All credit to new festival organisers
Aberdeen’s 10-year cultural strategy is right to recognise that a healthy arts scene promotes economic and emotional wealth. Fostering a “creative lab” that encourages students to make the city their home even after university is a laudable aim. All the more reason then to regret the unedifying saga that has been the handling of the international youth festival by those charged with making that happen. No doubt all was not well with the event – even if it had decades of history, an international reputation and the support of several big names behind it. Removing its cash lifeline was no wilful act of cultural vandalism by those holding the council purse strings. Nor though was the choreography of the messy last act anything but an embarrassment. What a delight then to discover that far from falling for the final time, the curtain has simply been hiding a frenzy of activity. All credit to those who refused to accept the council’s funding axe had to mean the end. And to all of those – from huge firms to big-hearted individuals – who have come forward to plug the gap. Such was the groundswell of dismay that greeted the festival’s demise, the rest can surely now be found. If it proves the success we hope for it, maybe it can find a place in that 10-year plan.
“What a delight then to discover that the curtain has been hiding a frenzy of activity”