Youth festival change is music to city’s ears
Aberdeen Multicultural Centre seeks support for wealth of events
A NEW nine-day celebration of music has been unveiled to replace the beloved Aberdeen International Youth Festival.
The Aberdeen International Festival of Youth Arts (AIFYA) will provide a platform for young performers from across the world to come to the city.
There was outrage when £150,000 of council funding was pulled from the original, 40- year- old festival last year, with Dame Evelyn Glennie among those to express dismay.
A six-figure sum has since been raised through private donations to ensure it lives on – albeit in a new guise.
Organisers have launched a £10,000
A beloved Aberdeen music festival is set to rise from the ashes under a new guise – months after council chiefs cut funding.
The Aberdeen International Youth Festival (AIYF) has brought acts from across the globe to entertain Granite City audiences for more than four decades.
But in November the local authority decided to cut £150,000 funding for the annual event and instead plough £100,000 into the year of young people.
Last night the Aberdeen Multicultural Centre announced they were now going to run a new nineday Aberdeen International Festival of Youth Arts (AIFYA) across both the city and Aberdeenshire.
It has already raised a six-figure sum through private donations to support a wealth of events.
The centre hopes to raise a final £10,000 in public donations for a fitting finale to the spectacle in the city’s Tivoli Theatre on August 4.
The decision to axe the AIYF’s funding was made numerous pleas and support from celebrities including world-famous percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and cellist Julian Lloyd Webber.
But questions had been raised over attendance figures at many of the international festival’s shows and events, and whether it was good value for money for the city.
Amanda MacLeod, Festival manager of the new event, said: “Aberdeen has been home to an international performing arts festival for young people since 1973 and there is a strong determination in the city and further afield to see that provision continue.
“I am utterly thrilled that we have been able to create this platform in 2018, thanks to the incredible support of the Aberdeen Multicultural Centre and funders.”
The new festival will welcome performers from across the world including Ulysses Dancers, from Australia, Poliot Children’s Choir, from Russia, Madison Boychoir, from America.
Dame Evelyn said: “It is so important that young people share their talents and what better platform than a festival which unites young people from across the globe.
“I’m so pleased to hear that Aberdeen will continue to have an international festival celebrating the diverse artistic talents of young people from across the world.”
Chief executive of AIYF, Stewart Aitken, said: “I am delighted that Aberdeen Multicultural Centre agreed support this project that, along with their other work, celebrates Aberdeen as an international city and seeks to bring the various ethnic communities closer together.
“I hope people will come out to support and welcome them to Scotland in the same way they did for many years with AIYF participants.”
Conservative councillors Douglas Lumsden and Philip Bell were appointed to the AIYF board last week – with it understood the festival would soon come to an end in its current form.
MUSICAL REVIVAL: The Aberdeen Multicultural Centre has announced the launch of a new music festival for Aberdeeen