‘Safe Spaces for Youth’ is the theme of this year’s International Youth Day (IYD). The aim is to promote places where young people can come together and engage – so what better way to celebrate the day than by attending a live event?

There are a wide variety of events and activities taking place across the UK and Ireland for IYD 2018, which is on Sunday, August 12. As an awareness day designated by the United Nations, the day seeks to raise awareness of different issues affecting young people around the world each year.

This year, the organisers want to ensure that young people of all races, religions and backgrounds can join together to engage in governance issues and participate in sport and leisure activities.

Our own research shows that socialising at events is really important to Millennials (and their younger counterparts), who would rather spend money on experiences than physical goods.

So, which of the following 10 events sounds good to you this IYD? Pick your experience!

IntroFest 2018 – Saint Brides Major, Vale Of Glamorgan

A fantastic line-up of talented young people will perform at IntroFest, a free, two-day festival at Ogmore Castle. In addition to the live performances, the event organised by Youth Cymru, includes fun for all the family. There will be arts and crafts, a giant dart board competition, glitter tattoos and hair braiding, face painting, pony rides, a cake sale and cream teas. Meanwhile, young people will run a range of workshops, with their work accredited towards their Awards For All.

Young at heART 2018 – London

Know your Stormzy from your Snoop Dogg? This event invites both young and old to test their musical knowledge in celebration of IYD.  Listen to music and rap from various cultures, and share your experiences through interactive activities. Planned as a fundraiser to support interfaith charity Faith and Belief Forum, the idea is that attendees learn something about faith and belief through the eyes of youth.

International Youth Day@K – East Kilbride

Aimed at 11 to 18-year-olds, this event organised by East Kilbride Community Trust, seeks to improve young people’s social skills by getting them off their phones and enjoying company in a relaxed environment. Participants will be able to learn survival skills including fire lighting, shelter making and cooking to “get them ready to face the big bad world”, as well as make new friends.

Period Poverty: A Bloody Big Issue – London

Lack of access to sanitary products is an issue that affects 1 in 10 girls or women aged 14 to 21 in the UK, and millions of people globally. Restless Development UK is inviting young people in Kings Cross, London to help them creatively explore the problem. There will be interactive stalls, talks and panel discussions hosted by organisations from across the UK, such as Red Box Project and The Homeless Period Southampton. Meanwhile, workshops range from how to make a reusable sanitary pad to deconstructing period product adverts.

Teen Read Cafe – Haslingden, Lancashire

Is your idea of a perfect Sunday one spent reading? Then head down to Haslingden Library in Lancashire to celebrate International Youth Day at their Teen Read Café. Join the discussion about this year’s Lancashire Book of The Year Award winner, See How They Lie by Sue Wallman. Chosen by Year 9 pupils, this story focuses on Mia, who believes she lives in an elite wellness retreat because her father is a psychiatrist there, but then starts questioning why she is never allowed out.

Being Street Smart for Teens & Youth – London

Having safe spaces means being able to enjoy time with peers without fear of violence. This workshop for teens, organised by SEC Youth ministries, seeks to educate about knife-crime. Topics include the consequences of knife-crime, including stop and search procedures and the  judicial system, as well as danger/awareness and how young people can protect themselves through self-defence.

Kids Learn How to Build Their Own Gaming PC – Glasgow

Why not learn a new skill this IYD? Children in Glasgow can learn how to repair and assemble their very own PC. From discovering the necessary components and what they do, to preparing the case and inserting the components in the right order, kids will gain a thorough understanding of a PC build. Other topics covered are: Cable Management and Cooling, Booting to Bios and Configuring Settings, Installing the Operating System, Installing Software and Drivers and System Upgrade Options. Are you ready to be the next Bill Gates?!

Galloway Young Creatives Festival – Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway

Galloway Young Creatives Festival is a new arts and culture festival completely dedicated to creative young people. The free event, taking place over August 11 and 12, presents a range of workshops in drawing, sculpture, textiles, songwriting, poetry, creative writing, willow weaving and zine making. Young people will be able to get hands-on and learn directly from professional artists, musicians and writers. The festival, organised by Police Scotland Youth Volunteers, will culminate on Sunday with an exhibition and performance of work created in the workshops.

You Can’t Stop The Beat! – Glasgow

You Can’t Stop The Beat is a free accessible music event created by members of ENABLE Scotland’s ACE Youth group, who want to campaign for a better event experience for people who have a learning disability. With support form the Heritage Lottery fund, the event will feature live music, a silent disco, karaoke studio, game stations, a chillout zone and more. It is designed to be fun and inclusive for young people aged 8-26.

Esker Festival Orchestra – Dublin

The Esker Festival Orchestra brings together emerging young professional musicians of the highest calibre. The orchestra was set up to fill the musical and social void that currently exists in Ireland by allowing young musicians from across the country to perform and socialise together. The performance at St Ann’s Church, D2 on International Youth Day, will feature Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major, Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major with piano soloist Ellen Jansson (Cork School of Music) and 2016.4 by the young Irish composer, Sebastian Adams.


Live events are the best way for young people to come together to share their passions. Get out there on International Youth Day 2018 and show the world you support inclusion for all.

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