Thousands of people came into Perth City Centre at the weekend to enjoy the Diverse CiTay Festival, which was organised to celebrate Scotland's Year of Young People 2018 (YOYP2018). Local young people had taken on a central role in co-producing the event over recent months and their creative ideas, hard work and dedication culminated in a fantastic day filled with fun for all.
On Saturday 23 June, the exciting programme brought together a vibrant carnival parade, live music, youth market, Perth College UHI's Sport, Health and Wellbeing Village, and Perth Theatre youth takeover, with lots of other fun activities and entertainment on offer, all aimed at highlighting the achievements of young people aged eight to 26. The Diverse CiTay Festival was supported by the Year of Young People 2018 Event Fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
Colourful carnival floats created by local young people kicked off the festival with a parade beside the River Tay to the North Inch park, where festivalgoers could enjoy an afternoon of music hosted by renowned dance music pioneers the Ministry of Sound, who presented a cavalcade of top names: Be Charlotte, Jack Maynard, Karen Harding, Eliza and the Bears, and the House and Garage Orchestra featuring Kele Le Roc, Sweet Female Attitude and Polly Pierce. Also on the North Inch, Perth College UHI's Sport, Health and Wellbeing Village gave attendees the chance to try out new sports including a climbing wall, bubble football, archery, volleyball, and popular disability sport boccia, alongside opportunities to chill out with relaxation techniques, and get advice on healthy eating, positive mental health and stopping smoking.
From early evening, the creative talent of local groups and performers drew music fans to Mill Street, with performances from bands Parliamo, Stop the Rain, Saharatheband, and The Carloways, rapper Swaine and DJ Wize. Also on Mill Street, the Youth Market provided a great spread of young entrepreneurs showcasing their hand-crafted goods and products for sale, highlighting local businessmen and women of the future and giving festivalgoers a chance to browse and enjoy what was on offer.
Many exciting opportunities for cultural and creative activity were available throughout the day at Perth Theatre, from theatre costume and make-up workshops and creating a show in a day, to mask-making, music and an under-18s after party rounding off the day in appropriately upbeat style with a silent disco and live music.
Diverse CiTay Working Group Co-Chairs Robert McCall MSYP and Siusaidh Johnston were delighted with the response to the festival: "Perth is well-known as an excellent venue for events of many different types, and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with our peers to organise a major celebration here for Scotland's Year of Young People 2018. Everyone involved in creating Diverse CiTay has been using and developing a wide range of skills, experience and knowledge, going from event planning and production to performing, creating the fabulous parade floats, selling and market trading and more.
"The partnership between local young people and key organisations like the Council, Perth College UHI and Horsecross has made for a fantastic Festival, and we hope it was a great day on Saturday for all who helped make it a success, including all the festivalgoers!"
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “It is fantastic to see the talents, skills and ideas of Perth’s young people brought to life through the Diverse CiTay Festival.
"Our Year of Young People is about creating opportunities which challenge, and importantly, change the negative perceptions of young people. I am delighted to see that Perth has created such a creative and bold event which empowers young people, shares their stories, and puts the spotlight firmly on the significant contributions they are making to communities across Scotland.”