Experts who run some of the festivals in Edinburgh are attending a conference in Aberdeen this Friday to talk about their experiences and explore best practice with others from across Scotland.

FESTIVAL! is a four day pop up which will allow event organisers and tourism managers from all over Scotland to get together and swap notes. There is a programme of screenings and performances and a full programme of jazz and blues concerts.

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop, Janet Archer CEO of Creative Scotland, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, Fergus Linehan and Sorcha Carey who is Director of Edinburgh Art Festival are all taking part in the Festivals Management Conference.

Macbeth, which was the very first opera to be performed at the first Edinburgh International Festival in 1947, was staged in 2017. This year’s production was directed by Emma Dante


Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs, who will deliver the opening address at the Festivals Management Conference, said: “Scotland’s festivals are an opportunity to bring people together, push the boundaries, demonstrate our creativity and provide important social and economic benefits to local areas.

“The Scottish Government recognises the value of Scotland’s cultural festivals and their role in enriching people’s lives.

“I’m pleased that the Scottish Government was able to provide £100,000, through the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, to support this week’s pop-up festival and conference in Aberdeen. I expect the north east’s rich and proud heritage and thriving contemporary arts scene to come through strongly, both in the discussions at Friday’s conference and in the festival itself.”

Janet Archer, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland said: “Scotland’s hundreds of festivals of all scales and sizes contribute profoundly to people’s lives – culturally, socially and economically. It’s great to see the significance of Scotland’s festivals being recognised and celebrated by this inaugural Festivals Management Conference. The good practice shared at the conference will help to further develop and strengthen Scotland’s dynamic festivals offering.”

Ken Hay is the Chair of Edinburgh International Film Festival and also the chair of FESTIVAL! Steering group. He recognises that Aberdeen is a rising star in Scotland where festivals and events are concerned. He said : “Edinburgh is renowned as the home of world-class festivals and this new event is aiming to link that spirit with communities around Scotland.

“Aberdeen was a natural choice for the inaugural Festival! and Festivals Management Conference because of its own growing reputation as a festival city, its great venues, and its appreciative and engaged audiences.

“We’re delighted to be working with partners in Aberdeen, and to have support through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, in delivering the event.”

And the Granite City’s Lord Provost will be pleased to welcome all 120 delegates. The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said:  “Festival! offers the citizens of Aberdeen the opportunity to enjoy a fabulous array of performances, shows, workshops delivered by the organisers of the three of Edinburgh’s flagship festivals, on their own doorstep.

“This new event is a great way to celebrate 70 years of Edinburgh, which is being the world’s leading festival city and it great that Aberdeen has been chosen to showcase some of the leading festival’s highlights outside the capital for the first time ever.

“With a packed programme of events there is something for everyone especially with Aberdeen Christmas Village also opening this weekend (Friday 17 November) – Aberdeen will be buzzing with excitement and the only place to be.”

For further information on the guest speakers, panel chairs and panel sessions please visit

Festival! has been arranged by Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival and Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh’s Festivals.  The event is supported by the Scottish Government Edinburgh Festivals’ EXPO 70 Fund and developed in partnership with Aberdeen Festivals.