XpoNorth 2016 Reviewed

XpoNorth 2016 Reviewed

Tue 21 Jun 2016 / News


So that’s XpoNorth over for another year – but what a year!

Cartoon by Jo Whitby

Day One - Cartoon credit: Jo Whitby

Last week, over two jam-packed days and nights, more than 1900 delegates from all over the world flocked to Inverness to take part in what has become one of the UK’s premier creative industries festivals.

Eden Court - conference session

Panel session: Music Producer's Guild: The Art Of Making Records - Photo credit: Tim Winterburn

For the first time in its history, XpoNorth’s day-time conference was held in Eden Court Theatre by the banks of the River Ness. What a setting it was too.

Hula Hoopin in the sun at XpoNorth 2016

Hula-hooping festival delegates in the sunshine - Photo credit: Paul Campbell

The sun shone on day two and delegates spilled on to the grass area outside the theatre and cinema complex. The conversations carried on in the sunshine, with creative connections being made in all directions.

Foxos at Hootanannys

Music Showcase: Foxos - Photo credit: Tim Winterburn

By night, music from some of the most exciting acts at home and abroad brought delegates across the creative spectrum together yet again in nine different venues in the centre of Inverness – highlighting the fact that no creative exists in a vacuum.

GSA Fashion Show at Opening Party at Ironworks Venue

GSA Fashion Show at XpoNorth Opening Party - Photo credit: Paul Campbell

XpoNorth 2016 highlights:

  • 37 conference sessions, which included three keynote addresses from leading figures in the creative industries and an In-Conversation with Scots film director, Michael Caton-Jones (This Boy’s Life, Memphis Belle and Rob Roy) 
  • 13 hands-on training workshops and masterclasses 
  • 106 films featuring new talent from across the globe, including the UK premiere of BAFTA Scotland New Talent winning Hula, directed by Robin Haig in her home village of Dornie 
  • 66 showcasing bands in nine different venues across the centre of Inverness, as well as special one-off performances from Highland singing sensations such as Astrid, Pictish Trail, Rachel Sermanni, Catholic Action, Our Future Glory and Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5
  • 22 trade stands offering support and mentoring in a wide range of creative industries 
  • 21 gaming and technology companies and exhibitions 
  • 26 writers pitching to panels made up of major publishers and agents 
  • A brand new TV station called XpoNorth Live! staffed by trainees which interviewed around 30 festival participants and gave a platform to more than 50 music acts 
  • Two networking parties; one hosted by The Glasgow School of Art and this year’s Scotland-wide Festival of Architecture, the second by the Scottish Music Industry Association, Screen Facilities Scotland, Publishing Scotland, and Screen Academy Scotland  
  • The world premiere of HoloQuad, a tiny gadget which turns any smartphone into a magical holographic experience 

XpoNorth Live!

XpoNorth Live! in action - Photo credit: Paul Campbell

Panel session: Designing Content and Storytelling for 21st-Century Audiences

Panel session: Designing Content and Storytelling for 21st-Century Audiences - Photo credit: Paul Campbell

VR at the Gaming and Technology Playground

VR in the Gaming and Technology Playground - Photo credit: Tim Winterburn

Silver Coast

Music Showcase: Silver Coast - Photo credit: Tim Winterburn


Holoquad Premiere - Photo credit: Holoquad

XpoNorth director, Amanda Millen, said:

“XpoNorth is all about taking the temperature of the creative industries and allowing delegates the opportunity to meet and greet the real movers and shakers who work behind the scenes in screen, broadcast, games development, music, design, fashion, craft, textiles, writing and publishing.

“The buzz around Eden Court and at the evening events was palpable this year. There is a can-do attitude among the creative community in the Highlands and Islands which makes Inverness the perfect place to host this annual hands-on festival which is all about boosting creative careers.”

Cartoon by Jo Whitby

Day Two - Cartoon credit: Jo Whitby

A big thank you to all who attended and participated in making this year's XpoNorth the event it was.