Festival to mark opening of V&A Dundee announced

V&A Dundee’s Young People’s Collective is closely involved with designing the opening event for the museum

A two-day festival celebrating design, music and performance is set to take place in Dundee to mark the opening of the city’s V&A Museum of Design.

The £80.1 million structure, which was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and is being delivered by main contractor BAM, is due to open on 15 September.

The 3D Festival – so named in homage to Dundee, design and the city’s sprit of discovery, a spokesperson for V&A Dundee said – will be co-designed by young people from across Dundee, working alongside Scottish promoter and events company, DF Concerts and Events.

The festival will take place in Slessor Gardens at the centre of the city’s waterfront and is to open on Friday 14 September, the eve of the museum’s official opening, with a one-off outdoor performance involving music, design and dance. It is to continue on Saturday 15 September with a range of family activities, hands-on design workshops, music and creative collaborations on the main stage.

V&A Dundee’s Young People’s Collective, comprising a group of 16 to 25-year-olds, has spent the last six months planning the festival. It is a “key event” in Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, which is a year-long programme of events and activities that aims to give young people in Scotland the opportunity to “show the world what they are made of”, a spokesperson said. Scotland’s Year of Young People is being led by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s events directorate.

Maryam Deeni, a member of the V&A Dundee’s Young People’s Collective, commented, “This is an opportunity for us to do something great and we want everyone to feel part of it. The opening celebrations will show off the new museum and will be a chance to highlight the great things that have been going on in Dundee for a long time. The festival will be a combination of what the city is proud of and the exciting things still to come.

“It’s been awesome being part of V&A Dundee’s Young People’s Collective, a group that is really enthusiastic and passionate about the city.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said, “The Scottish Government has been a long-time supporter of V&A Dundee and the Year of Young People has put young people at the heart of this ground-breaking project. Our nation’s young people are full of brilliant creative ideas and V&A Dundee’s 3D Festival is a unique opportunity for them to harness these talents and truly make their mark on the future of Dundee and Scotland’s flourishing art, design and creative scene.”

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said, “This is an exciting time for our city and we are building an unprecedented international profile ahead of the opening of V&A Dundee.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said, “We’re delighted to be supporting the celebrations to mark the opening of V&A Dundee. Co-designed by local young people as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, the two-day festival will be a wonderful celebration of design, music and performance, showcasing everything that Dundee and the V&A represents.”

Geoff Ellis, chief executive of DF Concerts & Events, added, “We are honoured to be working with V&A Dundee on what will be a globally significant event. We’re truly excited about unveiling the line-up and details for the opening weekend – this is a very big deal for Scotland and in particular for the regeneration of Dundee, cementing its reputation as a city of design.”