Year of Young People 2018 events programme gets set to put Scotland’s young people in the spotlight

  • First events in year-long, co-designed programme announced today with more to come in the forthcoming months


A new young writers festival, a major festival of theatre from National Theatre of Scotland, a science takeover at Helix Park, home of the magnificent Kelpies and a three-day celebration inspired by the opening of Moat Brae – Peter Pan’s enchanted land in Dumfries are just a few of the events set to celebrate Scotland’s forthcoming Year of Young People 2018.

Launched today by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the Year of Young People 2018 will put Scotland’s young people in the spotlight, celebrating their talents, contributions and creating new opportunities for them to express themselves through culture, sport and a wide range of other activities.

To celebrate the year, EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate has developed a nation-wide programme which for the first time, is entirely co-designed by young people and the events and festivals sector. The programme includes both new events and new programme strands for annual events. Highlights of the exciting year-long events programme which begins with Edinburgh Hogmanay’s #Scotword project on the 30 December 2017 are:

  • Glasgow International Comedy Festival’s School of Stand-up (Feb/ March)
  • A community-led Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival across Scotland (May)
  • Scotland’s first youth TEDxYouth@Glasgow (May)
  • STAGE IT! in Dumfries and Galloway (May/ June)
  • Diverse CiTay Festival in Perth (June)
  • A Scottish Youth Poetry Slam (Sep/Oct)
  • The Big Takeover in Shetland (Sep)
  • The Royal National Mòd (Oct)
  • Las! Ignite! at An Lanntair in Stornoway (Oct)
  • The Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards (Nov)

  • Young people from Dundee and across Scotland will also play a central role in the year as a key part of V&A Dundee’s opening event - a celebration of design creativity which will mark an exciting new chapter in the city’s history. A new V&A Dundee Young People’s Collective, a group of young people (aged 16-24) from diverse backgrounds across Dundee, will help design and plan the opening celebration. V&A Dundee will open in the second half of 2018, with the date to be announced nearer to the time.

Glasgow International, the UK’s biggest platform for contemporary visual art will be putting young people’s voices and ideas firmly at the heart of its 2018 programme throughout April/ May whilst over in Greenock, Inverclyde’s past, present and future will be celebrated as part of Evolve 2018 in May where a multitude of art-forms will be showcased including drama, film, upcycling and live music.

The Highland Youth Art Festival Showcase will invite young Scots, locals and visitors to celebrate creativity across the Highlands.  From music, dance and drama to visual and digital art, film and creative writing – the programme will also see Feis Rois Limited join forces with The National Trust for Scotland to celebrate local heritage and culture.

For music festival fans, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival will celebrate the year and Tiree Music Festival will see the introduction of a creative programme for young people and their families with the ‘Elevate Stage’ programmed entirely by young people and showcasing fresh new talent on the Scottish music scene. Scotland’s largest free youth music festival, Youth Beatz in Dumfries, will expand to two days and a bigger venue providing young people from across Scotland with as many opportunities as possible to participate in and enjoy across the last weekend in June.

Young adults will also get to experience one of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks like never before in a unique after hours atmosphere with ‘Knight at the Castle’ at Edinburgh Castle. 

Aberdeen’s iconic, brand new re-developed Music Hall will fill the transformed ‘A’ listed building with performances, artist commissions, participatory opportunities and storytelling as part of ‘Stepping In.’

As well as brand new, one off events, there will be special programme strands added to a host of annual events, all celebrating Year of Young People 2018. These include; Dundee Design Festival, Spring Fling in Dumfries, Taste of Grampian in Inverurie, Glasgow Comic Con, University Sevens in Melrose, Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, Graphic Design Festival in Glasgow, Glasgow Youth Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, activity at The Dick Institute in Kilmarnock, Mining the Past, Facing the Future at the National Mining Museum in Newtongrange, Edinburgh International Book Festival and activity across both the Edinburgh International Science Festival and Orkney International Science Festival.

2018 will also see a fantastic line-up of events with themes ranging from sport, music and theatre to business and baking as part of Create18 – an events programme co-ordinated by Young Scot and led entirely by young people across the country.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, said:

“We are delighted to be supporting Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 with a year-long programme of events that will celebrate our amazing young talent and provide opportunities for young people to express themselves through culture, sport and a range of other activities.”

“Working with the events and festivals industry in Scotland, 2018 provides us with a special opportunity to showcase both our rich annual events programme and a host of brand new events which will bring the themes of the year alive.  The programme, which is entirely co-designed with Young People, will further reinforce Scotland's position as the perfect stage for events, putting young people in the driving seat and giving them a wonderful opportunity to show the world what they are made of."

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said:

"The events programme for the Year of Young People 2018 is looking phenomenal.”

"Thanks to the support of EventScotland and all the young people involved in deciding the programme, it's clear it's been created with young people at its heart. There are so many different opportunities in 2018, right across the country, to celebrate young people, develop their interests, put power into their hands and bring different generations together.

"We are really looking forward to the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards being bigger, bolder and brighter than ever before - with some exciting new elements - thanks to its status as a Year of Young People 2018 supported event."

Kathleen McNab, a YOYP2018 Ambassador from Edinburgh said:

"I’m really looking forward to all the events set to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. The programme for the year has involved young people right from the start and is set to continue throughout next year with young people at the heart of all the fantastic activity on offer.”

“As a Year of Young People 2018 Ambassador, I’ve had the opportunity to influence the development of the events programme, providing a brand new opportunity for me to get a valuable insight into the events and festivals industry as well as giving me a platform to have my own views heard and acted upon.”

For Year of Young People 2018 event listings please visit http://www.eventscotland.org/events/

Events can also be viewed here - http://www.eventscotland.org/assets/show/5776  

More events will be revealed in the forthcoming months.

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