Bid to put city to fore of new kind of world fes­ti­val

Coun­cil leader wants Dundee to pro­vide Unesco with blue­print for cul­tural event

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - DEREK HEALEY

New de­tails have been re­vealed of an am­bi­tious plan to put Dundee at the cen­tre of a first-of-its-kind global cul­ture fes­ti­val.

City lead­ers hope to launch the sixweek Cre­ative Cities World Fes­ti­val in the run-up to the Ed­in­burgh Fringe in sum­mer 2022.

The event, which has the back­ing of Unesco, would seek to at­tract vis­i­tors from all 180 cities in its net­work and be­come a show­case for each lo­ca­tion.

Un­der the plans, a “win­dow on the world” pro­gramme would show­case global col­lab­o­ra­tions, in­clud­ing one-off events and res­i­den­cies.

A pro­gramme of ma­jor pop­u­lar per­for­mances would also take place at key venues through­out Dundee, with “week­end spec­tac­u­lars” broad­cast live to gen­er­ate max­i­mum au­di­ence at­ten­dance and in­ter­na­tional cov­er­age.

A “world vil­lage” would be in res­i­dence through­out the fes­ti­val to pro­vide a space for vis­it­ing cities to show­case as­pects of their cul­ture, food and drink.

Or­gan­is­ers hope it will “stim­u­late ini­tia­tives be­tween cities, strengthen global cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, and help de­velop hubs of cre­ativ­ity”.

Dundee City Coun­cil leader John Alexan­der, who used a meet­ing of Unesco city lead­ers in June to pitch the pro­posal, said the re­ac­tion had been ex­tremely pos­i­tive.

He said: “What we’re of­fer­ing is a blue­print. We would be the first city to ever host this kind of event. We will then give Unesco that blue­print and it will roll out across all of the other cities in the net­work.

“But to be the first to host a global cul­tural event is no in­signif­i­cant thing, par­tic­u­larly when you con­sider what’s hap­pen­ing in the city at the mo­ment with the V&A. We need to con­tinue to build that mo­men­tum and show­case what Dundee is all about.”

Cul­ture Sec­re­tary Fiona Hys­lop voiced her sup­port for the plans and de­scribed the event as “a land­mark global mo­ment that will high­light the power and po­ten­tial of plac­ing cre­ativ­ity at the heart of de­vel­op­ment plans”.

Pic­ture: Steve Macdougall.

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