Aberdeen preparing to welcome Festival of the Sea as new event drops anchor next week

The countdown is on to a new festival in Aberdeen celebrating the city's maritime heritage and its relationship with the sea and coastline.

Dropping anchor next week, The Festival of the Sea will be a two-week celebration from July 15 to 28 with a wide range of events across the city.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Ian Yuill said: "Our rich maritime past has been an important factor in shaping the Aberdeen of today, and also in our thinking towards the future.

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"The great events taking place throughout the Festival of the Sea will enable all ages to come together to learn about the city’s maritime history."

Councillor Martin Greig, culture spokesperson for Aberdeen City Council, added: "Visitors and locals alike can dive into a range of sea-themed activities and events taking place at venues across the city, from Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums to community spaces, Aberdeen Science Centre, The Arts Centre, Aberdeen Sports Village and the Beach Ballroom."

The Festival will also include Stories of the Sea, a free family fun weekend in Union Terrace Gardens on July 20 and 21.

Those attending can enjoy a lifesize inflatable whale with a storytelling centre inside, a one-man desert island comedy performance featuring a giant crab, and a selfie-loving mermaid.

Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums will feature the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, as well as maritime trails and fun creative sessions and workshops.

A host of events will also take place in Fittie and Torry, coordinated by Open Road, which will celebrate both communities’ close relationship with the sea through exhibitions, film showings, arts, crafts, nature walks and more.

Lesley Anne, Creative Director of Open Road, said: "As a harbour-based organisation, Open Road is delighted to have created the community programme for Aberdeen’s first Festival of the Sea.

"We’ve worked with community groups, artists, cultural and heritage organisations and many more to present a programme across Fittie and Torry, offering something for everyone to enjoy."

With the festival also marking one year until the Tall Ships Race arrives in Aberdeen in July 2025, three Tall Ships will visit the city’s Harbour throughout the two-weeks.

The tall ship Swan will dock at Aberdeen’s South Harbour, with her crew taking young people aged 15 to 25 out on sail training sessions.

The TS Royalist, the Sea Cadet’s flagship, and sailing ship Reaper, visiting from the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, will also visit the city’s harbour.

The Reaper, which was built near Fraserburgh in 1902 and featured in several film and television programmes, including the hit series Outlander, will be available for visitors to board on July 19 and 20.

To find out more about the Festival of the Sea and to view the programme of events, visit: Festival of the Sea Aberdeen 2024 | Aberdeen City Council.