Hidden Door returns with a 10th birthday party

The pop-up festival of performance, music and art celebrates its tenth birthday with the help of synth-pop duo Maranta in collaboration with Paradise Palms and EHFM

Article by Jamie Dunn | 04 Apr 2024
  • Maranta at Hidden Door 2021

UPDATE: Hidden Door reveals underground venue for 10th birthday weekender

Back in March, Hidden Door teased a new venue for their tenth birthday weekender in May. 

"We’ve found the perfect spot in a secret location never before used for an event like Hidden Door. We can’t reveal it yet, but we can say it’s in the heart of the city (EH1), just minutes away from train, tram and bus connections."

Today, they've revealed that special location to be... one of the basement car parks in the St James Quarter. 

Having taken place for the last ten years in abandoned spaces around Edinburgh, like Leith Theatre, Granton Gasworks, and the old Royal High School on Calton Hill, the choice of the shiny St James Quarter shopping mall doesn't quite seem in keeping with past venues, but the Hidden Door team promise this will be a great space for the festival's celebrations. 

Photo of the St James Quarter carpark.
SJQ Car Park Basement 3 | Image: Dan Mosley

“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," says festival director Hazel Johnson. "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."

The B3 space has hosted other cultural events like the Edinburgh College of Art’s Graduate Fashion Show as well as a Deaf Rave event platforming deaf and disabled artists, and we're told the acoustics in the vast space are excellent, so the announced music performances should sound great.

The birthday weekender programme, announced 14 March, is below. 

Hidden Door reveals line-up for 10th birthday weekender (published 14 Mar 2024)

It’s been ten years since Hidden Door's takeover of the Market Street vaults, so to mark the occasion, the festival will be holding a two-night birthday bash on 10 and 11 May which will take place at a yet-to-be-announced location in Edinburgh city centre.

Hidden Door has teamed up with synth-pop duo Maranta, who’ve helped curate both nights with unique collaborations built around their multisensory live show Microsteria, which you may remember from past Hidden Door festivals or their regular nights at Summerhall. For Friday 10 May, Maranta join forces with Paradise Palms to present a night featuring music from percussionist LOLA, the distinctive downtempo loops of KUSHT, and electric acid, drums and vocals from Accident Machine. For Maranta's performance, they are doing a special audio-visual collaboration with Jacuzzi General – closing out the night will be award-winning sound artist, DJ and producer Auntie Flo.

On Saturday 11 May, Maranta enlist another Edinburgh music institution to help curate: community radio station EHFM. This lineup will feature the ethereal duo Pillow Lava and poppy live electronics from naafi. There's also glitchy electronics and visuals of Proc Fiskal, plus a set from DJ Moray Leisure Centre. The night’s unique audio-visual collaboration will be between Maranta and Nikki Kent, and artist Eclair Fifi closes out the night with a DJ set.

Another key element of Hidden Door is its visual art programme, and for this birthday bash, 17 artists and collectives who have previously featured at Hidden Door over the last decade have been invited back, giving audiences a chance to revisit some past exhibitions whilst also reflecting how each artist has evolved over the years. Artists returning to Hidden Door include Ursula Cheng, Tipphereth Print Studio, Zoe Gibson, Lewi Quinn, Martin Eldon, James Sinfield, Ian H Williams, Jill M Boualaxai, Brightside Studios, Oana Stancui, Sarah Calmus, Silas Parry, Elvey Steadman, Evie Rose Thompson, Miriam Mallalieu, Martin Crawford and Emma Hislop.

“Hidden Door’s tenth birthday event is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the past decade of festivals, collaborations, community and creative innovation,” says Hidden Door’s festival director Hazel Johnson. “And what better way to do that than by opening up another of Edinburgh's fascinating spaces and filling it with art, music and performance!”

This 10th birthday weekender will take place in a secret location, to be revealed in April. Hidden Door has remained tight-lipped about the exact nature of the venue – all they'll say is that it's "in EH1". We’ll reveal more details when we have them.

Full schedule and tickets at hiddendoorarts.org