OOTB is 30!

Celebrating 30 years

This year Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust celebrates 30 years in Edinburgh. Since 1994, over two million people have come through our doors to work, create, exhibit, perform, eat, drink, dance, teach and learn. Throughout our 30-year history we have seen many success stories from those using our spaces to bring their creative vision to life.

Our History

Springing from nowhere (hence the name!) into a small gallery space in Edinburgh’s Old Town in 1994, Out of the Blue now enlivens and animates six buildings in Edinburgh, including 2 listed buildings which are iconic community landmarks for Leith and Abbeyhill, and the evergreen Bongo Club, a lively hub for music events and themed club nights.

History →

Our Ventures

Central to the work of Out of the Blue has been the development of the Bongo Club, the Drill Hall Cafe, Abbeymount Studios and Out of the Blueprint. As a creative development organisation,we will continue to build on our expertise and develop new ventures.

Although these Out of the Blue ventures have a creative purpose in their own right they collectively drive the growth of the Creative Industries in Edinburgh and Scotland by providing opportunities for employment, education and enterprise.

We continue to use the space we have developed for studios, workshops, classes, projects, exhibitions, social enterprises, events, clubs, music making, markets, a cafe and more. 

Our spaces are hired by a whole host of organisations and individuals, from artists looking to hold workshops to larger events by community and social enterprises.

Book a space →

Our Plans – the Next 30 Years

As a local organisation that sprung up from grassroots, Out of the Blue has made a significant impact on the city of Edinburgh and the communities it thrives in, as well as contributed to the creative industries as a whole.  An example of how we have worked in collaboration with other organisations and with the community is the Gretna 100 Project in 2015. This was a community centenary commemoration investigating and interpreting the impact on the Leith community of the worst train crash in British history.

Looking forward, we have some exciting projects coming up at Abbeymount and our new site at Powderhall as well as a re-vamp to our website and roll-out of new branding.

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How we celebrated our anniversary

We officially kicked-off our celebrations on Thursday 30th May with a showcase event at the Drill Hall. Guests were treated to performances from All or Nothing and Active Inquiry, music from The Clarsach Society, Knockwood and The Bongo Club and delicious canapes and drinks from the Drill Hall Cafe.

Event pictures →

Upcoming Anniversary Activity

Throughout the year we’ll be working with our residents and partners to create a series of events, exhibitions, workshops and markets to commemorate 30 years of Out of the Blue. We’ll update this page as and when they’re announced. You can also keep updated via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Exposed 24 Photography Exhibition | Wednesday 5th to Thursday 13th June

Final year photography work from Edinburgh College BA (Hons) and HND Professional Photography graduates. Find out more.

Active Inquiry Presents: Made to Connect | Thursday 20th to Saturday 22nd June

Flashback Theatre Company present a comedy exploring how we can re-find humanity in an absurd world. Find out more

Past Anniversary Activity

Abbeymount Open Studios Weekend | Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd June

A chance to meet our resident artists and makers at Abbeymount Studios and browse an exciting variety of works. Find out more.

Outwith our anniversary, we have a host of other events, exhibitions, workshops and markets taking place throughout the year. Just take a look at our website to find out more.

See What’s On →

Support Us

Our all year round activity helps create the culture of the city, supporting the local economy and having positive social impact for the thousands of individuals and organisations we work with. 

We would humbly accept a financial donation, however small, in support of our work.

Make a Donation →

Here’s to the next 30 years!


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  • How to get here


    Click/tap here to see buses that pass the Drill Hall, directions and building accessibility.

    Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh, EH6 8RG Learn how to get here →

  • Cafe Opening Hours

    Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.
    Closed Sunday.

  • Donate

    Over the course of 2024 Out of the Blue will continue to offer opportunities for artists and members of the community to learn, participate and earn income.

    We use the space we have developed in 6 buildings in Edinburgh for studios, workshops, classes, projects, exhibitions, social enterprises, events, clubs, music making, markets, a cafe and more.

    Our all year round activity helps create the culture of the city, supporting the local economy and having positive social impact for the thousands of individuals and organisations we work with.

    We would humbly accept a financial donation, however small, in support of our work.




  • Subscribe to our mailing list

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  • Association

    Green Arts Project logo OSCR logo with charity number SC022812