Birthday party line-up and venue

This May we’re throwing a two-night 10th birthday party at a unique underground venue in Edinburgh’s city centre.

2024 marks a decade since Hidden Door opened up the Market Street vaults for its first week-long festival. To celebrate, we are planning a special event at Basement 3, St James Quarter – a huge underground space never before used for an event like this – for an ambitious programme of music, visual art and performance planned across Friday 10th and Saturday 11th May. We’re also planning to return later this year for a full festival – stay tuned!

For the birthday event, Hidden Door is partnering with some of the city’s finest creative forces to curate a spectacular and immersive multi-art experience.

We’ve invited synth-pop duo Maranta to help curate both evenings, with unique collaborations built around their multisensory live show Microsteria. Over two nights, they will be joined by label Paradise Palms Records (Friday 10th May) and radio station EHFM (Saturday 11th May) to bring an uplifting roster of music acts and DJs, accompanied by live performances and stunning visuals.

We’ll also be welcoming back The Wanderers, an interactive, roaming style dance-theatre work that premiered at Hidden Door 2023. 

Music line-up

Friday night features drums and percussion from LOLA; distinctive downtempo loops from KUSHT; and electric acid, drums and vocals from Accident Machine. The night will also host a special audio-visual collaboration between Maranta and Jacuzzi General, and culminates with award-winning sound artist, DJ and producer Auntie Flo.

Saturday night welcomes ethereal duo Pillow Lava; poppy live electronics from naafi; glitchy electronics and visuals by Proc Fiskal; and the talented and versatile DJ Moray Leisure Centre. The night’s audio-visual collaboration will be between Maranta and Nikki Kent, before handing over to the expert musical selections of renowned DJ and artist Eclair Fifi.


Friday 10 May

18:00 – Doors Open
18:00 – LOLA (DJ set)
19:00 – KUSHT (Live)
20:00 – Accident Machine (Live)
21:00 – Microsteria featuring Jacuzzi General and Maranta (collaboration, DJ set and live performance)
23:00 – Auntie Flo (DJ set)
01:00 – Close

Saturday 11 May

13:00 – Doors Open (free until 18:00)
18:00 – Pillow Lava (Live)
19:00 – Naafi (Live)
20:00 – Proc Fiskal (Live)
21:00 – Microsteria featuring Nikki Kent and Maranta (collaboration, DJ set and live performance)
23:00 – Moray Leisure Centre (DJ set)
00:00 – Eclair Fifi (DJ set)
01:00 – Close

Visual Art

The event will feature 18 artists and collectives who have featured at past Hidden Door Festivals. Their work will recall those past exhibitions whilst also reflecting how each artist has evolved since. Some works will be available to purchase, giving you an exclusive chance to take a piece of history home with you.

Audiences will also discover a collection of artifacts from past festivals, providing fascinating insights into our various venues and creative contributors. We’ve also got a few surprises lined up, celebrating not only the history of Hidden Door but also the wider creative and music scene in Edinburgh.

The visual artists include Ursula Cheng, Tiphereth Print Studio, Zoe Gibson, Lewi Quinn, Martin Eldon, James Sinfield, Iain H Williams, Jill M Boualaxai, Bright Side Studios, Oana Stanciu, Sarah Calmus, Silas Parry, Elvey Stedman, Evie Rose Thornton, Iain H Williams, Miriam Mallalieu, Martin Crawford, Matthew Storstein and Emma Hislop.

Jill M Boualaxai, visual art curator at Hidden Door, said:  “It’s been really fun digging through the visual art archives of past festivals and considering what might still exist and what could work well in our venue. I am thrilled to be collaborating with the selected artists, many of whom are bringing their previous Hidden Door projects to life in a new space.

“Some artists are working on new projects for the event. James Sinfield will be creating paintings that are directly related to the venue, while Evie Rose Thornton and Silas Parry will be installing larger art pieces that will complement the Microsteria atmosphere and will merge with the performances.”

Free entry on Saturday daytime

As with every Hidden Door event, there will be an opportunity for the public to explore for free. Between 1-5pm on Saturday 11 May, Basement 3 will be open to all.

