DolphinFest returns to celebrate The Year of Coasts and Waters

Kirsty Nutt

Tuesday 14 January 2020

After the success of Aberdeen’s first-ever dolphin festival last year, RSPB Scotland is excited to announce the dates for DolphinFest 2020.

Returning for its second year, DolphinFest will help celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters by giving locals and visitors to the Granite City even more opportunities to engage with, and be enthused by, local marine wildlife with a host of marine-themed events for people to get involved with.

Running from 15 –19 April, thanks to funding from EventScotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters event fund, DolphinFest will incorporate a range of events hosted by organisations, local businesses and charities, aimed at showcasing and celebrating the amazing marine environment and wildlife there is locally and inspiring people to take action to protect it. 

Sadie Gorvett, Dolphinwatch Community Events Officer, who is organising the festival said: “I cannot believe we get to run DolphinFest for a second year! Last year was amazing, seeing so many different organisations and individuals come together to celebrate the dolphins and marine environment. I am so excited to work alongside everyone again to share our passion and dedication to protect the natural world with the people of, and visitors to, Aberdeen City. I truly believe we are so lucky to have such a beautiful marine environment around us and it is so important we all get involved to protect it. I want to thank EventScotland for giving us the opportunity to run DolphinFest again and for making this, the year we celebrate Scotland’s coasts and waters.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to support DolphinFest as part of Year of Coasts and Waters 2020. Scotland offers the perfect stage to explore our natural environment and this year’s festival will bring people together in Aberdeen to celebrate and learn more about our marine wildlife.”

The programme is still being finalised, but DolphinFest has a wide range of events confirmed already. There will be a special launch event on Wednesday 15 April in the city centre, CBeebies presenter Rory Crawford will be storytelling at Aberdeen Central Library and there will be quizzes, spoken word events, wildlife walks and a dolphin-themed ceilidh with Clachan Yell.

In addition, a day of activities at Torry Battery will help connect people with the marine environment, a city-wide clean up and sustainability events will help people take action to protect nature and a day of family fun at Duthie Park with speakers, performances and games will celebrate local marine wildlife and inspire people to protect it.

Dolphinwatch viewing will take place throughout the weekend of the festival too, with staff and volunteers at Torry Battery to help visitors view and learn about the bottlenose dolphins that call the North Sea their home. Torry Battery, overlooking Aberdeen’s busy harbour, has a growing reputation as one of the best places in Europe to see bottlenose dolphins.

The full programme of events will be announced at the beginning of March. For more details please visit

RSPB Scotland is looking for volunteers to support with the design of the ceilidh venue and any businesses, organisations or individuals involved in sustainability initiatives interested in speaking or having a stall at the sustainability event. Anyone interested should contact

DolphinFest forms part of the popular Dolphinwatch project which is now in its eighth year. The project includes a schools’ programme, community talks and Dolphinwatch viewing which has evolved into a popular seasonal event and brings both locals and tourists to the iconic Torry Battery site between April and August.

Dolphinwatch Schools and Viewing is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and led by RSPB Scotland in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). DolphinFest is funded by Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters – celebrating the water that makes the country’s landscape so special and loved.

Keep up to date with all aspects of the project at or (#RSPBDolphinwatch; #DolphinsABDN; #DolphinFest; #YOCW2020).



For further information, please contact: Sadie Gorvett – 01224 624824 or


Editor’s notes:

1. RSPB Scotland is part of the RSPB, the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

2. YCW2020

  • Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased throughout 2020 and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.  
  • The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors. 
  • A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.  
  • Join the conversation using #YCW2020
  • Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and collaboration. 2022 will celebrate the Year of Scotland’s Stories

3. Thanks to National Lottery players, the Heritage Lottery Fund invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.

4. WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, is the leading global charity dedicated to the conservation and protection of whales and dolphins. They defend these remarkable creatures against the many threats they face through campaigns, lobbying, advising governments, conservation projects, field research and rescue.

Last Updated: Monday 10 January 2022

Tagged with: Country: Scotland Topic: Coast and sea Topic: Whales and dolphins Topic: Birds and wildlife Topic: General Topic: Marine and water Topic: Safeguard our sealife Topic: Water and wetlands Topic: Youth