Old Aberdeen will spring to life this weekend as the May Festival brings more than 100 family-friendly events to the University campus.
With a dedicated Children’s programme running alongside the main event, the May Festival offers something for all ages, tastes and interests – with many of the sessions free of charge.
Families can fire their imaginations with workshops in science and storytelling, try their hand at circus skills, get stuck in at the Hall of Mayhem and even navigate their way around an obstacle course.
The Festival will welcome back University Alumnus Graham Stuart, managing director of one of the UK’s most successful production companies, So Television, who will share stories of his showbiz journey from Aberdeen Student Television and Scotsport to the Bafta and Emmy award winning Graham Norton Show.
May Festival will also celebrate poet and fellow alumnus Nan Shepherd, The Year of Young People, 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage and LGBT+ campaigner Dr Elly Barnes MBE with the full programme available to view at www.abdn.ac.uk/mayfestival
The ever-popular walking tours will return this year following a trail of women’s literacy heritage, exploring the historic and beautiful King’s College Chapel, the hidden gems of Cruickshank Gardens and the University’s newest building – the state-of-the-art Rowett Institute at Foresterhill.
Those with an interest in the city’s past can also learn more about the history of Aberdeen’s hospitals and the secrets revealed by the extensive archives of NHS Grampian, discover the story of Malcom Vivian Hay, the last Laird of Seaton Estate, and one of the most intriguing men in the city’s recent history, hear about the sacred singing traditions of evangelical Christians in North-East Scotland and Northern Isles coastal communities and learn how Aberdeen was impacted by the First World War.
A University's role is to enhance the cultural and intellectual life of its region, and I am extremely proud that the May Festival continues to be a highlight in the north-east's cultural calendar." Professor Sir Ian Diamond
In addition to bookable events, a host of drop in events will run including a produce market showcasing the best the north-east has to offer on the Saturday, and the Hall of Mayhem which promised fun for all ages with hands-on-stalls where Mayhem makers can hunt for mini beasts, learn about DNA with Lego and find out more about some of Aberdeenshire’s local wildlife.
University of Aberdeen Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, said: “A University’s role is to enhance the cultural and intellectual life of its region, and I am extremely proud that the May Festival continues to be a highlight in the north-east’s cultural calendar.
“From its inception in 2013, the Festival has gone from strength to strength and we are looking forward to welcoming new visitors and those who have supported us over the years to our beautiful and historic campus.
“Of course, this is only made possible through the generous support of our partners and sponsors. We’re delighted that, once again, Total E&P UK have joined us as our title sponsor, and this partnership allows us to create a unique and diverse programme of events for everyone to enjoy.”
Sandra McLennan, CSR Leader of Total E&P UK said: “Total E&PUK is delighted to once again support the May Festival as the University of Aberdeen opens its door to visitors from across the region and beyond. Activities from the worlds of sport, culture, science and literature are designed to encourage discussion, satisfy curiosity and bring people together as the Festival celebrates Scotland’s Year of Young People. Explore and enjoy!”
Browse the programme or book tickets now at www.abdn.ac.uk/mayfestival or call Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122.
Author: Joanne Milne