The University of Aberdeen's May Festival is back for 2019 - with a bigger programme than ever!

The festival, which has been running since 2013, will take place from Friday 24 – 26 May and spans nine main themes including; Culture, History and Heritage, Music, the Environment, Science, Health and Wellbeing and Word.

With more than 150 events on offer it will be the largest May Festival to date and, as part of celebrations for the University of Aberdeen being named as The Times and Sunday Times Scottish University of the Year, will take festivities beyond King’s College campus to the city centre and to the heart of local communities.

For the first time, the festival will feature a May Fest Community programme, which is an exciting initiative offering a wide range of events which will take place at Powis Community Centre and Tillydrone Church. Events in this programme include music workshops, storytelling, tours and drop-in sessions. The May Fest Community programme is part of the University’s commitment to widening access and is supported by Aberdeen City Council.  

The ever-popular tours are back, and this year members of the public can enjoy guided walks around the Cruickshank Botanic Garden, King’s College Chapel and Seaton Park.

Film Director and University alum Jon S. Baird, who was behind the recent BAFTA nominated hit Stan and Ollie, will return to the University to discuss his career at a special Director’s Cut event.

University of Aberdeen research will be showcased via the Discover theme with members of the public invited to explore the hot topics and real-life issues facing society and the impact research carried out here in the north-east can have on them.

Literary fans will enjoy this year’s Word theme, which will welcome writers including Liz Lochhead, Alan Spence, and Sara Baume to the festival to discuss their recent works.

The University’s many talented musicians will also take centre stage, not only on campus but also at local venue The Blue Lamp where the Aberdeen University Jazz Orchestra will perform.

Professor Karl Leydecker, Senior Vice-Principal at the University, said: “I am very much looking forward to my first May Festival here at the University of Aberdeen. The programme is excellent and it is set to be a busy weekend not only here on campus, but around the city, with more than 150 events taking place.

“The May Festival is a key event not just in the University’s calendar but in the city’s cultural calendar and gives us a wonderful opportunity to welcome the public to our beautiful, historic campus. I am sure everyone who attends will have a brilliant time taking part in the festivities.”

Festival manager, Jill Murray, commented: “The May Festival has continued to grow year on year and 2019 is no different!

“The programme is so diverse there really is something for everyone. As well as our main programme, we are delighted to host a fantastic Children’s programme with more than 40 events including music, arts & crafts, storytelling and face painting. This has been made possible by CNOOC International and their generous donation to the schools’ and children’s programme."

Many of the events in the programme are free to attend (booking may still be required however). For more information and to book tickets, visit: www.abdn.ac.uk/mayfestival

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