Just Festival is delighted to announce its 2022 programme of events, in the first fully live festival since the pandemic. Just Festival 2022 is focused on two main themes; the mental and social effects of lockdown, particularly on artists and the arts, and conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

From 8th to 29th August, the sanctuary of St John’s Church, west end, will host an exhibition of “Art in Lockdown”, featuring a selection of works created during lockdown by a range of Scottish-based visual artists including Catherine King, Lesley Ann Derks and Clare Yarrington. Each Friday lunchtime there will be an informal “Meet the Artists” session where visitors can chat to the artists and find out more about their work and creative practices, and the effect of Covid and lockdown to their practice.

The festival will also host a varied music programme. Each Thursday will see a free lunchtime concert with musicians from Live Music Now Scotland, an organisation founded by legendary violinist Yehuidi Menuin which gives outstanding young artists the opportunity of performing at the start of their careers and enables high-quality live music to reach a broad range of people, especially those who wouldn’t normally have access to it. These three concerts will be given by saxophone and piano duo Matt Carmichael and Fergus McCreadie; clarsach player Siannie Moodie and baroque duo Cordes en Ciel.  Just Festival also looks forward to welcoming back Nevis Ensemble, to perform live for the first time, over two evenings, Lochan Sketches, a series of short pieces inspired by Scottish bodies of water which was originally commissioned for online performance during lockdown. Director of Music at St John’s Church, David Goodenough, will perform a free lunchtime recital of music for solo organ on the church’s 1901 Willis organ, and the festival’s music programme will culminate with a very special performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, given by a newly formed quartet of early career instrumentalists who met on Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s talent development programme NEXT.

A key part of Just Festival’s August programme is always the conversation series, and this year will see these being held once again in person, in St John’s Church. These public facing debates feature prominent speakers including Derek Mitchell, CEO of Citizens’ Advice Scotland, Dr Lesley Orr, Honorary Fellow in the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh, and Tommy Sheppard MP. They cover topics as wide ranging as the role of gender in war, the current cost of living crisis and the effects of lockdown on the arts. All conversations will be free to attend, and will be live-streamed in order to allow as many people to engage with these topics.

The full festival programme can be viewed online at www.just-festival.org/2022-events/.