Dundee UK City of Culture bid highlights

Dundee's bid features a comic-con in the city. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Dundee's bid features a comic-con in the city. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Scottish superstars Alan Cumming and Brian Cox feature in Dundee’s bid to be the UK City of Culture along with, among other things, a nod to the city’s comic book heritage.

West Ward

DC Thomson’s former printworks, which were closed down by the publisher three years ago, would become home to a permanent new arts space, which would be one of the biggest in Scotland and run by Edinburgh venue Summerhall in partnership with the likes of the Tate.

The McManus

The 150th anniversary of Dundee’s flagship museum and gallery and Scotland’s first “Year of History” would be marked with a major exhibition on Ancient Rome, drawing on treasures from the British Museum archives.


The lifeboat disaster in 1959, which cost eight lives, would be commemorated by the staging of a major new opera on a floating stage in Broughty Ferry’s harbour and on nearby beaches, with Scottish Opera lined up for the production.

Shifting Sands

The mysterious sinking of General Monck’s fleet after the Siege of Dundee in 1651 will inspire the flagship opening event. A sound and light show focused on Dundee’s two bridges would be accompanied by a live concert on Magdalen Green.

Dundee Up

The city’s ongoing transformation will be told by the French street theatre outfit Komplex Kapharnaum over three nights, with live musicians and DJs appearing among the crowds before a finale is staged in a huge open-air nightclub on the city’s waterfront.

D Day

Three weeks of live music and dance events in the summer would include a new collaboration between choreographer Michael Clark and Scottish Ballet, local bands playing in garage spaces and rooftops around the city for a day, a “dancing in the street” event and a day of music in parks and gardens curated by Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross.


A two week-show showcase of previously-unseen work may include a new production of Brigadoon, a stage production of the film and book Young Adam, Alan Cumming in a one-man play about the life of poet William McGonagall, a dramatical celebration of the city’s links with polar explorations, to be overseen by playwright David Greig and actor Brian Cox’s personal tribute to the River Tay.

Volcano - Going In

Dundee artist Liz Ogilvie would join forces with Disney to create an “experiential project embracing future technology and environmental science in a disused tunnel at The Law, the city’s highest landmark and a former volcano.


Mexican artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is lined up to create a site-specific light installation along the length of the Tay Rail Bridge, which would represent the “pulse of the city”, with members of the public able to trigger individual lights along the length of the structure.

Comic-Con and Beanotown

The international comic convention would be brought to the city which gave birth to The Dandy, Oor Wullie and The Broons, while designer Wayne Hemingway would revive the interactive exhibition featuring The Beano’s best-known characters staged at the Southbank centre in London earlier this year.