Following on from her nomination as one of Scotland’s premier tastemakers at the Scottish Style Awards, goNORTH Festival director, Amanda Millen, has announced that next year’s goNORTH Festival will take place on 4th and 5th June .
Former BBC drama producer, Millen, 42, has curated the annual Inverness-based creative industries festival since 2007. Last year, the festival, funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), broke its own box office record by doubling in size in just two years.
The 2014 edition of this free two-day festival promises to be bigger and better than ever, with a new strand reflecting the increasing importance of the gaming industry to the economy of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
During her time at the helm, Lochaber-born Millen has developed goNORTH into a creative extravaganza, featuring performances by up-and-coming bands, on-the-job radio and television training, film premieres and screenings, as well as masterclasses from both national and internationally known names in the creative industries.
Top creative industry names, such as Madonna’s former record label manager, Danny Savage, and Mamie Coleman, vice president of Music and Production with the FOX network (voted one of the 30 most powerful women in the music industry by Billboard Magazine) are regular attenders of goNORTH.
goNORTH festival began 13 years ago as a showcase for musicians and bands in the north of Scotland and has developed a unique niche within Scotland’s creative industries.
Its work doesn’t end when the festival is over. Throughout the year, Amanda and her team take the time to nurture creative talent from within the Highlands & Islands at events and workshops all over Scotland.
Many creative careers have been established in music, film, television, fashion, publishing and gaming, thanks to goNORTH. Last year, over two days, it held 35 sessions and events featuring top industry names in music, film, broadcasting, publishing and fashion. It also welcomed over 75 unsigned bands and screened 50 films.
Veteran music producer, Mick Glossop, who has worked with artists like Frank Zappa and Van Morrison said: “It’s the only event in Scotland that is doing this. It’s like a slightly smaller version of South by South West in Austin Texas. It has the same vibe exactly.”
According to Scots singer songwriter Rab Noakes, who has worked extensively with Amanda in his role as a director of independent production company, Neon, her can-do approach is a breath of fresh air within the creative industries in Scotland.
He said: “Amanda Millen is a great asset to goNORTH and indeed to the wider arts-scene in Scotland, and beyond.
“She is bright, energetic, opinionated, bold, efficient and effective. She is not shy in suggesting possibilities to artists such as creative collaborations.
“Having made the suggestions she is capable of identifying, and acting on, what it takes to get things done.”
The line-up for goNORTH 2014 will be announced in January.