Music fans in Aberdeen have been crying out for a local festival for as long as I can remember. We’ve had Free at the Dee, but that catered for the mass-marketed pop market and who can honestly say they remember any of the acts who played there? We’ve had Wizard, which puts on a sterling effort, but isn’t the city-centre experience many are after. Last year we almost had Northern Lights, but alas it was not to be.
We’ve had no real big city-centre event that has shaken the local music community. That is, until now...
The Big Beach Ball is undoubtedly an ambitious venture: taking over Aberdeen’s famous Beach Ballroom (which once saw The Beatles grace its stage) and the surrounding area, and turning it into the ultimate beach party. So yes, it’s ambitious. But, as it appears, it is also very do-able.
Organisers have pulled out all the stops to make this an event to remember, and hopefully the beginning of an expanding series of inner-city festivals. Superstar DJ Derrick Carter headlines the Main Stage, while elsewhere Friendly Fires hit the Beach Hut Stage to deliver an exclusive DJ set. Top dance acts Slam, Heartthrob, Tiger & Woods, and many many more will also appear across five stages.
The stage we’re really excited about here at Hercules Moments, though, is (rather predictably) the Peace & Jam Live & Acoustic Room, which boasts some of the finest talent from Aberdeen and the surrounding area. Headlinged by super indie-disco-rockers The Little Kicks, the line-up will also feature performances by the likes of Stanley, Amy Sawers, Kathryn Sawers, Dolfinz and Duke, who just last week scooped the 'In: Demand Scotland Unsigned Act of the Year Award' at the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards. Local talent is not contained to just one stage, though, with Fridge Magnets taking a slot on the Main Stage, fresh from picking up the ‘Best Electronic Act’ gong at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards. The DSR Audio Room, too, boasts some of the city’s best DJs hitting the decks all day long.
Like all the best bespoke festivals, music is an integral part of the package, but isn’t the be-all and end-all of the event. Fancy a hog roast, Red Bull, ice-cream or Slush Puppy? Sorted. Fancy a mojito, cool glass of cider or craft beer? Done. Fancy picking up some exclusive vintage items at a craft fair? Well, it’s a bit of an odd request for a music festival, but the organisers have got it covered.
In short, The Big Beach Ball looks to be the beginning of something special for Aberdeen’s music scene. If music fans from the city, and around the country, get behind it, the festival stands only to grow and evolve into a must-attend event. And who would complain about that?
Tickets for the Big Beach Ball are still available. Get on it. We’ll be at the festival itself, live-tweeting about the experience and documenting it over the following days, all for your reading pleasure. In the meantime, have a listen below to some of the acts who will be gracing the stage at the inaugural event.