This year, Hidden Door will bring the Old Royal High School on Calton Hill to life for a ten day festival of live music, visual art, dance, theatre and spoken word.
But we now need your help to make our plans a success!
We are excited to announce that our project is part of the Creative Scotland Crowdmatch – offering a share of £80,000 in match funding, which means your donations could be doubled!
The Old Royal High School is a building of immense significance to a number of communities. It is a category A listed neo-classical architectural landmark of national architectural, cultural and historical significance, and at various points in its 200 year history been a school, a potential parliament, offices, a debating chamber and gallery displaying art from the city collection.
Since the Royal High School vacated the building in 1968, the property has mostly lain empty and unused, but in 2022 the doors will be thrown open by Hidden Door, kickstarting a summer of activity at the site, before work begins to transform it into Scotland’s new National Centre for Music.
Hidden Door specialise in making creative meanwhile uses happen, bringing together communities, artists, performers, and new audiences to the space, temporarily bringing it to life and leaving a legacy for future access and engagement. This summer we will fill its empty halls and corridor of the Old Royal High School with sound, lights, music, art, dance and plenty of surprises along the way.
Inside the vast building, forgotten rooms will be transformed into performance spaces and given over to artists to fill with installations and audience will be encouraged to explore the myriad of passageways, corridors, nooks and crannies that make up this remarkable building and to celebrate Scotland’s exciting new and emerging creative talent.
We will utilise our experience of creating positive momentum towards the repair and renovation of historic spaces to leave a legacy for the future of the building as part of the National Centre for Music, who will benefit from any work we do to start the journey towards bringing the building back into permanent use.
After decades of disuse and gathering dust, there is a huge amount of work needing to be done to the venue to get it ready for the festival. We have an enormous amount of experience of transforming disused buildings from our previous festivals, but every new site brings new challenges. The Old Royal High School is set to be one of our biggest yet and we can’t wait to get stuck in.
One of the biggest challenges we face as a small volunteer-led charity is funding – transforming empty and neglected buildings into exciting festival venues isn’t cheap! Your crowdfunding contributions will allow us to afford all the things that go into helping us to throw open the doors of the Old Royal High School.
If all that sounds good to you, head over to our Crowdfunder page and back us today!