Hidden Door Festival vs Edinburgh Popfest

Hidden Door Festival vs Edinburgh Popfest

Two DIY Edinburgh music festivals in one weekend

Two DIY capital music festivals on the same weekend – sod’s law, eh? While Edinburgh Popfest shuffles to the literate, wistful sounds of an international indie-pop line-up at the Wee Red Bar, The GRV and The Lot in its debut year, the Hidden Door Festival will simultaneously stage its second annual celebration of cross-genre, multi-arts creativity at the Roxy Art House.

In a healthy spirit of diplomacy, we’re previewing both, and leaving you to decide on which side of the homespun music weekender divide your allegiance will land.

Curated by capital indie-pop stalwarts ballboy, Edinburgh Popfest enters a loose international fraternity of similarly-spirited events globally – from New York to London, Copenhagen and Berlin – organised by a ‘network of interested fans, bands, DJs and promoters,’ explains ballboy singer Gordon McIntyre, whose band tops Friday’s bill. Swedish twee-poppers Suburban Kids With Biblical Names headline on Saturday, at an all-dayer also featuring local faves Kid Canaveral and The Just Joans. ‘I personally guarantee that everyone who comes will fall in love with at least one band they have never heard before,’ states McIntyre boldly.

Hidden Door boasts 40 acts – American Men, Washington Irving and Endor included – plus 60 artists, 20 poets and 20 filmmakers, all crammed into the labyrinth Roxy for a spontaneous, collaborative multi-arts mash-up similarly cosmopolitan in outlook. ‘I was inspired by travelling to places like Budapest and seeing their energetic DIY culture,’ comments the festival’s director, Edinburgh artist David Martin. ‘I wanted to create a way for the musicians to let rip with their creativity and I thought getting them together with a bunch of artists and poets and filmmakers might just flick the switch and turn the whole thing on.’

Big specs and bad dancing, or art school hipness and contemplative chin-stroking? Weekend tickets are available for each festival, and the venues are in close proximity, so you can always do both. See, we’re diplomatic like that.


Various venues, Edinburgh, Fri 22 Oct–Sun 24 Oct; Roxy Art House, Edinburgh, Fri 22–Sun 24 Oct

Hidden Door Festival

Volunteer-run arts organisation Hidden Door returns for a long weekender of music and art at Leith Theatre. Following a successful fundraising campaign to secure the future of the non-profit festival, the team behind Hidden Door have opted for a shorter format in 2019, to support efforts to build towards a full festival…

Leith Theatre, Edinburgh

Thu 30 May

Main Auditorium

£31.90 / 0131 629 0810

Ray BLK, Let's Eat Grandma, The Honey Farm, Sarra Wild, Chuchoter.

Fri 31 May

£38.50 / 0131 629 0810

George FitzGerald, Nathan Fake, Kelly Lee Owens, Maranta.

Sat 1 Jun

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 629 0810

Crystal Fighters, Low Island, Midi Paul

Sun 2 Jun

£31.90 / 0131 629 0810

Cigarettes After Sex w/ support.

ballboy, The Withered Hand, The Leg and Randolph's Leap

Popfest night of weird, quirky, whimsical indie.

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