University of Aberdeen launches May Festival programme

Mini-Vikings, a fiddler, a chef and a science demonstration offered a flavour of what is to come as the University of Aberdeen today (Thursday, March 28) launched the programme of its exciting new festival.

The May Festival, which will take place from Friday, May 10 to Sunday, May 12, is set to be a spectacular weekend with a programme that is guaranteed to have something on offer for all the family.

The event will encompass a host of different themes, including the return of Word, as well as strands exploring food and nutrition, music, film, science, Gaelic and an aptly named Discover strand, showcasing the topical research-led projects the University is currently undertaking.

With a host of famous faces taking part, the programme is jam-packed with events ranging from a cooking challenge with renowned Scottish chef Nick Nairn, an enchanting performance from acclaimed singer, Julie Fowlis, to readings from Liz Lochhead, arguably Scotland’s best loved modern-day poet, and acclaimed playwright.

Other events include an investigation with scientist, TV presenter and creepy crawly expert Dr James Logan into modern day bloodsuckers; a market featuring some of Scotland’s finest producers, and a Disney Pixar Director’s Cut special with one of the University’s own graduates, Gordon Cameron. With credits including Up, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Brave, the Festival audience will get to hear what it’s like to work on some of the most successful animations of all time.

The University of Aberdeen is also pleased to announce a new partnership with global petroleum and chemicals enterprise, Saudi Aramco, which is principal sponsor of the May Festival.

“Saudi Aramco is delighted to be working with the University of Aberdeen, a leading institution in our field of expertise and a destination for our sponsored students,” said Nabil Aldabal, Managing Director of Aramco Overseas Company. “Saudi Aramco will also take this opportunity to inaugurate its Aberdeen Technology Office, a research facility which will engage with both industry and academia, in what is a major hub for upstream oil activity and research.”

In addition to the main Festival, the University will also host a selection of events for children and families to enjoy over the weekend, as well as a special festival for schools, all sponsored by Marathon Oil.

Running from May 7- 9, the Marathon Oil Schools’ Festival will give pupils and teachers the opportunity to enjoy a great a variety of events including storytelling, music workshops and science demonstrations.

University of Aberdeen Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, said: “The programme for the May Festival is absolutely fantastic and I am proud that the University of Aberdeen is hosting an event which will bring so much variety to the city this May.

 “Following the success of the Word Festivals and last year’s British Science Festival, I have no doubt that this new event will prove to be just as popular and will be enjoyed immensely by everyone who attends any of the many events we have organised.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the companies that have made the festival possible by being sponsors. It is great to see so many businesses offering their support to the University in order to create such a dynamic new event.”

Tickets for the May Festival are available now and can be booked by visiting:

Tickets are also available at the Aberdeen Box Office and bookings can be made in person or by calling 01224 641122.

For further information about the May Festival, please visit