Former Royal High School to be transformed into pop up festival venue

The Hidden Door Festival will showcase the city's artistic talent in the form of dance, music and theatre.

The former Royal High School in Edinburgh is set to be transformed into a pop up festival venue in the summer. 

The Hidden Door Festival, which takes place in June, will showcase the city’s artistic talent in the form of dance, music and theatre and spoken word performances.

It will be the first time the iconic site has been used since it was a school more than half a century ago. 

Inside the vast building, forgotten rooms will be transformed into performance spaces and given over to artists to fill with installations.

The audience will be encouraged to explore the myriad of passageways, corridors, nooks and crannies that make up the iconic building.

One of the most impressive rooms, the central debate chamber, will host specially commissioned in-the-round performances and spectacular events that respond to the unique space.

Outside, a stage will be built for large music performances and a bar will take over the front terrace, giving festival goers a unique view on the city.

David Martin, creative director of Hidden Door, said: “This is such an incredible site for Hidden Door. It is such a privilege to be able to bring one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings back to life.

“It feels really exciting, in what is still a very challenging period for the arts, to invite Scotland’s newest, most daring artists, dancers, theatre-makers, poets and musicians to take over such a prestigious building that has been dark for so long and flood it with creative energy. 

“It feels important to bring Scotland’s young creatives right into the centre of the city this time to celebrate what they do. 

“We know that the public will enjoy exploring this unique building too. The place is full of surprises, and it lends itself to Hidden Door’s ethos of creating an environment that the public can explore and discover new things.

“We have been inside quite a few times now, with maps and plans, and we still get lost. I can’t wait for everyone to get a chance to wander around and get lost too.”

The Hidden Door Festival will run from June 9 to 18.

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