Creative whirlwind set to blow into Inverness
A two-day festival devoted to boosting creative careers in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and beyond has announced highlights of its most comprehensive programme to date. XpoNorth (formerly goNORTH) takes place next month on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th June at venues across Inverness. It is open to anyone wishing to forge a career in the creative industries and offers an insider’s guide to getting ahead in crafts and designer fashion, publishing, gaming, screen and broadcast as well as music.
This year, the focus is firmly on offering emerging talent free practical, hands-on support, advice and networking opportunities.
- Live Music Showcase, featuring 62 of the best emerging acts at home and abroad who will perform sets at venues throughout Inverness on both nights of the festival. The festival’s after show party, open to all festival-goers, will be treated to a set by 18-year-old rising star, KLOË, who is about to play BBC Radio1’s Big weekend in Norwich.
- Short Film Showcase, dubbed a ‘mini film festival within a festival,’ featuring 103 films from across the globe. Includes screenings of a short film shot on a GoPro in the waters around Orkney by local filmmaker, Mark Jenkins and Glasgow hip-hop band, Hector Bizerk’s new short film, The Bird That Never Flew, starring Scotland’s National Poet, Liz Lochhead.
- Designers’ Showcase, bringing the work of eleven of the Highlands & Islands-based top designers in the field of craft, fashion & textiles together under one roof.
- Flower of Scotland singer, Ronnie Browne, takes to the XpoNorth stage to mark the publication of his autobiography, That Guy Fae The Corries, by Dingwall-based publisher, Sandstone Press. Browne will be interviewed by journalist, and broadcaster (and self-confessed ‘Corries revivalist’), Nicola Meighan.
- Q&A on ‘running the show’ with top Scots film First Assistant Director, Tommy Gormley, whose credits include two Star Trek films as well as forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VII.
- Chemikal Underground presents top Scots bands, Mogwai and The Delgados in special one-off Classic Album Playback on high-end Linn stereo equipment.
- Keynote speech from legendary Australian music promotor, Michael Chugg, dubbed the ‘Godfather of touring bands’ Down Under. In his 50 years in the business, Chugg has toured everyone from Abba to Keith Urban.
- Beyond the Logo, presented by Glasgow School of Art, featuring leading figures from the design world; Prof Norman McNally, winner of Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education, Cordy Swope, Munich-based design and writer and chaired by Don McIntyre, Programme Director with the Institute of Design Innovation at GSA.
- Hunting for Lost Crafts merges film and cutting-edge craft, with a high-profile line-up, including; Black Isle-based filmmaker, Emma Dove, Mark Hogarth, creative director of Harris Tweed Hebrides and artist, Shauna Richardson, creator of the world’s largest single-handed crochet sculpture.
- Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival in-a-night curated by Richard Warden of SMHAFF, featuring screening of controversial Thurso filmmaker, David Graham Scott’s, autobiographical film, Detox or Die.
- XpoNorth Live! The festival’s popular online radio station returns with a new name and an expanded format with live OB filming unit in tow. This lively and informative station offers hands-on training to those looking to establish a career in radio and live event production. Aspiring presenters/DJs will interview the big names of XpoNorth in the relaxed setting of Blackfriars on Academy Street.
According to Millen, a former BBC producer who also heads up ScreenHI, the screen and broadcast wing of XpoNorth,
"XpoNorth is all about giving a platform to emerging talent and offering free practical, hands-on support all year round and the festival brings it all together in one fell swoop.
"The sheer breadth of ground covered by the XpoNorth programme in two hugely creative and inspiring days in June has something for everyone. If you are serious about making a career in the creative industries, then it’s an unmissable event. We have a new 'hub' this year, at the Old High Church Halls on Academy Street in Inverness town centre, which is where anyone wishing to attend the festival can get their bearings.
"It's free to register and to attend and we are urging all would-be delegates to sign up online via our website as it will make the process of picking up delegate passes a smooth one."
This year, the screen and broadcast element of XpoNorth is being boosted by the presence of The Screen Machine, the 80-seat, air conditioned mobile cinema which is more usually seen in far-flung corners of the Highlands and Islands.
The Screen Machine will be based in the centre of Inverness for the duration of XpoNorth and will provide a unique viewing point for festival delegates to watch featured films. Of the selected films, 79 will be shown in the Screen Machine, while 24 will screen as part of the conference programme.
- About XpoNorth
Formerly known as goNORTH, XpoNorth is devoted to boosting creative careers in the Highlands and Islands and beyond and takes place this year in Inverness on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th June.
The only event of its kind in Scotland devoted to crafts and designer fashion, gaming, publishing, screen and broadcast as well as music, XpoNorth is also attended by leading creative industry insiders, who take part in workshops, panels and masterclass sessions over the course of both days.
XpoNorth, is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
- The four genres under the collective banner of XpoNorth are:
XpoNorth Crafts/Fashions/Textiles and XpoNorth Writing and Publishing
Supported by Emergents, the network which co-ordinates HIE industry networks for craft, fashion and textiles as well as writing and publishing. It is managed by Pamela Conacher and Peter Urpeth, who both bring extensive experience in their respective fields of craft, fashion and textiles, and writing and publishing, to XpoNorth.
XpoNorth Screen and Broadcasting
ScreenHI is headed up by Amanda Millen, who is also director of XpoNorth. ScreenHI is the Screen and Broadcast Industry Network for the Highlands and Islands and has been operating for four years. It offers experiences, job opportunities and industry networking to screen and broadcast businesses in the Highlands & Islands.
Managed by former goNORTH music producer Alex Smith along with the team at Ironworks Venue. It has been established as the new Music Industry Network for the Highlands and Islands and will be delivered by Ironworks Group. The 2014 festival showcase schedule in Inverness included much-lauded emerging artists such as Neon Waltz, Baby Strange, Ella The Bird, Hector Bizerk and Broken Records.
- Website: www.xponorth.co.uk