Arbroath 2020+1 Festival

2 July–19 September 2021

Arbroath 2020+1 Festival takes place across locations in Arbroath from 2 July – 19 September 2021

Join in celebrating the BRIGHT FUTURE of our HISTORIC coastal town. 
ARTS, HERITAGE COMMUNITY festival marking 701 years of the Declaration of Arbroath.

The Festival will be an explosion of creativity happening over the summer months with live performances, screenings, cultural trails, exhibitions and family events. The rescheduled festival is taking place to celebrate the 701st anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath in an apolitical festival championing the creativity of the region and is led by the local community and uniting past present and future.

Find out more on the Arbroath 2020+1 Festival Website

Pick up a copy of the FREE Festival Newspaper & Programme at Shops in Town.

Festival Programme

Pageant for Gallivants
Arbroath2020+1 Outdoor Arts and Heritage Trail
2 July- 8 August
2020+1 Festival Flags, Arbroath High Street

Dundee Print Collective have developed a series of festival flags on display in Arbroath High Street. Using drawings made by local young people, Dundee Print Collective have created a family of designs inspired by the Declaration of Arbroath. These striking artworks represent the culture, geography and history of Arbroath; referencing Medieval design, primary colours and graphic shapes whilst incorporating contemporary imagery.


Clattering Cavalry
Multiple locations

As part of Pageant for Gallivants artist Mandy McIntosh has created a Clattering Cavalry of horses inspired by the Arbroath Pageant Procession of 1947-2005. This giant public artwork will fill shop windows and walls around Arbroath. Horses have been made using existing hobby horse paintings from school projects, with patterns specific to community groups and new horses designed by the people of Arbroath.


The Making of a Pageant 1947-2005
Online content

A digital presentation of memories, photographs, videos, memorabilia and souvenirs drawn together from personal collections of the community in Arbroath. Celebrating the community effort behind the extraordinary Arbroath Abbey Pageant and Procession that took place 18 times between 1947 – 2005.

Holding the status of the most frequently staged Pageant in the UK to date, it was a trailblazer for technical innovation and was often years ahead of other such community spectacles. In Arbroath, the Pageant is renowned for how it drew people from all walks of life together to create an event for and by the people of the Town

The series of articles and podcasts will spotlight the making of the pageant and the community effort involved in creating the performances in the Abbey and throughout the Town. The creativity and innovation of the events will be celebrated; from the theatrical performances to the newly composed music, the amazing floats, hand-made displays in shops and the astonishing illuminated staging.


Abrinca: Fit O’ the Toon
As part of the Pageant for Gallivants town trail Arbroath’s Woolly Workers have created Abrinca the Unicorn: a fantastic large-scale knitted public sculpture. This dazzling installation has been created through an array of crochet and knitting and arranged onto the willow-body of a magical unicorn.


Sea Washed Light
Fit O’ the Toon
Saturday 3 July 

Led by local artists Tina Aburrow, Karen Elliot and Jilly Henderson, Sea Washed Light invites residents in the Fit O’ The Toon to get involved in shining a bright light on Arbroath and its Bell Rock Lighthouse.

Residents have received packs of materials to help them make shining displays at the front of their homes, creating a collaborative iridescent display that will catch the light and shine its way across the sea to the lighthouse. Enjoy a socially distanced sea serpent and jellyfish neighbourhood walk between 5-6pm.

Ruffs Dogs in the Park
Sunday 4 July, 2pm Beacon Green
Pre book here

A socially distanced medieval-themed fashion photoshoot inspired by historic pageantry and all the wonderful dogs of the town. Dog-lovers are invited to take part in Ruffs by creating home-crafted regal coats for their pooches to model in a fashion photoshoot staged in the park. Taking part in this furbulous project is free and a photograph of your creation will be featured on a dog wall of fame. Come along and pick up a pack of costume materials, get crafting and get your pic up on our wall of fame. All dogs must be kept on a lead.


Harbour Histories
Saturday & Sunday 3, 4 and 10, 11 July
Drying green Fit O’ the town Toon

A social documentary photographic work created by Morag Smith (chairperson of the Fit O’ the Toon Community Association, FOTRA) and family, in collaboration with artist Mandy McIntosh. Harbour Histories teases out some of the underlying observations and impacts of being from a modern fishing family. This collage of living archive images and words has been printed onto a long tablecloth and will be displayed on communal tables at the Fit O’ the Toon.


