Roll up, roll up for one of Scotland’s largest Halloween fright fests

The Dark Circus comes to Scotland’s largest town as the award-winning Paisley Halloween Festival returns for a fright-filled weekend on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October 2019.

One of the largest festivals of its kind in the UK, this year’s event promises to be the biggest and best yet with internationally acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou, helping to transform the entire town centre into the perfect Halloween playground.

The free two-day spectacular, which routinely attracts tens of thousands to the town, will serve up a whole host of frighteningly fun, free activities for everyone to enjoy with the entire town serving as the stage.

The main spectacle of the festival is the carnival-style Halloween Parade which takes place on the Saturday and will see more than 300 costumed performers led through the town by the sinister Svengali ringmaster. The parade will boast magnificent floats, voodoo acrobats and ferocious fire performers, creepy clowns and curious creatures, along to thrilling live music.

Aerial artists, All or Nothing, will also perform their death-defying act ‘Into the Dark’, which will see the artists circle and swirl around the haunted carousel over the grounds of the town’s iconic Abbey.

A new addition to this year’s festival is the ticketed spooky silent disco. Held in the heart of the town the disco is sure to deliver plenty of dancing, singing and Halloween fun for all the family.

There will be plenty of opportunities for people to join in the fun with a huge range of Halloween-themed activities including workshops, street theatre and musical performances, scary movie screenings, live stage acts, creepy exhibitions and a Halloween Fun Fair.

Julian Bracey, Artistic Director at Cirque Bijou, said: “We are delighted to be working on this year’s Paisley Halloween Festival and to be involved in an event so strongly rooted in the town. We’ve been sourcing the best local talent and working closely with community groups from across Paisley who we’ll be putting centre stage in our Dark Circus parade alongside some of our fantastic professional performers.

“Cirque Bijou specialise in in creating unforgettable and exquisitely crafted shows and Paisley Halloween Festival will be no different. We’ll be pulling every trick (and treat!) out of the bag to make this year the most spooktacular yet and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store.”

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “Paisley Halloween Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events in our calendar. Its stellar programme attracts thousands of visitors from across Scotland and beyond each year and is now regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK.

“The festival has grown larger each year and this year will see our most ambitious and creative production yet as the entire town will become a circus stage, for professional and community performers to enthral the crowds.

 “Events like this are not just great for visitors but for the local economy. Last year’s event was worth more than £1.9m to the local economy as the festival hosted 34,000 people who enjoyed the fantastic parade and captivating performances. This year we aim to attract even more visitors to the town and encourage them to spend local.

“Paisley’s programme of major events has made the town one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations in recent years – and we look forward to building on that national platform with the support of our creative partners like EventScotland who continue to work with us to make this event as successful as possible.”

The Paisley Halloween Festival, which was supported in 2018 through the Year of Young People event fund, was awarded £16,950 of National Programme funding from Event Scotland for this year’s event.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: "EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the Paisley Halloween Festival through its National Events Programme. The festival was a huge success in 2018 as part of the Year of Young People programme, creating opportunities for the town’s young people to be involved in the co-creation of the event while also driving significant economic impact for the local area.

“It is great to see the festival building on this legacy and delivering its biggest programme yet, with aerial performances, workshops, silent disco and the showpiece Halloween Parade, with the exciting addition of Cirque Bijou’s dark circus set to capture the imaginations of both locals and visitors alike.”

To find out more about Paisley Halloween Festival please visit www.paisley.is/halloween  

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