Hidden Door
HIdden Door 2010 at the Roxy - a maze of art

Hidden Door 10 years on

10 years ago this weekend, Hidden Door was born at the Roxy in Edinburgh. Originally conceived as an art exhibition in a pub, the idea quickly evolved into a full weekender with a huge maze of art, spoken word and live music to discover.

We spoke to one of the original organisers, Jack Nissan, to find out more…

How did you get involved?

As a volunteer and musician, and I ended up making a little hidden-piano installation at the festival too.

What do you remember about the event?

The 5 stage, 5 bands introduction to the festival, in the round with the audience in the middle, and a massive wall of sound building all around you. The big maze of artworks in the main space in the Roxy.

Being part of a massive human chain passing hundreds of rolls of grass/turf along the street and up the stairs to turn the theatre into some sort of surreal indoor garden.

The end of festival party and jam session downstairs in the Roxy bar!

Any major challenges you overcame?

It was all new, so I think everything felt like a challenge. Not quite sure if we overcame them, but we made a good start!

How do you think being involved impacted you or the stuff you went on to do?

It had a massive impact on me. It was my first introduction to a collaborative, multi-arts project like that, and I met so many people that I’ve stayed in touch with and worked with over the last 10 years.

I started the Tinderbox Collective around the same time, which is a music project based in Edinburgh, and I think this kind of grew out of the early Hidden Door days and the people involved in it.

There was a sense of possibility and excitement about Hidden Door that was infectious, it brought so many people together and just made you feel like you could make stuff happen. 

Hidden Door 2010