Youth fes­ti­val change is mu­sic to city’s ears

Aberdeen Mul­ti­cul­tural Cen­tre seeks sup­port for wealth of events

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JON HEBDITCH

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

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