Paisley Halloween Festival

Saturday 27 October, 2018

Paisley’s hugely popular ‘spooktacular’ Halloween Festival welcomed 34,000 people to the town centre on Saturday 27 October.

Inspired by Paisley’s dark and deathly 17th century witch history, the Halloween Festival was one of the major events as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.

The spectacle saw flying witches, amazing floats and a Mardi-Gras style parade with around 500 young people and costumed performers taking part as it wound its way through the town centre, against a backdrop of historic steeples and spires and the 850-year-old Abbey.

Four enormous floats, designed and constructed by creative company Bridgeman Arts alongside Renfrewshire’s young people, delighted the crowds.

Spectacular aerial performances saw a cast of witches suspended from Paisley Town Hall, while the crowds were also entertained by top-class performances on the live stage by Spark! LED drummers, Beltane Fire Society and Mr Wilson’s Second Liners.

A funfair and cinema screening of horror films added to the packed programme, while families enjoyed workshops, including pumpkin carving and costume balls for all ages.

The festival, supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, was significantly enhanced for the themed year with a full town centre takeover.

Young people were at the heart of the Festival’s development, with a 20-strong Youth Panel working alongside Renfrewshire Council’s Events Team to design and deliver the programme, while more than 500 took part in a new creative learning programme. This offered the opportunity to participate in all aspects of festival delivery from performance to live event management and technical production.

Look back on all the spooky goings-on from Paisley Halloween Festival 2018 with the video and pictures above.

There is such an incredible buzz around Halloween in Paisley. The event is hugely successful because it is a collaboration between the public and private sector and community organisations and groups.

Geoff Crow

We jumped at the chance to choreograph a piece involving 50 young people for the Flying Witches performance around Paisley Town Hall and Abbey. Celebrating Paisley’s witchy heritage, it definitely looked spectacular to have witches swarm the Town Hall as aerialists fly 120 feet up in the air.

Jennifer Paterson
All or Nothing

It’s been great fun and as well as making new friends, I’ve had opportunities to learn new things.

Emma-Lee Campbell
Schoolgirl and participant 12

It’s been a lot of fun taking part and I’ve had the opportunity to do things I would never have thought of. It’s good to be challenged and learning new skills has made me feel more confident. I’ve also made lots of new friends.

Patrick Docherty
Participant, 16

There is so much local talent involved in the event, from the artwork, the performance and everyone supporting behind the scenes. It’s fantastic to show off the talents and creative input of Paisley’s young people as well as boosting the area’s economy.

Noel Bridgeman
Bridgeman Arts

The festival provided so many fantastic opportunities for young people to show us what they are made of and those involved should be very proud of what they have achieved.

Paul Bush
OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events

This year’s Halloween Festival was our biggest and most spectacular to date and is now viewed as one of the top events of its kind nationwide.

Louisa Mahon
Renfrewshire Council’s Head of Communications, Marketing and Events

It’s been wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves in Paisley town centre during the two days of free events, while the festival itself has created amazing opportunities for our young people.

Iain Nicolson
Renfrewshire Council Leader

Young people were integral to every aspect of the design and delivery of the festival, highlighting the skills and talent that our young people have and further reinforcing Scotland as the perfect stage for events.

Paul Bush
OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events

To have so many of our young people at the heart of the festival’s planning and staging as co-creators made it extra special and we have been delighted to have delivered such a major event in partnership with VisitScotland.

Louisa Mahon
Renfrewshire Council’s Head of Communications, Marketing and Events

Supported by Year of Young People

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Paisley Halloween Festival press releases

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