This year, the old Royal High School on Calton Hill will be brought to life for a ten-day festival of live music, visual art, dance, theatre and spoken word.
The buildings, mostly silent since the school closed in the 1960s, will be used to celebrate Scotland’s exciting new and emerging creative talent before work begins to transform it into Scotland’s new National Centre for Music.
The festival will completely transform the entire complex from 9 – 18 June 2022.
About Hidden Door Festival
The festival has steadily grown in size and reputation since 2014, when it cleared out the abandoned Market Street vaults to run a 9-day arts festival focused on showcasing local creative talent. In 2015 the festival moved to a hidden courtyard behind Kings’ Stables Road, and returned to the same site in 2016, attracting over 12,000 visitors to experience a wealth of art, poetry, theatre, cinema, dance and music. In 2017 the festival breathed new life into the old Leith Theatre, attracting rave reviews and critical praise for its role in resurrecting “Scotland’s best new live music venue”.
In 2018, the festival returned to Leith Theatre for 10 more days and nights of music, theatre, visual art, film, dance, spoken word, late-night DJs and special events – finishing what was started to transform the building into the major arts venue the city needs. Continuing the festival’s tradition of discovering forgotten spaces, the festival also took up residency in Leith’s empty and derelict former State Cinema building, just around the corner.
Following a farewell weekender at Leith Theatre in 2019, and a quiet 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers opened up the epic Granton Gasworks in north Edinburgh in 2021, set in the shadow of the iconic gasholder. We also transformed a nearby disused warehouse into a vast exhibition and performance space as part of the festival. The additional venue doubled the footprint of the festival, allowing us to exhibit the work of recent art graduates whose degree shows were cancelled due to COVID-19.
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