Organisers of a north-east celebration of youth, culture and performance have hailed this year’s gathering one of the best in the event’s 43-year history.
Hundreds of performers from across the globe took to stages across the granite city and surrounding area during the nine-day Aberdeen International Youth Festival (AIYF).
And yesterday AIYF chief executive and artistic director Stewart Aitken paid tribute to the talent his team had attracted to the area.
Groups from 17 nations made the journey to the north-east from as far afield as Africa and Asia.
Other well travelled acts included the Basque Country dancers Kresala Dantza Taldea Kresala, the Toronto All Stars Steel Orchestra and acts from Russia, Norway, Australia and Germany.
The festivities came to a close with a grand finishing show at His Majesty’s Theatre at the weekend, with performances from more than 300 musicians and dancers.
Mr Aitken said the final event had allowed performers and festival staff to end “on a high” with an event that displayed all that was great about the festival.
He said: “It was a lovely show and probably one of my favourites we have had over the time I have been here – not because they were any better individually, it was just the sense of one show and everybody buying into that.
“It was very collaborative, the pieces worked perfectly and the transitions between one group to the next meant it all felt like part of one.
“We had nearly 300 performers on the stage – locals too from Aberdeen and Edinburgh. It was a real, real mix with the choirs as well, and it gave a flavour of what the festival is about.”
Mr Aitken added that “the breadth” of this year’s festival, which also encompassed the visual arts and film, had made it one of the best.
He added: “It can change people’s lives to come and see what is possible on an international scale like this.”
The performers began jetting back to their home countries on Sunday morning, while in Aberdeen work is already underway to make next year’s event just as memorable.