The return of Scotland’s leading light art festival, SPECTRA was announced this week.

Taking its inspiration from Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, SPECTRA 2020 explores Aberdeen’s position as the connecting point to other cultures on Scotland’s North East coast through a series of thought provoking, playful and just plain stunning light art works.

​​From the Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th February, SPECTRA will once again light up the winter nights in Aberdeen encouraging audiences to get out and experience the city looking its best using interactive light sculptures, architectural projections and film to create new ways of exploring the city.  ​

This year the works of art created in light will appear in Marischal College Quad, Broad Street, Upper Kirkgate, Schoolhill, St Nicholas Kirkyard, The Kirk of St Nicholas, and Aberdeen Art Gallery.

The Spectra website will share more information on the installations and how to enjoy them and your evening whether you are travelling in to the city centre with your family or travelling from Dundee, Perth or Edinburgh with friends.

Cllr Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council Culture Spokesperson said: “Aberdeen City Council is proud to invest in and deliver a year round events calendar, bringing high quality activities and culture to our public spaces. I can’t think of a better way to kick off our 2020 programme than with Scotland’s festival of light Spectra returning to the city and the programme being put together by Curated Place is truly world class. Aberdeen is a city inextricably linked to the sea through our heritage, industry and culture, so it’s exciting that this year’s theme celebrates Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters and I’m really looking forward to seeing that reflected in the artists’ work.”

Andy Brydon, Director of Curated Place said: “Curated Place are excited to return as the producers of Spectra alongside Aberdeen City Council’s culture and events teams. After working tirelessly to develop the festival in its inaugural years we’re now keen to develop more opportunities for Aberdeen artists and producers to work with the seasoned team. We’ll be creating stronger ties with creative peers in Stavanger and further afield through new residency opportunities and launching a new creative producers scheme for 2021 as well as delivering the festival as a major event that reflects the people and creativity of the city across an all new site.”

Running alongside the public light art of SPECTRA is the third edition of the industry conference SPECTRA Catalyst Conference.
In 2020 the SPECTRA Catalyst Conference returns with guests from the world of culture, tourism, heritage, music, diplomacy and business to ask ‘What is culture’s hidden contribution to a city’s sustainability?’. 

Taking place in the newly refurbished Music Hall, Spectra Catalyst Conference runs Friday 14 Feb at 9.30am to Saturday 15 Feb at 5pm and welcomes cultural leaders from across Scotland, the UK, and Internationally.  

Challenging the notion that investment in culture is a ‘nice to have’ speakers will explore the hidden benefits or true value culture brings to the city’s economy, identity and well-being, and will present on issues as diverse as the activation of archives to neuro-diversity, and the death of retail to surveillance capitalism. The conference will promote culture as a human right and take an asset-based approach to mapping out strategies to cement culture as a ‘must-have’ for Aberdeen – becoming a critical meeting point for anyone serious about the business of Culture in the North East and in Scotland.