The fourth outing of Granite Noir, Aberdeen’s International Crime Writing Festival, came to a close
tonight with organisers delighted with the success of the Festival, which attracted over 12,000
attendances at events across the four days.
The Festival saw a 33% increase in ticket sales with 9,000 tickets sold across the Festival and an additional 3,000 visits to the Outcasts exhibition. The enthusiastic Aberdeen audience was swelled by visitors from as far afield as Canberra, Kentucky and Arizona, Brussels and Madrid while UK visitors ranged from Oxford to Orkney making it a truly international event. Book sales, managed in partnership with Waterstones, also saw an increase over last year.
The Festival welcomed 59 speakers from 9 countries including USA, Iceland and Norway as well as
some stellar home‐grown talent and audiences enjoyed 40 events spread across nine venues around
Aberdeen, from the City Library to the Music Hall, The Carmelite Hotel to His Majesty’s Theatre and
the Lemon Tree. Highlights included appearances from US Author Sara Paretsky and Scotland’s own
Ian Rankin as well as Ben Aaronovitch, Belfast DJ David Holmes and Dr Kathryn Harkup who explored
the science of Poison. In addition to a wide range of crime fiction events audiences enjoyed walking
tours, escape room activities, a courtroom drama and writing workshops.
A free exhibition drawn from the Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives, entitled Outcasts:
Women, Crime and Society attracted national attention and a large number of visitors through the
Lemon Tree and the Music Hall.
Aberdeen Performing Arts Chief Executive, Jane Spiers said: “"Granite Noir has captured the
imagination of the city and put Aberdeen on a world stage. It's been a huge hit with audiences and
“What an amazing weekend it’s been, many of the events completely sold out and there has been a
real buzz around the city.
“This is the fourth Granite Noir, and audiences have tripled since we started out in 2017. We’re
genuinely thrilled that so many people have come along from far and wide. Support locally for Granite
Noir has been terrific. Our local audiences are our biggest ambassadors. It’s a really ambitious festival
to stage across the city and we can’t thank our partners and collaborators enough.”
Granite Noir is produced by Aberdeen Performing Arts on behalf of Aberdeen City Libraries, Aberdeen
City and Aberdeenshire Archives and the Belmont Filmhouse. Granite Noir 2020 is supported by
EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, Creative Scotland and Aberdeen City
Aberdeen City Council culture spokesperson Councillor Marie Boulton said “This year’s festival of
crime fiction ‐ and crime fact ‐ has been an unqualified success and it’s absolutely fantastic to see
Granite Noir go from strength to strength and become a much anticipated event in the local, national
and European cultural calendar for the crime cognoscenti!
“It’s been an amazing long weekend and we can’t wait to work with our partners on taking on the
Herculean task of trying to top it next year!”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural
events and EventScotland is delighted to have supported Granite Noir for the first time through our
National Events Programme. Events play a key role in our visitor economy and the festival team should
be congratulated on delivering a diverse and exciting programme, which has drawn both literary talent
and visitors from across the country and further afield to Aberdeen.”
Harriet MacMillan, Literature Officer, Creative Scotland said: “We are happy to celebrate another
successful iteration of the Granite Noir festival. The festival brings exciting crime writers to Aberdeen
readers and we are looking forward to seeing how they continue to grow. Granite Noir does a great
job of combining international reach with local community outreach, bringing together audiences to
share their enthusiasm for Noir.”