The Pirate Holiday Show Storytelling
Saturday 3 July, 1pm and 2pm
Arbroath Signal Tower Museum Courtyard

What do pirates do when they want to have a holiday?

Come along to the Signal Tower Museum to join pirates Nautical Neil and Bosun Brian as they try their very best to have a peaceful holiday in Arbroath! Expect hornpipes, shanties, gags and shaggy dog stories in this seaside show suitable for all the family! Pre book via spaces limited

Pre book here


Auchmithie Haar, Heritage Performances
Arbroath Fish Market Saturday 10 July, 1:30pm and 3pm

The Heritage Arts Auchmithie Residents (H.A.A.R.) bring the fishing history and lore  of Auchmithie,150 years ago, vividly back to life through a live history performance featuring fisherman, fishwives and the indomitable Annie Gilruth.

Taking place at Arbroath Harbour fish sheds.

Tickets £2, under 12’s free

Pre book spaces limited



Puppet Pageant Agnes of Dunbar: Arbroath Fish Market
Special Screening Sunday 8 August 10:30am and 11:30am
Available to stream online

A special screening of a Puppet Pageant devised by Mandy McIntosh in collaboration with Warddykes Primary School and Abbey Craig. During lockdown pupils were invovled in creating puppets and characters inspired by a play and script by drama specialist Abbey Craig. With special thanks to Diane Smith, all staff and pupils at Warddykes Primary School.

Pre book. Spaces limited


Whale Song Arbroath
Sunday 8 August 1pm and 3:00pm- Arbroath Fish Market
Pre booking required
A new collaborative performance of music for poetry inspired by whale song, devised by poet Lesley Harrison with viola-player Katherine Wren and clarinettist Alex South. Katherine and Alex have composed new pieces around the poetry from Lesley’s recent collection, ‘Disappearance’. This performance explores the theme of the voyage of the 19th-century whalers to the polar seas, and the cultural aftermath of the whaling industry.

Tickets £8, under 12’s free.
Pre book:


Arbroath’s Audio-Guided Heritage Trails: July
Join a live guided walk or streem the audio trail

A series of heritage trails around Arbroath developed by Blythe Stockdale. The history of our women, the town’s Industrial Revolution and the journey of the Declaration of Arbroath, each trail provides a route for people in the community to engage with their local heritage by celebrating Arbroath’s fascinating and unique history. Explore the townscape through an audio-guided trail, accessed via mobile phone. A live tour for each trail will be held in July. Stream the audio trails:


Specially narrated heritage walks with Blythe Stockdale

From Fishwives to Factory Girls:
Arbroath Women’s Heritage Trail
Saturday 3 July 11am start
Meet at Old Shore Head

Declaration of Arbroath Heritage Trail
Saturday 3 July 3pm start
Meet outside Arbroath Abbey

Steaming Forward: Industrial Revolution Heritage Trail
Meet by Brothock water on Dens Road
Sunday 11 July 11am start


A Kist of Scots: Angus Writers Circle Event
Thursday 29 July 7pm

A special event of readings, discussions and music showcasing new literary works from ‘A Kist of Scots’.

A Kist of Scots is a collection of poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction, from members of Angus Writers’ Circle. The anthology is a celebration of Angus, of Scotland, of our forebears, our folklore, our landscape, our past and our future, with the fantastic support of the Arbroath 2020+1.

Blueprints for Arbroath by Jeni Reid
1 July- 8 August, Multilocation artwork
Abbey Street, Burnside Drive, Arbroath Bus Station, Hume Street, Dens Road

Blueprints for Arbroath is a multi-location display of cyanotype textile artworks created by artist Jeni Reid. Jeni uses modern images of Arbroath with 19th Century prints of the Caribbean to present the many stories and layers of history that connect Arbroath’s industrial heritage to the West Indies and transatlantic trade of enslaved people. These artworks will be situated around the town with the hope that they will open up conversations about our local history and the histories we share with the people of the Caribbean.

