Cirque Bijou Paisley Halloween Festival

Cirque Bijou and Renfrewshire Council to deliver Paisley Halloween Festival

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Cirque Bijou, the contemporary circus and street theatre specialist, is working with Renfrewshire Council to deliver Paisley’s Halloween Festival will this October.

Tens of thousands are expected to attend the free-to-attend event, which will bring Paisley town centre alive with three evenings of “spooky installations and spellbinding street performers”, against the backdrop of the town’s abbey and town hall.

This year’s event is themed heroes, myths and legends and is being delivered by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with Cirque Bijou, as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022. It is also supported by EventScotland’s National Events Programme.

It will be run from October 27-29 between 6 and 9pm each night and will feature a giant dramatic interactive walk-through fire garden, a fire-breathing dragon, and illuminated digital face puppets wandering the streets. A superhero rooftop battle will also take place and and a gravity-defying performance from aerial dance company All or Nothing. Plus, there will be a sprawling spider’s lair featuring giant Arachnobot spider.

This year’s event reintroduces live performance for the first time since 2019, with last year’s event having been based around a series of installations. 

The event is supported by Future Paisley – the council-led programme – which is using the town’s cultural and heritage story to transform its future.

Local groups which will be involved include ArtBoss, Kibble, 33rd Gleniffer Scouts, Disability Resource Centre, Spinners Gate, Create Paisley, PACE, Right2Dance, Jen Scott Dance, Starlight Music and Theatre and Community Circus Paisley, as well as several local primary and secondary schools from throughout Renfrewshire.

Louisa Mahon, Renfrewshire Council’s head of marketing, communications and events said: “The programme includes fresh takes on the unique large-scale installations which were so popular last year, but – for the first time since before the pandemic – reintroduces the live performance element for which the festival had become known in previous years.

“A really important part of the festival is in providing a stage to showcase the considerable talents of our local creative community – who will spend the next two months working with and being inspired by some of the best artists and performers in Scotland.

“That supports the wider work we are doing through Future Paisley to help embed the benefits of being involved in culture and the arts across everything we do.”

Julian Bracey, artistic director of Cirque Bijou said: “We are delighted to once again be working on Paisley Halloween Festival, which is a unique and exciting event regarded as one of the best of its kind in the UK.

“Paisley town centre’s historic architecture is a fantastic canvas on which we’ve been able to create a dramatic visual spectacle, which will be brought to life by some hugely-talented performers. This is an event not to be missed and we can’t wait for people to see it.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the Paisley Halloween Festival through our National Events Programme in celebration of Year of Stories 2022.

“This free event will bring economic and social benefits to the local community, as well as provide a platform for community groups, local and international artists to exhibit unique performances and installations. Events such as the Paisley Halloween Festival reaffirm Scotland’s position as the perfect stage for events.”