North East of Scotland Performing Arts (NESPA)

Home of Aberdeen and North East of Scotland Music Festival, Aberdeen’s oldest annual festival, and a highlight of the city’s cultural calendar.

The Aberdeen and North East of Scotland Music Festival Association, formed in 1909, is the oldest in the country. War years apart it has provided the City of Aberdeen with Festivals of Music, Speech, Drama and Dance for 95 years.

It offers performing opportunities to all participants before a sympathetic audience. Like many other competitive Festivals it retains the old motto:

“Not to gain a prize but to pace one another on the road to excellence”

Contradictory? No, the ethos of the festival is to promote, encourage, inspire. There may be some silver to be gained, by way of trophy or cash, but this is incidental to the aims of this longstanding annual event.

Throughout the year, the Association undertakes a number of projects to promote the performing arts. These include workshops, masterclasses and short concerts. 

The objects for which the Association is established are:

  • To advance, promote and encourage generally and by means of the Competitive Festival Movement in particular, the study and practice of the arts of Music, Dancing, Speech and Drama, Literature and Acting in all their branches;
  • To be affiliated to the British & International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech and to co-operate as far as possible with the said Federation;
  • To do all such other lawful things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects.

The Festival is very much open to all. Classes are structured according to age and ability. The Festival is primarily competitive, but anyone can enter any class on a non-competitive basis. There are some specifically non-competitive classes. Entry fees for performer and audience members are kept low, to facilitate participation.

4th Floor

H1 Building

Hill of Rubislaw

Anderson Drive

AB15 6XL