Tens of thousands of people took to the sun-soaked streets of Aberdeen over the Easter weekend to explore and discover the incredible range of artwork created during Nuart Aberdeen.
In a record year for the festival, which is spearheaded by Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, an estimated 30,000 people flocked to the city centre.
From Smug’s iconic mural on The Green to the many other interventions and murals at locations throughout the city, including one created by Aberdeen’s very own graffiti gang of over 65’s, there was plenty for all ages to take in and enjoy.
This year’s festival theme explored the importance of storytelling and its relationship to the city. Whether this is a city full of towering works of art gifted by visitors or laughing pensioners spray-painting their way to infamy, the festival and its art is open to each individual to interpret.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “Nuart Aberdeen is a festival unlike any other in the UK and the universal support and affection it holds in the hearts of locals and visitors alike is incredible. This year it has brought Aberdeen to the attention of the world and we are delighted with the positivity it has brought to our city.
“At the Green alone on Saturday, we welcomed 10,000 people, with an average of 30,000 throughout the course of the weekend. Witnessing huge numbers take part in the walking tours, hunting out world class pieces of street art themselves and of course, the thousands who enjoyed Inspired Nights on the Green was truly amazing.
“Alongside our Nuart colleagues in Stavanger, we have brought in the best international artists from around the globe. From the legendary John Byrne launching proceedings on Thursday night to our rebellious seniors taking to the streets and youngsters engaging with art through chalk and LEGO, it really has been the best festival yet and leaves an important legacy for Aberdeen.”
Martyn Reed, Director and Curator of Nuart, said: “It’s impossible to express in a single quote the amount of incredible stories and events we’ve been part of over the last two weeks, the friendships made, the sweat, the tears and yes, in a couple of cases the blood. This year was our most ambitious yet and at times, we feared we’d maybe pushed too far, but the weather broke, the team stepped up and the people of Aberdeen gave us the inspiration we needed to push ahead.
“We have amazing partners in Aberdeen Inspired, understanding sponsors who always go the extra mile, and an incredible network of local independent businesses who host us like kings, not to mention the life affirming work put in by local volunteers. Ultimately everything boils down to the opening weekend, did we get it right, is the art doing its job, are we contributing to making the world a better place. The conversations, the smiles, the laughter and the stream of thank you’s we received over the weekend from the people we met in the streets, would seem to imply we did. And that’s all the encouragement we need to start thinking about next year. Thank you Aberdeen, we salute you!”
The Green formed the heart of the festival at the weekend and was brought to life with Inspired Nights on Green, with local traders serving up the best street food and drinks and visitors enjoying music, entertainment and art.
Nuart Aberdeen is supported by delivery partners Burness Paull and The McGinty’s Group. The globally renowned street artists who have made their unique mark on the city are Axel Void, Ememem, Ben Eine, Evol, Helen Bur, Hush, Julio Anaya Cabanding, Smug, Vhils, Jan Vormann, Hama Woods, Dotmasters and Anders Gjennestad aka Strok.
Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: “Nuart Aberdeen has once again been an overwhelming success – the positivity around the whole weekend was fantastic, with a real feelgood factor running through the city. Residents and the business community in Aberdeen have really embraced the festival and visitors have been bowled over by the warmth of the welcome they have received, with a wonderful buzz created by the artists who have made their mark and the team who work so hard to plan and deliver the programme. The legacy of that work will live on, with the pieces attracting interest 365 days a year, and we’re very proud of the impact Nuart Aberdeen has had.”
Free Nuart Aberdeen guided walking tours will run weekly on Thursday, Saturday and selected Sundays until the end of September. Find out more here