The annual Inverness-based XpoNorth festival, which until last year was known as goNORTH, will take place this year on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th June at venues across the Highland capital.
XpoNorth is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It is free for the public to attend and its aim is to boost creative careers in crafts and publishing, as well as screen, broadcast and music across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
Musicians and filmmakers looking to be part of the festival’s all-important showcase events have until Friday 3rd April to apply.
The only event of its kind in Scotland devoted to crafts, publishing, screen and broadcast as well as music, XpoNorth is attended by leading creative industry insiders, who take part in workshops and masterclass sessions over the course of both days.
Last year’s film showcase included animator Ross Hogg’s Scottish BAFTA-nominated Spectators and Black Isle-based Tristan Aitchison’s short psychological horror film, Care, which has since screened at film festivals worldwide.
Every year, XpoNorth’s influential new music showcase takes music stars of tomorrow from the UK and beyond and places them on stages across Scotland’s most northerly city over two nights. The 2014 music showcase schedule in Inverness included much-lauded emerging artists such as Neon Waltz, Baby Strange, Siobhan Wilson, Hector Bizerk and Broken Records.
In 2014, more than 1300 people working in a wide cross-section of the creative industries attended the festival in Inverness, compared to just 500 people in 2011.
This year, in the screen and broadcast side of XpoNorth, we’re expanding the open call for submissions and developing our curated programme in partnership with UK and European film festivals.
Just as in previous years, the XpoNorth team will be programming a stage at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival in Beauly this summer and putting new artists on stage at Loopallu in Ullapool in late September.
All the acts will come from the 60-strong showcase list in June and the team will be working with organisers from both events to secure additional opportunities for 20 acts from this year’s showcase.
The XpoNorth Emergents programme for Craft, Fashion and Textile will bring together many experts in the field including the UK Fashion and Textiles Association, The Design Trust, Scottish Textiles Skills Partnership, Make Works and many more in a programme of masterclasses, discussions, and showcasing events.
Also as part of Emergents, this year’s XpoNorth Writing and Publishing programme will reflect XpoNorth's continued engagement with and exploration of the exciting opportunities available to writers working in all media and cross-media formats. There will also be a showcase of the best of the Highlands and Islands' new writing in traditional platforms and media.