West End Stars to Feature in Spectacular New Musical at AECC


Some of the biggest names in the West End will take to the stage of Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre’s (AECC) GE Oil & Gas Arena next Spring as the spectacular new musical ‘Heaven on Earth’ hits the road for the very first time.

‘Heaven on Earth’ is a classic re-telling of the story of Adam and Eve and their fall from paradise that will wow Aberdeen audiences with four shows from 28-31 March next year. A huge production is planned which will see the Garden of Eden created in all its glory with fantastic production and an all-star line-up.

West End and Broadway star, Kerry Ellis, who has won critical acclaim for her role as Elphaba in ‘Wicked’ will take the lead as Eve alongside Miss Saigon and The Lion King star, Hugh Maynard as Adam. Four time Classical Brit Award winner, Russell Watson will play the Voice of God.

The creative team behind the new show boast a fantastic back catalogue of West End experience, which include directing shows such as American Idiot, Footloose and Thoroughly Modern Millie, designing sets for the London Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies and arranging music for Harry Potter and Notting Hill. The team will work collectively to bring the show to life by using a whole host of special effects including fire, water and animatronics.

‘Heaven on Earth’ writer, Sara Jeff said, “It is so very exciting to see my script coming to life in ‘Heaven on Earth’. This brand new musical, and its original emotive songs, will resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds, and stay with the audience long after they view this thrilling and visual treat of a production. The story of Adam and Eve is the oldest and greatest story ever told and whether you are someone with faith or someone who just enjoys the theatre and a great show this will appeal to you.”

Senior Sales Manager at AECC, Anna Mackenzie said, “We are very excited to be welcoming the star-studded line-up of ‘Heaven on Earth’ to AECC next Spring. The show promises to be a great experience for the audiences and offers something different to the events calendar at AECC. It’s a real privilege to be included on the very first tour for the musical and as Aberdeen has such a strong appreciation for the theatre, we’re sure this will be a very popular event in the North-east and one not to miss.”

Tickets for the show are now on sale via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/AECC or 08444 77 9000.

Gymnastic Spectacle to Wow Aberdeen Audiences

Gymfest 2016  ©PSB Photo 2016

Gymnasts from across Britain are gearing up to take centre stage and show off their talents in Aberdeen as Scottish Gymnastics’ Gymfest heads to Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) next weekend for the first time.

More than 60 teams of 1,500 gymnasts from across the UK will display their talents at the Scottish gymnastic showpiece event from Friday 28 April across the weekend to wow an audience of more than 4,000. With a range of gymnastic disciplines, eclectic themes, costumes and soundtracks across five performances, audiences are in for a show-stopping event.

This hugely popular non-competitive festival was first held to promote gymnastics for everyone from beginners to the more advanced teams. Gymnasts from as young as three will team up to join the celebrations in the Granite City for this exciting event including the City of Aberdeen Gymnastics Club and Spartan from Dunfermline who were semi-finalists in Britain’s Got Talent 2016.

Scottish Gymnastics Chief Executive, Euan Lowe said, ““This is the biggest display event in our calendar, with 1,500 gymnasts showing an array of gymnastics disciplines with a creative mix of choreography, costumes and music. Gymfest began more than 30 years ago to promote gymnastics for all regardless of age, gender, race and ability, and it is inspiring to see gymnasts of different ages working together to produce such skilful and entertaining performances.

Senior Sales Manager at AECC, Anna Mackenzie said, “After a 12-year residency in Irvine, the popularity of Gymfest has grown so much and we are delighted we can offer the capacity for the event to continually grow at AECC. While having these fantastic gymnastic shows on offer across the weekend, more than 4,000 visitors will travel to the city, bringing a huge boost in economic benefit to the region as they explore and discover the Granite City.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased from www.scottishgymnastics.org/news/buy-your-tickets-gymfest-2017

Aberdeen; the smart choice for Associations

(L-R) Steven Daun, Associations Sales Manager at AECC & Julie Dixon, Conference Organiser from CPD Services at the University of Aberdeen.

This week Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) played host to the European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR), welcoming delegates from across Europe to the five day event.

Brought to the city by the Robert Gordon University (RGU) in conjunction with the Aberdeen Ambassador Network, the conference returned to Aberdeen for the first time since 1997, helped by subvention funding from VisitAberdeenshire and match-funded by VisitScotland’s Conference Bid Fund.

ECIR is Europe’s premier forum for the presentation of new research in the field of Information Retrieval, providing a supportive network where young researchers present, discuss and debate their unpublished and innovative research. The conference featured keynote sessions from academic and industry professionals, along with workshops, tutorials and industry days.

Julie Dixon, conference organiser from CPD Services at the University of Aberdeen said: “Bringing the ECIR event to Aberdeen has given us a great opportunity to work with RGU and showcase the city to an international audience, with great local support including a civic reception hosted by the Lord Provost at the city’s Town House.  The feedback from delegates has been excellent; particularly in relation to AECC, Aberdeen City, hotels and facilities.  It’s always a pleasure working with the Aberdeen Ambassador Network to attract conferences to the city, looking for ways to enhance and extend the delegate’s experience and give a true, hospitable Scottish welcome.”

