#CelebrateTheArts with Perth Festival

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Following the cancellation of its 49th Festival that was due to begin this week in Perth, the long-standing charity Perth Festival of the Arts has joined forces with its 2020 artists and turned to social media to create a 10-day online celebration to ‘celebrate the arts together’.

Between 21-30 May on their social media channels, the Festival will be sharing videos, music, drama, news and special interviews with some of the stars that were set to appear at this year’s Festival. Administrator Helen MacKinnon explained:

We were keen to stay connected online, celebrating the artists that were due to appear at the Festival.“During these difficult times when we are all missing live performances and performers’ livelihoods have been greatly affected, we were keen to stay connected online, celebrating the artists that were due to appear at the Festival and enjoying music, comedy, and drama together as audiences. The arts bring us enjoyment, laughter, reflection and conversation; all much-needed during this lockdown period.  

“There is so much wonderful creativity happening digitally just now. We hope that many of our 2020 artists will return to future festivals and that the online buzz of activity will whip up an audience appetite for these wonderful performers.”


The 10-day arts celebration will begin with an incredible memorised performance of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony by the Aurora Orchestra, who were due to open this year’s Festival.

You can get involved by learning the dance moves to Beethoven, as demonstrated by Jessie!

The performance, previously televised at the 2017 BBC Proms, will feature in a Facebook ‘watch party’, where audiences can tune in online. Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon, BBC Radio 3 presenter Tom Service and the orchestra will give a vivid musical introduction with live excerpts, unpacking the work’s musical architecture.

Over the first weekend (23rd + 24th May), the celebrations will feature music from Perthshire Brass and Denmark-based trumpeter Frances Lole, as well as a fun Q&A with illustrator Jill Calder. Sunday will feature the Festival’s annual service online conducted by Revd John Murdoch of St John’s Kirk, with Sunday evening featuring a glorious night of music and news with choral ensemble Tenebrae.

For the first time ever, the Festival’s renowned ArTay exhibition of contemporary Scottish art will be going online. Into the second week, audiences can enjoy a serialised radio play of Murder She Didn’t Write which was due to play live at the Festival, a dramatic performance by Dyad Productions, along with content from the award-winning Scottish play Thunderstruck, Scottish Opera, saxophonist Manu Brazo, The Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Children’s Classic Concerts.

For the first time ever, the Festival’s renowned ArTay exhibition of contemporary Scottish art will be going online. Curated by Frames Gallery, the four-day exhibition will run on Frames Gallery website, opening 10am Thursday 28 May and closing at midnight on Sunday 31 May.

The exhibition has already gained the support of 85 artists, making it one the largest online art exhibitions during these times. All works will be available for viewing and sale.

Perthshire Photographic Society were due to host an exhibition of photographic prints at St John's Shopping Centre throughout the 10-day Festival. Instead of their planned exhibition, they have created a special Perth Festival of the Arts online gallery, where you can enjoy a varied and stylish showcase of their members' work. We're grateful to all their members for sharing their talents with us and creating this diverse exhibition. 

The Festival has created a hashtag #CelebrateTheArts and invites audiences to join them on Facebook @perthfestivalscotland and Twitter @perthfestival each day to take part in their celebration of the arts. For more information, visit www.perthfestival.co.uk

More About Perth Festival of the Arts

Perth Festival of the Arts is an annual 10-day May Festival, founded in 1972, and taking place in the City of Perth in Scotland. Now in its 49th year, it is one of the leading independent arts festivals in Scotland.

Perth Festival of the Arts main logo

It started as an opera and classical music festival in the early '70s and now covers all art forms. The Festival programmes top international and national artists, as well as supporting young emerging talent in Scotland.The Festival is an independent charity registered in Scotland.

The 49th Festival was due to take place in Perth between 21-30 May 2020, but was cancelled in March due to COVID-19. The digital focus is a ‘celebration of the arts online’ to mark what would have been the festival.

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