival drew over 91,000 visits to over 30 installations across three stunning sites in the city, topping the 65,000 visits to 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 was the location of the eagerly anticipated installations Wave-Field by Lateral Office and Light Battle by Venividimultiplex that delighted visitors and saw Union Terrace Gardens reimagined as into a whimsical playground.

This year saw 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 hosting Felix’s Machines with Compositional Automata.

Aberdeen City Council Culture Spokesperson Councillor Marie Boulton said: “Aberdeen has really taken SPECTRA to its heart, and the sights in the city centre over the four days were absolutely incredible, with the streets, Marischal College/Anatomy Rooms, Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting and Union Terrace Gardens full of friends and families enjoying the occasion.

“Each installation was so unique and it was such a thrill to see these installations by internationally renowned artists here in Aberdeen. Year-on-year SPECTRA gets bigger and better; the festival is constantly evolving and this year is no exception with the introduction our new music programme.

“The Catalyst Conference held alongside SPECTRA has also shown the commitment of the arts industry to the changing creative, cultural and economic landscape of Aberdeen. Industry leaders have participated in discussions that will not only influence the arts community locally, but also on a national and international scale.

“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.

“As Scotland, and Aberdeen’s reputation as a tourist destination continues to develop, attractions such as SPECTRA will play a pivotal role in the cultural offering that attracts visitors.

Andy Brydon from Curated Place said “For Spectra 2018 we set our sights on expanding 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 Aberdeen and the wider region.

“2018 also saw us expand the festival to include 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”.

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 2018 was also one of the first events celebrating Scotland’s 2018 Year of Young People, which showcases the amazing young personalities, talents and achievers that make up Scotland.

Venues across the city were brought to life with a smorgasbord of UK and Nordic Talent including Steve Cobby, Science of the Lamps, Mammút, and Plaid, to name just a few of the artists playing over the weekend.

The music programme was 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 were once again proud to host one of the world’s most innovative light festivals, especially as it celebrated Scotland’s Year of Young People through its theme ‘Play the Night’ this year. EventScotland is delighted to have supported the festival to enhance its music programme”.

Visitors to SPECTRA 2018 are encouraged to complete a visitor survey, which can be found by clicking this link: SPECTRA VISITOR SURVEY