Next month delegates will again head to Aberdeen for the Society of Radiological Protection (SRP) three day conference from 16th – 18th May, as leading experts take to the stage to present and debate topics including the aspects of radiation in medicine, nuclear power, education and research. This UK event is another to benefit from subvention funding from VisitAberdeenshire, match-funded by VisitScotland.

“We are delighted that AECC will be hosting our 2017 conference.” said SRP President, Professor Peter Cole of the University of Liverpool. “Over 220 delegates are expected. There will be an associated exhibition by at least 30 suppliers of equipment and services to the profession. Importantly, a record number of entrants will compete for our UK Young Professionals Award, offering a cash prize and a chance to speak at the next European radiation protection congress in The Hague in 2018. We are looking forward to a great week in Aberdeen.”

Relevant to all industry sectors from nuclear sites to education, SRP conference delegates will be encouraged to think the unthinkable; focusing on incident response and remediation plus how to avoid incidents occurring.  The event will provide opportunities for assessing the profile and development of issues to create a platform to circulate policy and guidance advice.

Steven Daun, Associations Sales Manager for AECC commented: “Having two significant international associations choose AECC to host their annual conferences, with both being awarded subvention funding, is great for the Aberdeen region.  We have a diverse calendar of conferences taking place at the venue this year showcasing the research work which takes place within the city.  We have enjoyed working with the organisers and hope to welcome them back to the city in future years.”



Huge Success for Kickboxing and Karate in Scotland

L-R Anna Mackenzie, Andrew Ewen, Jamie Sutherland, Malcolm Evans and John Blaikie

The World Karate and Kickboxing Commission (WKC) has recently announced that its Aberdeen Open competition will be moving to Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) in 2018 following the success of its 2016 and upcoming 2017 events.

The annual martial arts competition welcomes competitors from across the world to test their skills against the best of the best in their particular disciplines. First held in Aberdeen’s Beach Leisure Centre in 2016, the Aberdeen Open has experienced huge growth with numbers doubling year on year and fighters attending from all across Europe. The event is set to continue its growth with the move to AECC in 2018 when more than 2,000 competitors and visitors will attend to watch the competition from as far as Venezuela and Costa Rica.

As well as the annual Aberdeen Open, Aberdeen has been announced as the city of choice for the 2020 WKC World Championships set to welcome more than 10,000 visitors to the city when it takes place and all of the competitors at the Aberdeen Open events are working to ensure they are placed at the competition.

Malcolm Evans, President of WKC Scotland runs Lion’s Den Martial Arts Academy in Stonehaven and has continually worked to grow the profile of WKC in Scotland. A true lover of the sport and the North-east, Malcolm has championed the Aberdeen Open and this, along with the World Championships in 2020, will place Aberdeen as one of the top destinations for martial arts in the world.

At Lion’s Den, Malcolm has the opportunity to work with some of the rising stars of the sport in Aberdeen and having the Aberdeen Open at AECC from 2018 will allow these fighters to work towards their goals and enhance their skills.

Malcolm said, “Having being involved in martial arts for 27 years, I am really passionate about doing what I can to help promote the sport in Scotland and having the chance to let it flourish in my home city is something I am really excited about. The fighters at Lion’s Den are constantly working towards achieving their goal of competing at The World Championships and having the event on home ground with some of the best teams in the world is very motivating for the participants.”

Andrew Ewen, aged 16 and a Team Scotland representative at the 2016 World Championships from Lion’s Den commented, “The Aberdeen Open is a great opportunity for myself and my fellow fighters to compete against some of the best names in martial arts in Scotland and further afield. Having these types of events and seeing how successful they are becoming is great for the sport and it is real motivation for myself in my training for the World Championships. I can’t wait to compete at the event in 2020 here on home ground in Aberdeen with a local support behind me and the rest of our team.”

Anna Mackenzie, Senior Sales Manager at AECC said, “We are very excited to be on board with the WKC Aberdeen Open over the next couple of years and are looking forward to the World Championships being held in the city in 2020, which is a fantastic event for the region. The event will bring a huge boost in economic benefit to the city over the next few years with local business and hotels noticing more footfall throughout the period of the events as visitors experience the city. The passion that Malcolm and WKC have for the event and the region is very inspiring and we look forward to working with them to continually grow the Aberdeen Open before The World Championships takes place in 2020.”

The 2017 Aberdeen Open will take place at Aberdeen Beach Leisure Centre on 30th April 2017 and the 2018 event will take place at AECC on 29th April 2018. More information on the event can be found at www.wkcworld.com/aberdeen-open-2017.

AECC Work with RGU to Promote a Future in Business Tourism

Hannah Mitchell – Placement student from RGU at AECC

Two leading North-east establishments have been working together to broaden the knowledge of passionate students looking to pursue a career in tourism.

The partnership between Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) and Robert Gordon University (RGU) has grown vastly over the past year to ensure students can gain knowledge of the business tourism industry in Aberdeen as well as experience first-hand the workings of a busy events venue.