Jeni Reid will lead an artist walk
Saturday 10 July 11:00am
Join a group walk led by artist Jeni Reid. Hear about her artwork Blueprints for Arbroath which is exhibited across some of the post-industrial sites in Arbroath and discover how Arbroath’s history influenced the making and ideas behind the work. Meet outside Arbroath Abbey.


Over Lunan Production 
9-19 September, Lunan BayAproxima Arts’ Angus Farquhar with script by Purni Morell. This major live commission blends a monumental sound and light installation with elements of ‘public memorial’ as audience members are immersed in an environmental art piece that draws on the fragility of the natural world and ancient mythologies. This special open-air production running from 9 – 19 September (not 13) is designed to be enjoyed in a relaxed socially distant environment.



Guildry Bas Relief
Hamilton Green

Arbroath Guildry commissioned celebrated Scottish sculptor Alan B Herriot to design and produce this cast bronze Bas Relief. Gifted to the people of Arbroath in 2020 for the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.

The public sculpture is sited on Abbey Street and provides a lasting reminder of the legacies Arbroath has given the world, including the Declaration of Arbroath. With accompanying online youth heritage project you can listen to stories told by local young voices accessed by QR code.

St Vigeans New Stone by David McGovern
Beside the burn, St Vigeans
Inspired by the early medieval stonework at St Vigeans, master craftsman David McGovern has designed and carved a new stone monument to be placed at St Vigeans, Arbroath. The new monument is a contemporary carving following in the Pictish artistic tradition that ended 1,000 years ago and forms part of an ongoing series of new Pictish sculptural artworks by David which will be sited around Scotland.

Westway, Arbroath DD11 2NH 
Hospitalfield is an arts and crafts house and gardens located on the edge of Arbroath, dedicated to contemporary art and ideas. Left in Trust as an art school in 1890, Hospitalfield is a place to visit, learn, study and enjoy. The new Gardens, Café and restored Fernery are open weekly to the public with an outdoor sculpture commission by artist Mick Peter titled Gerroff!! (Or User Feedback). Inside Hospitalfield House over the summer will be a major exhibition of Christina Mackie’s artwork The Judges III installed in the historic Picture Gallery. Take part in talks, tours, walks and artist workshops happening over the season.


Arbroath Abbey Site, Visitor Centre Exhibition
Due to open later in July
A new exhibition opens at Arbroath Abbey Visitor’s Centre to mark the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath. Please check the Historic Environment Scotland website for up to date opening details of this exciting new exhibition that explores the history of the Abbey from its founding in 1178 to the present day. Its centrepiece is a major display on the Declaration of Arbroath, incorporating a faithful facsimile of the original document and the Arbroath Embroidered Tapestry. Educational events and materials have been organised to enhance the learning experience of the Abbey, including an expert’s talk at the Webster Theatre.


Arbroath Embroidered Tapestry
Appearing as part of Arbroath Abbey’s new exhibition, the Arbroath Embroidered tapestry is a beautifully intricate three-panel tapestry created by the Arbroath Tapestry Group to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath. The Arbroath Tapestry has been designed by Andrew Crummy, designer of the Great Tapestry of Scotland, and aims to showcase the significance of the Declaration and the history of Arbroath and its Abbey.


New Scriptorium at Arbroath Abbey
Unveiling September 2021

Artist Bobby Niven has been commissioned by Arbroath2020+1 organising group to design a small building that is directly inspired by the history and context of the Abbey site. The New Scriptorium explores and responds to the social, political and cultural histories of the Abbey and its influence on Scottish History. The small structure will be sited on the Abbey grounds, positioned into the heart of a community and its contemporary culture.

Arbroath Abbey was a very large and active community, including monks who could transcribed and illuminate documents and bound early manuscripts into books. The ability to read and write and convey information and document history was as powerful then as it is today.

The space will be used a writer’s studio hosting a programme of writers in residence for Arbroath. With a dedicated learning and engagement programme that explores themes of literacy, language, communication, and distribution of knowledge

Special thank you to Arbroath 2020+1 community organising group, partners and all who have contributed. Arboath2020+1 has been made possible by an amazing community of people and we are grateful for the energy, talent and ingenuity that has gone into shaping this festival.

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