Celebrate the Arts in Perth

Set to take place on 22nd May to 1st June 2014, the Perth Festival of the Arts has grown from the proverbial humble beginnings in 1972 into an international celebration of a wide range of art-forms, attracting artists, performers and audiences from near and far. This year’s program includes Van Morrison, Sir James Galway, Jools Holland, Admiral Fallow, Dougie MacLean, Marc Almond, Melanie C, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Primavera Chamber Ensemble and more.

According to the Perth Festival Website, the idea for the festival was sparked by a comment made by prominent art critic Conrad Wilson who pointed out that “Perth was an ideal festival city without a festival”. As the staff music critic of The Scotsman for many years, and annual attendee of the Edinburgh Festival since its early beginnings, Wilson knew a thing or two about festivals, and his comment was taken to heart. Today, the Perth Festival is a limited company with charitable status and aims to present a diverse selection of performances, including some high profile artists, with the support of the Perth and Kinross council, The Gannochy Trust, the Scottish Arts Council and other sponsors and local businesses.

Kicking off the programme on Thursday 22nd May with a Lunchtime Concert by local schools in St John’s Kirk, the Festival’s first evening performance is The Magic Flute by the English Touring Opera. Friday includes performances by the Primavera Chamber Ensemble at St John’s Kirk and Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Marc Almond and Melanie C. Saturday’s highlights are a Rock Concert and Festival Ceilidh, with Sunday’s programme including The Brewin Dolphin Festival Concert featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko. Monday sees the London Classic Theatre presenting Entertaining Mr Sloane, while on Wednesday the Reduced Shakespeare Company will perform the Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged. The Confessions of Gordon Brown will be heard on Friday and Saturday, with the Royal Northern Sinfonia & Miloš Karadaglic. The Perth Festival draws to a close on Sunday 1st June with Dougie MacLean and Friends performing The Perthshire Cantata.

With the opening of the state-of-the-art Perth Concert Hall in 2005, the city’s cultural calendar expanded to include events all year round. Along with the historic landmark of the St John’s Kirk, the Perth Concert Hall has been the perfect venue to stage Perth Festival of the Arts performances. Festival attendance has increased every year over the past five years or so, and organisers are confident that this year’s event will be even better than before. So be sure to make your plans now to join in this joyful celebration of the arts in one of Scotland’s most vibrant and picturesque cities – Perth.