News: Children's Festival to go ahead in May 2021

16 December 2020

c. Ruth Armstrong
c. Ruth Armstrong

We are pleased to confirm that we are planning an exciting festival for next year, and that it will go ahead in one form or another from 25 May - 6 June. We will of course also continue to run our year-round schools programme and creative development for artists.

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As usual the Festival will showcase great theatre and dance created especially for children and young people. However, with Covid restrictions likely to be still in place, the Festival’s programme will focus primarily on Scottish and UK artists, with a combination of outdoor and digital performances. Restrictions allowing, families will be able to enjoy a series of pop-up performances throughout the city over the first and final weekend of the Festival and there will be digital events on offer for those who would rather stay at home. Extra Covid measures will be put in place to ensure everyone’s safety at all time.

The decision was made to confirm the programme now in order to give the selected artists and companies some assurance about the future. Freelancers have been hit particularly hard by Covid and Imaginate’s support is a welcome boost. The pandemic has also had a huge impact on children and young people who have had no access to live performances during this period.

As part of the Festival programme, Imaginate are commissioning 16 new work which will involve over 100 freelancers based in Scotland and making a commitment to pay them whether their performance is allowed to happen or not. However, digital versions of many of the events are being developed to limit the risk of cancelling them.

Festival Director Noel Jordan said:
“Our primary goal is to make sure our young audiences have access to high quality performances in May. It would have been tempting to wait to confirm the programme until we had more certainty about restrictions but we feel it is important to make a commitment to the artists and companies who rely on us to platform their work. Imaginate’s mission is to help develop and promote new theatre and dance for young people and we are delighted to be able to support artists based in Scotland to create new work for the Festival and to showcase them in May. Ultimately, if restrictions prevent us presenting everything we have planned, we feel it will have been a worthwhile investment and we are confident that this work can still be presented in the future, at our Festival or elsewhere.”

The full programme will be announced in March. Sign-up here to receive updates.