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DeeCon festival set for weekend, NeoN festival teams up with children’s charity

Jess Clarkson and Al-Hady Aladin getting prepared for DeeCon
Jess Clarkson and Al-Hady Aladin getting prepared for DeeCon

Courier Country’s biggest festival celebrating the great and the good of all things “nerd” is gearing up to take place on Saturday.

And another arts festival, North East of North (NEoN), has announced a new partnership with local supportive learning charity Helm.

The annual DeeCon comic-convention event at Dundee University will see Yoda, Spiderman, Daenerys Targaryen and a raft of other characters from the world of sci-fi, fantasy, anime and comics descend on campus.

Thousands of attendees are expected at this year’s event, which will pack out the five floors of the university’s student union building.

A special dress rehearsal was held at the union on Thursday, with a number of excited participants already dressed in anticipation for the weekend’s party.

Jess Clarkson and Al-Hady Aladin, Vladimir Ghita and Anthony Corbett getting prepared for the fun.
Jess Clarkson and Al-Hady Aladin, Vladimir Ghita and Anthony Corbett getting prepared for the fun.

Money raised from the sale of tickets at the event will be given to final-year animation degree students, who are hard at work preparing their degree show presentations.

Margaret McCabe, organising committee member, said: “Dundee is the perfect place to be a geek and DeeCon is not short of attractions for the whole family to get into. This year we have invited major industry guests and we are so excited to see what they reveal to our fans.

“We are looking forward to bringing everyone together, where they can share their work, meet like-minded people and enjoy a fun-filled day. Proceeds will go towards Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design’s animation degree show next month.”

The NEoN digital arts festival, which has taken place since 2009, has announced a new partnership with learning charity Helm, in an attempt to “break down” employment barriers for young people.

A series of workshops on digital arts and computer games development – which will offer a level four SQA National Progression Award to participants – are due to start, utilising Raspberry Pi computers.

Raspberry Pi machines help young people develop skills in computer programming and code, and NEoN and Helm will recruit people out of work and from localities of high unemployment.

Janey Muir, Education and Outreach Officer at NEoN said: “I hope that by offering these workshops, we can inspire young adults to pursue careers in digital.

“Dundee is renowned for its thriving design sector, which has a huge emphasis on technology and by making digital skills accessible, we’re breaking down barriers for participants.

“Joining forces with Helm has been brilliant. We hope to continue collaborating with them in future to help other people in the city and beyond.”

Tickets for Dee-con start at £3, and can be bought on the event brite website.

For further information on NEoN and Helm’s computer development course, email Diarmid Mackinnon at diarmid@northeastofnorth.com.

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