Crime goes online in 2021 with Granite Noir

Organisers of Granite Noir announced today that Aberdeen’s Crime Fiction festival will return in February 2021 as an online celebration of the very best of home grown and international crime writing.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 10:43 am

Since 2017, the festival has enthralled audiences from all over the world with appearances from authors such as Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Stuart MacBride and Sara Paretsky, all perfectly set against the backdrop of Aberdeen.

Inspired by the incredible popularity of crime fiction in all its forms, details of the line-up and how to view the events will be announced shortly.

The digital programme will offer both live and pre-recorded author conversations, panel discussions, creative workshops and events for young people and will run from February 19 to 21, 2021.

All events will be free to view and the full programme will be announced in the New Year.

Granite Noir is inspired by the Granite City – its history, its atmosphere and its strong sense of place – and produced by Aberdeen Performing Arts on behalf of partners Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen City Libraries and Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives.

This year’s festival featured legendary American author Sara Paretsky, Norway’s best-selling female crime writer Anne Holt, Ben Aaronovitch, author of the hugely popular Rivers of London urban fantasy series and Scotland’s own Ian Rankin, who made his first appearance at the festival in conversation with comedian Phill Jupitus.

The North of Scotland’s connection with Scandinavia was reinforced with appearances from Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic writers and home-grown talent includes conversations with Denise Mina, Helen Fitzgerald and Ambrose Parry.

Aberdeen Performing Arts Chief Executive, Jane Spiers, said: “This has been a challenging year not only for live events, but also for the publishing industry.

“Granite Noir is a showcase for the very best in Scottish and international crime writing and also for the city of Aberdeen, and we wanted to follow on from the tremendous success of the 2020 festival, even if we can’t welcome live audiences to our venues.

“We are looking forward to announcing a vibrant and exciting digital programme in January and welcoming audiences, albeit virtually, from all over the world to celebrate thrilling, murderous and mysterious crime fiction, in all its forms, with us.”

Granite Noir 2021 is supported by Aberdeen City Council and Creative Scotland.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokeswoman, said: “No one could have imagined what lay in store for us beyond February when we hosted our biggest and best Granite Noir yet.

“Just to show that you can’t keep a great festival down, I’m delighted to help announce that next year’s event will be taking place in February despite the challenge Covid-19 has set us.

“Throughout 2020 Aberdeen City Council and our partners have risen to this challenge magnificently through the creative use of online technology to stay in touch and host great virtual events.

“Granite Noir, even in its digital format, will offer crime fans the world over the same marvellous range of great authors and exciting events thanks to this ingenuity. Indeed, we are looking forward to bringing Aberdeen’s much-loved crime fiction festival to the world via online technology and whet the appetite of fans wishing to visit Aberdeen when future events return to their original formats.”

Full programme details for Granite Noir 2021 will be announced in the New Year and details can be found here. All events will be free to view.