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New festival to shine light on north-east Scotland’s history

The festival will celebrate the north-east region’s people, culture and history (Andrew Milligan/PA)
The festival will celebrate the north-east region’s people, culture and history (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A new festival is set to shine a light on the story of north-east Scotland, celebrating the region’s people, culture, history, heritage and diversity.

Hame, organised by Aberdeen University and created in partnership with the Elphinstone Institute, will run from July 7 to 10.

The event will feature a programme of music, dance, slam poetry, storytelling, public talks and guided walks.

Audiences will be given insights into the architectural secrets of Old Aberdeen, the best of the north east’s writing and an exploration of the songs and poetry that have shaped its cultural heritage.

A contemporary look at the city’s 1964 typhoid outbreak – a pivotal moment in Aberdeen’s past which saw it locked down – will be on offer, through the lens of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sessions will also explore the living song tradition of the centuries-old bothy ballad and its continued repurposing for folk bands and dance floors in the modern era.

Jenny Fernandes, director of external relations at Aberdeen University, said: “The Hame festival will deliver a new and exciting format in which to champion all that makes this part of Scotland so special, offering audiences a fascinating and grounded story of the region that touches on the important themes of identity and belonging.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to our Old Aberdeen campus as well as to other city venues both indoor and outdoor as Hame explores the incredible cultural diversity of this area and what it means to those deeply connected to it.”

Simon Gall, public engagement officer at the Elphinstone Institute, added: “Hame is a unique celebration of the creativity of the people of the north east of Scotland.

“By designing the majority of the programme together with local organisations and performers, we see the festival partly as a vehicle for regional self-representation.

“As such, the content of the programme has been heavily influenced by those involved, making for a grassroots celebration of ‘north-eastness’ which showcases the many languages, traditions, stories, and practices of the region today.

“We hope that the festival offers audiences an interesting story of ‘hame’, one that shows reverence towards traditions old and new and venerates the people that practice them.”