The second series of Hidden Door’s online shows is waiting in the wings.

Now they are handing over control to the artists, musicians and dancers who will create unique and immersive online events to entertain you every fortnight.

Those who had signed up to take part in this year’s Hidden Door Festival were asked to pitch ideas for the online takeovers.

Hidden Door 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic but this has not dampened the enthusiasm of the creatives who would have taken part. They are now organising the fortnightly live streams on Facebook.

Musician and sound artist Dave House, aka The Reverse Engineer, kicks off the series on 14 October with Iterations, a project that will see him invite six different kinds of artists to explore how Covid-19 restrictions have affected their creative process, output and mental health. They will each have two days to respond to the previous artist’s work, documenting the process on the Hidden Door Instagram feed. The project will culminate in a live-streamed show on 27 October and will feature the six pieces and interviews with the artists.

Then artist Florence Richardson presents The Spectral – exploring ideas of absence, cultural nostalgia and hauntology through excerpts of artworks, written work and music snippets shared on social media from 28 October. Her live event on 10 November will see four visual art installations come together to create an immersive live show of eerie and spectral sights and sounds.

Later cycles will see dancer Tess Letham present a live dance performance in situ from the DanceBase studio, and musician MALKA invite other artists, including Pictish Trail and Carla J Easton to explore the theme of Restriction.

David Martin, Creative Director of Hidden Door, said: “Hidden Door has always been about trying to generate opportunities for emerging artists, using whatever resources that are around us as creatively as possible. While in the past this may have been about using buildings that have been lying empty, this time it is about using online space in a new and imaginative way.

“Artists and creatives have been hugely hit by the restrictions brought about by the pandemic and they need support more than ever before, so we are delighted to be able to invite a range of visionary artists to use Hidden Door’s online resources as creatively as they dare; to share their ideas, give our audience a glimpse into the magical alchemy of how they make their work, and orchestrate a series of online projects and live stream shows that will stand out from all the rest, and bring us all a little bit closer to genuine creativity in this difficult and challenging time.”

The project has funding from Creative Scotland and The National Lottery’s Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development Programme, allowing every participant to be paid fairly for their contribution to the shows which will continue till May 2021.

Hidden Door 2017 at Leith Theatre – photo Chris Scott

Laura Mackenzie-Stuart, Head of Theatre at Creative Scotland said: “As restrictions on live events continue, it’s wonderful to see Hidden Door bringing together Scotland’s community of emerging artists to create immersive digital events and explore different ways of connecting with audiences online.

“We’d like to thank National Lottery players, whose support makes it possible for us to fund projects like this one, ensuring audiences can continue to engage with creative events during these challenging times.”

The series is running until May; details of upcoming guest curators and the live shows themselves can be found on the Hidden Door Facebook page:

14 – 27 October: The Reverse Engineer, musician

28 October – 10 November: Florence Richardson, artist

11 – 24 November: Tess Letham, dancer

2 -15 December: MALKA (Tamara Schlesinger), musician

2 – 12 January: Miriam Mallelieu, artist

Series 1 of the live shows can be viewed at

Hidden Door 2014 at Waverley Arches Photo Martin P McAdam

Hidden Door is an arts organisation which aims to open up urban spaces as a platform for new and emerging artists, musicians, theatre makers, performers, film makers and poets. Through organising temporary events Hidden Door works to showcase new work and create engaging environments for the public to experience, explore and discover.

Hidden Door has steadily grown in size and reputation since it began in 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 there in 2016, attracting over 12,000 visitors to experience a wealth of art, poetry, theatre, film, 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”, winning a Scottish Thistle Award for “Best Cultural Event or Festival”. It returned there in 2018 whilst also opening up the iconic State Cinema around the corner, then following a farewell weekender at Leith Theatre in 2019, organisers are now setting their sights on a mystery new location to bring to life in 2021.