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International Youth Festival Aberdeen

Each August Aberdeen City hosts an International Youth Festival packed full of cultural events and arts

Performers come from all regions of Scotland and the world and it is estimated that there are over 1000 individuals and groups from over 14 Countries. The Aberdeen International Youth Festival gives these young performers an opportunity to show the public their talents and creativity with the help of professional choreographers and directors.

Opening Ceremony

Guitar Photo The event is held in August each year with events, concerts, dancing and displays held at various venues throughout Grampian. Venues include His Majestys Theatre, the Lemon Tree, the Music Hall, Beach Ballroom and the Aberdeen Arts Centre. Local community groups throughout Aberdeenshire get involved and host events in Community Centres, Public Halls, Churches, Shopping Centres, Elderly Care Homes and Hospitals.
There is also a parade through Union Street in Aberdeen.
Open air concerts take place in venues such as Union Terrace Gardens.

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Popular events include:
  • Symphony orchestras
  • Residential and non residential courses
  • Steel bands
  • Theatre productions
  • Song recitals
  • African dance
  • Jazz
  • Traditional music
  • World music
  • Summer schools
  • Dance summer class
  • Choral music
  • Ballet
  • Contemporary dance
  • Traditional dance.
  • Youth opera produced by the Aberdeen Opera Garden Company named after Mary Garden.

2008 Aberdeen International Youth Festival

The 2008 Aberdeen International Youth Festival takes place from the 30 July to the 9 August. Highlights include:

Later…at the Lemon Tree 30th July – 9th August, at the Lemon Tree, from 9pm. Tickets £4 (£1 off if you have been to another festival event).

Experience the future of music in Scotland. 31st July & 7th of August, at the Beach Ballroom, 7.30pm. Tickets: £12, Concessions £8.

Music and Song from Three Continents. 2nd August, at the Music Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets: £13/£10, Concessions £3 off

The Silver Bough – Youth Music Theatre: UK. 3rd & 4th of August, at Aberdeen Grammar School, 2.30 (4th only) & 8pm. Tickets: £9, Concessions £5

Good Vibrations. 6th August, at the Beach Ballroom, 3pm. Tickets £9, Concessions £5 (family ticket available).

Mary Garden Opera: Benjamin Britten’s "The Little Sweep". 6th & 7th August, at Haddo House, 3pm (7th only) & 7.30pm. 8th & 9th August, at Beach Ballrom, 3pm. Tickets: £9, Concessions £5 (family ticket available)

AIYF International Dance Gala. 7th August, at His Majesty’s Theatre, 7.30pm. Tickets: £7.50 - £19.50, Concessions £3 off

AIYF International Variety Gala. 9th August, at His Majesty’s Theatre, 7.30pm. Tickets: £9.50 - £23.50, Concessions £3 off.

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See the Aberdeen International Youth Festival website at for more information, details, application forms for performers or for the courses.

Or read the Aberdeen International Youth Festival Blog at

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2006 Aberdeen International Youth Festival

The dates of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival for 2006 will be from the 1 August to the 12 August.
The production this year will be Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw which is based on the novel by Henry James. The director will be bass baritone and director, Gidon Saks.

History Of The Aberdeen International Youth Festival

The first Aberdeen International Youth Festival was called the International Festival of Youth Orchestras and was held in 1973. It has been held each year since.
the festival has attracted many famous people from the world of entertainment including Nigel Kennedy, Noel Edmunds, Rolf Harris, Simon Rattle, Daniel Rowland and local lass Evelyn Glennie, who is a patron of the festival. Famous conductors to attend the festival include Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini, Walter Susskind and Leopold Stokowski.

The concept of an International Youth Festival was devised by Blyth Major, Music Director of the Midland Youth Orchestra and Lionel Bryer, now Chairman of the International Youth Foundation during the 1960s. They wanted to bring together youth orchestras from all over the world to a festival. Their aim was to use music as a unifying bond to promote international understanding.
Their first International Festival of Youth Orchestras was held in 1969 in St Moritz in Switzerland.
the British tourist Board wanted something similar to be held in the UK with a venue in Scotland and England. London hosted the festival along with Aberdeen from 1973 until 1978. Aberdeen continued to host the festival each year thereafter.

Dates Of The Aberdeen International Youth Festival

2007: 1 - 11 August
2008: 30 July - 9 August
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