This year’s festival offers not just a host of indoor performances and workshops but also opportunities to explore the often surprising history, architecture, nature and landscape of Peebles through an expanded programme of walks, talks and tours.

The festival opens with the traditional Open Galleries Evening (Fri 23 August, 6 – 9 pm), which sees fourteen different venues – from galleries to hotels, studios to a fishmonger– exhibit the work of a huge number of visual artists. All venues are participating in the week-long Creative Peebles Art Trail and one lucky visitor will win £200 to spend on art.  Each visitor will be able to pick up an art trail passport which they have stamped in each gallery they visit.  Collect eight stamps and the passport can be entered into a draw for the £200 prize.

The Eastgate Theatre’s temporary closure for the refit of the auditorium takes several events and performances out to different venues.  The first is Neidpath Castle where Horse McDonald, one of Scotland’s finest singers, will perform an intimate gig in the vaulted Laigh Hall on Friday 23 August.

On Sunday 25 August it is time to break out the high heels, fabulous costumes, smart suits and kilts gather in the Ballroom of Peebles Hydro Hotel for the second Take to the Floor.   This strictly style celebration of dance and live music continues the fundraising effort for the second phase of the Eastgate Development.

The traditional Festival Lecture by the Tweeddale Society takes place in the McFarlane Hall (behind The Old Parish Church) on Tuesday 27 August when eminent composer, musician and humanitarian Nigel Osborne will reflect on the life journey that has found him settled in Carlops with its unexpected and inspirational history.

The redesigned ground floor of the Eastgate will be open for business.  The Anne Younger Studio will stage Nothing Less Than Air (a poet’s variety show) on Saturday 24th, Hands on Herbs on Monday 26th, A Little Party Never Killed Nobody! dance workshop inspired by The Great Gatsby on Saturday 31st and two more dance workshops based on The Greatest Showman on Sunday 1 September.  On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday  Clare Prenton leads performances of three instalments from the Memory Jar of scenes, poems and stories that she has been collecting from Peebles residents aged between 59 and 99.   The café will be filled with music for the Eastgate Sessions on Sunday 25th and T in the Café on Sunday 1 September.

Visitors and locals are invited to explore in and around the town on a number of walks and guided tours taking in Neidpath Castle, Dawyck, Traquair Estate, and Cademuir Hill in the company of Peeblesshire Archaeological Society.   And on the streets there will be visual artists and Spy Game characters searching for clues on Saturday 24th touring John Buchan readers on Sunday 25th and Busking musicians on Saturday 31st.

The final day of the Festival will be filled with the sound of Mozart as everyone who would like to have a go at singing is invited to form a huge scratch choir working with Peebles Orchestra to learn the magnificent Mozart Requiem during the day and perform it in Peebles Burgh Hall at 7pm in the evening.

Find out more on www.eastgatearts.com from box office on 01721 725777 or from organisations and artists taking part.

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For more information contact Maggie Mackay, Marketing Manager, Eastgate Theatre on 01721 725777