Star names unveiled for May Festival

Intrepid war reporter Kate Adie, Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess, and journalist and award-winning author Tony Parsons are just three of the names lined up for this year's May Festival.

Organised by the University of Aberdeen, the festival will run from May 9 to 11, 2014 with a host of events ranging from literature, music and film, to science, Gaelic and fun for all the family.

The full line up will be announced on March 27 but today (Monday March 10) 200 advance tickets for three of the headline events will go on sale.

Tim Burgess will take to the stage on Friday May 9 when memoirs rather than music will be on the bill as he discusses his book Telling Stories in which he shares tales from his rollercoaster ride as the frontman of much-loved indie outfit The Charlatans.

In a scoop for the May Festival, on May 10 journalist Tony Parsons will share his novel The Murder Bag, fresh off the printing press, with an Aberdeen audience. The first in a crime series featuring detective Max Wolfe, the book follows his best-selling works Man and Boy, One For My Baby, Man and Wife and Men From the Boy.

Kate Adie blazed a trail for journalism and for women, reporting live from war zones and hot spots around the world. Since hanging up her flak jacket, she has concentrated on writing about her life and her career, and the impact of conflict on women around the world and will discuss this with a panel of experts on Sunday May 11.

The full line-up for the Festival, which is sponsored by global petroleum and chemicals enterprise, Saudi Aramco, will be unveiled on March 27 when details of the Marathon Oil School’s and Children’s Festival, which will run from May 6 to 11, will also be announced.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen said: “The first May Festival held last year proved hugely popular with more than 7,500 people attending over 100 events across the region.

“The 2014 event will build upon that success with a diverse programme to appeal to all tastes and interests.

“Our headline acts, Kate Adie, Tim Burgess and Tony Parsons reflect this and we’re delighted to be able to welcome them to Aberdeen.”

The Charlatans frontman, Tim Burgess added: "Scotland, and Aberdeen, in particular played a big part in our adventures in The Charlatans so I'm looking forward to my trip. I always imagined when I was writing Telling Stories that I was talking to some friends gathered in a room rather than working on a book that was going to be published, so hopefully it'll seem like we've all gone on a trip to the pub for a chat."

Festival organiser Jill Burnett added: “We are expecting interest in the whole programme and are sure our headline acts will be particularly popular.

“To help spread demand and ensure as many people as possible have the chance to get tickets for these events we’ll be releasing 200 advance tickets for each which will go on sale today.

“We’re delighted to have received the support of our sponsors and partners which help us to keep ticket prices as low as possible – and to offer many events in the full programme free of charge.”

Fahad Al-AbdulKareem, Managing Director of Aramco Overseas Company, an affiliate of Saudi Aramco in Europe, added: “Saudi Aramco is once again delighted to partner the May Festival in Aberdeen, a city which is home to our Aberdeen Technology Office.

“Our association last year proved extremely positive and we are confident this year’s event will be even more impressive.”          

Tickets for Kate Adie, Tim Burgess and Tony Parsons 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.