We’re very close to announcing our 2017 venue, and to give artists more time to consider proposals that respond to the venue we’ve decided to extend the deadline for visual art proposals to Tuesday 8 November. Follow our Facebook page for the latest news about the venue!


Ubu Roi by Ludens Ensemble at Hidden Door 2016

Ubu Roi by Ludens Ensemble at Hidden Door 2016

The Hidden Door Festival is now inviting proposals from VISUAL ARTISTS, THEATRE & PERFORMING ARTS PRACTITIONERS and POETS & SPOKEN WORD PERFORMERS wishing to contribute to its 2017 Festival Selected Programme.

Deadline for Visual Art Proposals has been EXTENDED to Tuesday 8 November, 11:59pm

Deadline for Theatre & Performing Arts Proposals is Monday 7 November, 11:59pm

Deadline for Poets and Spoken Word Performers is Friday 11 November, 11:59pm

About Hidden Door

Hidden Door 2016

Hidden Door 2017 will take place from 26 May – 4 June 2017 in an as-yet undisclosed disused site in Edinburgh. The festival will see the empty buildings transformed into live music venues, theatre spaces, bars, a cinema, and a multitude of art exhibition and installation spaces.

Hidden Door is a not-for-profit arts organisation entirely run by volunteers. It aims to put on a festival every year in a disused space in Edinburgh in order to provide an opportunity for creative practitioners based in Scotland at all stages of their career to develop their practice and reach an extensive audience. Through selecting and curating a wide range of projects in unusual spaces Hidden Door aims to create a dynamic and engaging audience-experience for the public and helps them get to know the high quality creative work being produced on their doorstep. All proceeds raised by the festival goes towards creating the platform for the artists, or to the artists themselves.

Hidden Door 2015

Dougie Strang’s Tein eigin / Need fire

Hidden Door welcomes applicants from anywhere, however it is our remit to prioritise work by Scottish-based artists or work that is connected to Scottish contemporary culture.

The entire festival programme will consist of both an open call for our Selected Artists Programme, and an Invited Programme, which will be curated and scheduled together.

Proposal Forms and Guidance

Visual Art

Download and complete the below Proposal Form then send it with any supporting images to any time from now until 23:59 on Tuesday 8 November 2017 (extended deadline).

Theatre and Performance

Download and complete the below Proposal Form then send it with any supporting images to any time from now until 23:59 on Monday 7 November 2017.

Poetry/Spoken Word

Download and complete the below Proposal Form then send it with any supporting images to any time from now until 23:59 on Friday 11 November 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

My work is site specific, when will the Venue for Hidden Door 2017 be announced?

We hope to announce the site before the submission deadline however we would recommend submitting a flexible proposal that could be adapted to a variety of different spaces. In terms of submitting proposals, it is safe to assume the site for HD2017 will be similar in character to the site used for HD2016, incorporating a variety of sizes of interior spaces in variable states of deterioration, and a large outdoor space. Larger spaces tend to be allocated to theatre and live music rather than to individual visual art projects.

For Visual Arts proposals, does the work have to be installation-based or site-specific?

No, we are interested in curating a Visual Art Programme that shows the range of excellent work being made in Scotland right now. We are looking for everything from painting to performance. We are looking to provide a platform for projects, so if proposing exhibiting painting, we are looking for a body of work driven by an idea, rather than showing a single piece or a disparate group of pieces. We are also interested in creating opportunities for artists to develop and innovate their work and practice.

Can I submit a proposal to Hidden Door for the Live Music or Film Programme?

No. Hidden Door does not accept proposals for the Live Music Programme or the Film Programme. We are sorry for any disappointment this may cause. You may of course submit a visual art proposal that has live music, or sound aspects, and film-based work.

Can I submit more than one proposal, or a more site specific proposal after the site has been announced?

Yes, you can submit more than one proposal. You should send each different proposal in a separate email, and it would be helpful to mention in the email that it is your 2nd or 3rd proposal etc. You can resubmit a proposal if you wish to make changes, as long as it is sent before the deadline, and the email makes it clear it is a re-submission.

Will submitting a proposal for the Selected Artists Programme affect my chances of being included in the Invited Artists Programme?

No. Invited Artists will have been invited before the deadline of the Call for Proposals for the Selected Programme.

If I have been part of Hidden Door in previous years will this affect my chances of being selected for the next festival?

No. We are interested in working with some artists over a number of years and providing opportunities to help them with their development. However we are also committed to creating opportunities for artists we have not worked with before.

Do I need to be based in Scotland?

No. Hidden Door’s emphasis is on art based in, or connected to, Scotland, but not to the exclusion of anything else. We are interested in making connections with artists working in different places.

Does the proposal have to be new work?

Not necessarily. Some proposals are for re-developing a previous project, or adapting a previous project to a new space. However, we are particularly keen to support artists to push the boundaries within their work and will favour work that is developing your practise in some way.

Who judges the proposals?

A panel, made up of the creative director, artistic directors of Hidden Door and invited panel members from external established art organisations.

Does it cost me anything to participate?

No, there are no hidden costs. You will be given a budget to cover the costs of your project.

Can I sell work at Hidden Door?

You can but we would recommend interested parties to contact you directly. Hidden Door will not act as an agent on artists’ behalf during the festival. We also don’t want prices displayed with the work. Selling work is not an aim or purpose of Hidden Door. If work is sold, through private arrangement at Hidden Door, Hidden Door will not receive any commission. Hidden Door runs an auction each year after the festival, to help us run future events, and selected artists are invited to participate in this. Artists receive 60% of sales at the auction.

If my project is selected will I have to hang my show / install my project?

Yes. Each selected artist is responsible for delivering their project, and ensuring it is finished and ready for the opening of the Festival.

What help is available?

In the run up to the festival you will be allocated a team member who will be your artist liaison. They will work with you to make sure you have everything you need. They will be your point of contact for ensuring all your materials and equipment are ordered and for discussing your budget and costs, and any queries you may have. If you need practical help for the install, your artist liaison will discuss this with you and help to plan your install. Volunteers will be available to help with build and space preparation where needed.

Will Hidden Door provide all the materials and equipment I will need for my project if I am selected?

Hidden Door can source all materials and equipment for your project, including ordering construction materials for your project and AV equipment. You will receive funds to cover the expenses of your project up to the amount set out in the guidelines. Once selected, the HD team will discuss your project budget with you, and If your project looks like it will cost more than this, we can in some instances provide more funds, or else help you find extra support or work with you to reduce the costs of your project.

How is the event promoted? Will Hidden Door promote my show?

The Hidden Door Festival itself is very widely promoted, and many different forms of promotion are employed, from posters, flyers, fanzines and print adverts, to extensive online and social media coverage. Visual artists are individually featured before the festival opens, to build interest and awareness. However we will also expect you to play an active role in promoting your involvement – especially with social media, sharing posts and linking to official Hidden Door pages and web content, as well as distributing flyers and posters and generally spreading the word.

Hidden Door is a ticketed event. Will I receive free tickets for friends and family?

Hidden Door is unable to provide free tickets to friends and family. However the festival site is free to the public during the day times. We also provide special discounted tickets for certain nights for our contributors to encourage friends and family to come along.

Supporters and sponsors

Creative Scotland Lottery Year of Architecture Innovation and Design 2016 PRS for Music Foundation
Barneys Beer Black Isle Thistly CrossArtemisBaillie Gifford

Blue ParrotBlue Moon

Edinburgh Beer Factory