We tried to go to Spectra last night, a light festival in central Aberdeen, but the queue was so long we had to console ourselves with a view from Union Terrace only. It looked fantastic. This is our first year ever going to Spectra and it’s also the first year they’ve been held in the newly revamped Union Terrace gardens which opened last December after many years of fighting about what to do with the space and then finally construction.
Every man and his dog was in Aberdeen last night. I don’t like crowds of people but it made me feel happy to see Aberdeen buzzing with so much activity of a happy kind. There were queues everywhere. The queue into Union Terrace gardens was over half a mile long. I asked someone who was closer to the front than the back how long he’d been waiting in line and he said about 45 minutes. It was probably 1-1.5 hours waiting so we decided to skip it.
That wasn’t the only queue. There was another queue into the courtyard inside Marischal College. We don’t know what was there. And a third queue to walk through some lit-up arches. And a fourth queue into Mackie’s ice-cream shop. Sometimes I think people just see a queue and join it because they think it must be good if everyone else is lining up. I’m really happy for all the businesses and for Aberdeen. This is the first time I’ve seen the city like this since before the pandemic.
Here are some photos of it.
The gargoyle in this next photo comes with a good story. It’s a stone effigy in the corner of Provost Skene House of a man called George Russell (1810-1899) who owned the building at one point and ran a bakery in it. The council closed the bakery because of a nearby sewer. George blamed his neighbour for complaining to the council and carved a gargoyle of himself into the building to overlook and haunt his neighbour as a permanent sort of retribution.
The festival finishes tonight which is a shame. I’m sorry it’s not running for longer so more people have a chance to see it.
1 thought on “Spectra 2023”
What great photos and what a lot of people! Thank you for sharing, it’s lovely to see occasions that are positive and good natured (that’s the only time I like crowds too.)