Nuart Aberdeen street art festival to return in 2018

Internationally acclaimed artists will return to Aberdeen next year to take part in the second year of an award-winning street art festival.


The Nuart Aberdeen festival will take place from Thursday, 12 April to Sunday, April 15 and will see a team of international, national and local artists develop their latest works on walls around the city centre.


Aberdeen City Council has approved three years of funding for a package of events, including Nuart, which are delivered or supported by Aberdeen Inspired.


A total of £100,000 has been made available each year for the next three years to support the Nuart Aberdeen Festival. Funding has also been approved for the pro cycling Tour Series and the Great Aberdeen Run.

Earlier this year Nuart Aberdeen festival organisers hailed the overwhelming response from members of the public to the first year of the ambitious international festival.


Artists from around the world showcased their talents by creating eye-catching, artistic murals around the city centre which attracted large crowds over the Easter weekend.


Nuart Aberdeen was brought to the city by business organisation Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, and was supported by main sponsor Burness Paull LLP.


Held in the Norwegian city since 2001 and widely regarded as the world’s leading celebration of street art, Nuart Aberdeen was the first overseas version of the festival.


The festival has won four awards this year, including the UK Association of Town and City Management’s Innovation Award, the Visit Scotland Award for Tourism.


It also won the place management BID award at the 2017 National Business Improvement District (BID) Awards, and was also the signature piece Aberdeen Inspired’s winning entry to secure the 2017 European BID of the Year win in July.


Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “We are delighted to bring the Nuart Aberdeen street art festival back for a second year in 2018 to build on the success we enjoyed this year.


“We are very grateful to Aberdeen City Council which was bold and ambitious in supporting us and understood that the city, and the wider north-east, got a very real return for the investment.


“We understand the challenges to the public purse, but the Nuart Aberdeen festival seems to be one that is universally accepted as being a game changer and one we all ought to be proud of and get behind.


“We had an overwhelmingly positive response to the festival and it was great to see so many people admiring the works since the festival in April. One of the many successes of the festival is that it has attracted visitors from other European countries as well as people from closer to home.


“Nuart Aberdeen truly captured the hearts and minds of the public in the north-east and way beyond. It was seen by many as ‘transformational’, on so many different levels, and of a scale and ambition that is in keeping with where this city needs to be.


“The festival left a legacy in the city and with its much-anticipated return in April of next year, we hope it continues to act as a stimulus in attracting many more high calibre cultural activities to Aberdeen. This has been great illustration of what we can achieve as a team and undoubtedly helps Aberdeen City Centre’s transition to the next level, through our City Centre Masterplan.”


As well as street art, there was also an extensive festival programme of activity including walking tours, talks, presentations and art workshops.


The festival artists also worked alongside local artists to create a lasting impression in the city centre by brightening up forgotten spaces with their work.

Martyn Reed, director and curator of Nuart, said: “Quite a few people have asked me, ‘how are you going to top last year’ and to be honest, I thought the same myself for a while afterwards.

“Our debut year showed us what an amazing sense of community exists in Aberdeen, so many people came together to create work in a real spirit of collaboration. We felt we could achieve anything and I’m looking forward to coming back to the city in 2018 to keep the momentum going.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates, a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute. Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. As a result of its on-going success, the organisation won 2017 European BID of the Year in July.