Working with RGU’s School of Creative and Cultural Business AECC welcomed Hannah Mitchell, a third year International Tourism Management student, on a one-year placement at the venue in the role of Sales Researcher. Hannah has been focusing on the national and international associations market to help successfully identify potential conferences to bring to the city. Working in this industry has given her the opportunity to take part in international meetings including the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) annual meeting in Norway.

AECC and RGU have recently developed ‘day placements’ which allow third year students to gain industry knowledge by shadowing members of AECC staff for the day and getting hands on experience. Scott Glennie was the first student to join the team at AECC on Monday 27th March working alongside AECC’s Associations Sales Manager, Steven Daun, to gain valuable insight into the business tourism industry in the North-east and the management required to bring conferences and events to the region.

For a number of years, AECC have been working closely with RGU Hospitality, Tourism and Events Subject Leader, Craig Leith to maximise the opportunities for students which has seen numerous student visits from RGU to AECC. On these visits, members of AECC staff from the Sales, Events, Exhibitions and Marketing departments share their professional experience with the Event Management and Tourism students, answering any questions they may have about the industry.

As well as working to improve knowledge and understanding of business tourism in Aberdeen, AECC and RGU also work together on topic suggestions for student-led research projects. This allows students to hear, first hand, what research is needed in the industry and give the students opportunities to explore this for their final research projects, whilst giving AECC an insight into their findings.

AECC and RGU continue to work together on many aspects of the business tourism industry which includes working with academics and professors from RGU to explore the opportunity for them to bring a national or international association conference to the city. Through this partnership, they can continue to showcase the leading research which is taking place in the city.

Craig Leith commented, “The genuine interest that AECC have shown in our students over the last few years has been greatly appreciated by myself and my colleagues. It provides invaluable industry insight to our students across the hospitality, tourism and events courses in The School of Creative and Cultural Business. We currently have a group of passionate, knowledgeable and award winning students, so this developing relationship has clear benefits for RGU, our students and AECC. I am excited to see how our relationship develops further in the months and years ahead as the AECC  and the recently launched new School of Creative and Cultural Business both grow and prosper.”

Associations Sales Manager at AECC, Steven Daun said, “It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to work so closely with RGU. It’s important to us to share industry knowledge with the students and highlight the business tourism industry in the region as an option for them to explore on completion of their studies. Our continued partnership with RGU allows us to maintain a platform to showcase all of the leading research which is taking place in the region whilst ensuring the industry will continue to boom in years to come.”

Spring Into Summer at AECC

As we head into Spring in the Granite City, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) are gearing up for an eclectic events calendar over the next few months.

Kicking things off with a bang as big as his return to music, following a hiatus from the music scene, Craig David will take to the stage at AECC’s GE Oil & Gas Arena tomorrow (Tuesday 4th April). Arguably Britain’s most gifted contemporary R’n’B singer and MOBO Award winner, Craig David is also a skilled DJ, mixer and rapper who will take the audience on a ride with him. First, he’ll head back to the beginning with some classics then fans will be brought up-to-date with new hits like ‘Aint Giving Up’ before finishing off with one of his famous ‘TS5’ sets.

Slam-dunking their way to the city for the fourth time, The Original Harlem Globetrotters will take centre court on Wednesday 5th April. After a quick visit to AECC a few weeks ago to master the trick shot from the top of the AECC Tower, 131ft above Aberdeen, the masters of basketball will be showing off their ball handling wizardry along with unequalled family fun interaction.

Following a string of awards including achieving a Guinness World Record for ‘Most tickets sold for a science tour’, Professor Brian Cox will take the audience on a dazzling journey through space and time on Saturday 20th May. Professor Cox will go to the edge of the audiences current understanding of the evolution of the universe and take part in a question and answer section at the end of the show, chaired by Robin Ince.

Into summer and with nine previously sold out shows at AECC, WWE will return to the Granite City on Monday 5th June with NXT Live. The next generation of WWE wrestlers including Shinsuke Nakamura, Aleister Black and Tye Dillinger will take to the ring competing to prove they have what it takes to make it on to the main roster of RAW and Smack Down.

With the biggest show of 2017, Essex heartthrob Olly Murs will be wowing fans as he follows in the footsteps of Elton John’s 2015 performance, by playing a spectacular purpose built outdoor arena on the grounds of AECC on Friday 21st July for 16,000 fans.

Joining Olly, Louisa Johnson will also take to the specially constructed outdoor arena to warm up the crowd ahead of Olly. After achieving success with Clean Bandit on ‘Tears’, Johnson went on to churn out a string of hits including ‘So Good’ and has been planning her debut album which will see her work with hitmakers who have been credited to top names including Beyonce, One Direction and Jess Glynne.

Tickets for all of these shows plus many more are still available and can be purchased from www.ticketmaster.co.uk/AECC or by calling 08444 77 9000.


For further information, please contact Susan Kerr, PR & Marketing Executive at AECC on skerr@aecc.co.uk or 01224 330479.