Monday, 8 May 2017

'Walk The Block Festival' at Unit 51!

The run up to NUART and Look Again Festival was a bit manic on my part with a host of exhibition and events taking place which I didn't find the time to write about. But now that the dust is settling I thought it important to recap a few bits starting with the Walk The Block Festival.

Billed as "A multi-platform, public arts and music festival. With the core objective of showcasing a collaboration of artistic talent" it certainly ticked a few boxes and served as a nice aperitif to NUART Aberdeen. The festival is the brainchild of Kilo Alpha Editions aka Kirstyn, a local artist and maker who's actively been working to bring public art and live painting into Unit 51, a new night club and venue located across from The Tunnels. The concept for the festival is to bring together artists, makers and musicians for an afternoon of live art, makers stalls and entertainment and, it seemed to go down pretty well!

Although we didn't make it down til later in the evening the venue still had a load of people mingling about, some getting a chop from the Hard Grind barbers while others took the chance to get a new 'blind' portrait done by Allana Hardie and the stalls holders proudly displayed their wares from vintage clothing rails to up cycled bottle candle holders. And of course many of the 13 artists were happily painting away, beer in hand as they worked away on their wooden panels. The stage which has played host to some huge names already and became home to local musicians and DJs who provided music throughout the event. It was my first visit to the venue and it seemed strangely perfect for an all encompassing event which kinda nailed each aspect without compromising on others. Sometimes people try to do too much or there can be a lack of substance to these things but Walk The Block seemed to have a perfect balance and the space really worked.          

The general vibe of the festival from the first call out on facebook to the last painting being finished was one of fun and inclusiveness, something that Kirstyn has worked hard on, making it an event not just for artists or for young club kids but for everyone and anyone who is interested in something a bit more than the usual poor excuse for a mid day piss up you get from Revolution etc. Over the past month I've been running about helping out with NUART Aberdeen and filming for Look Again Festival and a huge part of both being so successful is the people factor, getting them to stop for a minute and engage with what you're doing and the public reaction to both has been really positive so far and for their 1st event Walk The Block nailed it too.

I'm sure plans will be a foot for a round 2 at some point in the near future so be sure to follow the facebook page to keep up to date and you can see the 12 finished art works on display out side the venue so when you're out and about keep those peepers open!