You’ll be able to:

More about our underground venue

Basement 3 at St James Quarter provides us with a huge and fully accessible space, spacious enough for audiences to explore our artwork and grab a drink at one of our pop-up bars before hitting the dancefloor for the music and performances.

Hazel Johnson, Festival Director of Hidden Door, said: “B3 is unlike any other space that has played host to a Hidden Door event and we can’t wait to reveal its transformation in May. This vast basement car park has plenty of room to play with; we’ll be making the most of the wide open floorplan, whilst creating nooks and crannies amongst the pillars for people to explore the art installations and projections.“

To help with the transformation, Hidden Door is partnering with Edinburgh Tool Library, who are also celebrating their 10th anniversary year. Their volunteers will team up with Hidden Door volunteers to create a custom bar for the event, whilst other aspects of the build will be supported by members of their Making With Pride initiative, in partnership with LGBT Health & Wellbeing.

The venue is fully accessible with lift access down to Basement 3, and spacious enough for audiences to explore the artwork and grab a drink at one of our pop-up bars before hitting the dancefloor for the music and performances.  It is a five minute walk from both Waverley Train Station and Edinburgh Bus station.

More about our collaborators

Maranta and Microsteria

Maranta make visceral, textured and infectious songs fit for the dancefloor, influenced by the luscious sonics of 80s pop and modern, ethereal electronica. Their acclaimed ‘art-electronica’ show Microsteria has featured at past Hidden Door festivals. With the band described by The Skinny as “effortlessly bright and joyful”, the show has continued to blossom in collaboration with visual artist and set designer Chell Young and costume collective Vomiton.

“Our vision for Microsteria”, explain band members Gloria Black and Callum Govan, “is to create an otherworldly sensory experience that draws the visual, aural and virtual elements of live performances together”. 

With BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway calling them “the best things I’ve seen in ages”, their collaborations at the Hidden Door Birthday Party are sure to be memorable.


EHFM is an Edinburgh-based online radio station broadcasting 24 hours a day.

Founded in 2018, EHFM was set up as a digital platform for local creative souls to express themselves. Since then, they’ve built a loving community of presenters and volunteers.

Paradise Palms Records

Paradise Palms Records, located in the clouds above Edinburgh’s Paradise Palms, is a label devoted to emerging electronica, loose dance music and cosmic bangers. Now celebrating their 50th release the label have been part of the music scene in the capital for 7 years, championing acts across the electronic genre on home turf and around the world. 

Since Hidden Door at Leith Theatre in 2018 the label has helped curate acts like Maranta, The Reverse Engineer, Miss Represented, Asa Moto, Pleasure Pool, Makeness and Prosumer amongst others. It declares not only a symbiotic love for Hidden Door but also for all it promotes and celebrates within the community.

A brief history of Hidden Door

Hidden Door was originally founded in 2009 by a group of creatives seeking to make something interesting happen in the city. Their mission was to create events where audiences could experience art away from the traditional “white cube” gallery format.

The collective curated two events at the former Roxy Art House in 2010, bringing together visual art, performance, film and music. The closure of the Roxy left the group with no venue and over the subsequent years they explored options for running a multi-arts event in derelict spaces. 

The idea grew as the volunteer team expanded, and in 2014 the first full Hidden Door Festival happened, when the team cleared out the disused Market Street vaults to run a 9-day celebration of the arts focused on showcasing local creative talent.

In 2015 the festival moved to a hidden courtyard behind Kings’ Stables Road, and returned 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 resurrecting “Scotland’s best new live music venue”, winning VisitScotland’s Thistle Award for “Best Cultural Event”.

In 2018, the festival returned to Leith Theatre, also taking up residence in the derelict former State Cinema, just around the corner. A farewell weekend event took place at Leith Theatre in 2019. During the pandemic, Hidden Door put on a series of online events, and returned with a bang to live events for a five-day outdoor event at Granton Gasworks in 2021.

In 2022, Hidden Door took over the Old Royal High School on Calton Hill for a ten day festival that brought life back to the school for the first time in years. 

In 2023, we transformed the former Scottish Widows office complex on Dalkeith Road for a five-day spectacular event. Our unique “Environments” invited audiences to explore our venue in an immersive and atmospheric experience that attracted 5-star reviews and won Creative Edinburgh’s City Award.