TWO festivals have been announced for February to chase the winter blues away.

In Aberdeen, Spectra will once again see the Granite City’s winter nights lit up with eye-catching projections, interactive sculptures, and installations.

The multi-award-winning festival of light and sound will this year feature work by leading visual artists and companies, including Fantastic Planet from Australian group Parer Studio which will see towering illuminated humanoid figures appear around the city centre.

Some of Aberdeen’s most famed buildings and locations will be transformed as part of the festival programme and this year will also mark Spectra’s return to the city’s Union Terrace Gardens. The festival, which was last staged in the park in 2018, will be one of the first major events to take place in the historic public space following its multi-million pound revamp.

Councillor Martin Greig, Aberdeen City Council culture spokesperson, said: “Spectra has been a welcome celebration which has given fun to many through dark nights. The festival has brightened people’s lives in an enjoyable range of imaginative displays. The return of the festival will give pleasure to many.”

Free and family-friendly, Spectra takes place from February 9-12 and will quickly be followed by the Fort William Mountain Festival from February 16-19.

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This year’s event will pay tribute to climber Rob Brown, who died aged just 33 in an accident on Ben Nevis in July. A new award has been launched in memory of Brown, who was a stalwart of the festival and enjoyed making films in his spare time. The Golden Axe Award is for a short film, no longer than two minutes, which includes bright colours, outdoor adventure and food.

The festival programme also includes daily guided outdoor activities, films, competitions and an interactive, adventure-themed exhibition, all timed to coincide with the best winter walking, climbing and snowsport conditions of the year in the region.

Activities include mindful walking, nature writing, wild swimming, trail running, mountain biking, paddle boarding, winter walking, mountaineering, skiing and snowboarding. Many of these events are free.

The evening programme includes speakers and internationally renowned films at one of three festival venues in Fort William. The climbing night will feature Patagonia athlete, Robbie Phillips, one of the UK’s top all-round climbers and adventurers, while Tales from the Trails will be a celebration of the world-famous long-distance trails that start and end in Fort William.

Anna Danby, festival co-ordinator said: “It is a privilege to be part of organising such a diverse programme, bringing together everyday adventurers, elite athletes, mountain professionals and local residents on the same stage. There are opportunities for everyone to get involved, whatever your passion and experience.

“Our hope is that we have curated a programme that truly offers people from all walks of life the opportunity to come along and get involved.

“The overriding aims of the festival are to encourage everyone to be inspired by, respect and protect our natural landscape and we are confident that our festival visitors will leave feeling motivated to do just that.”