Meliora Festival is designed to offer fun, entertainment and excitement and make people feel better after the past two years. Meliora Festival aims to bring communities together following the Covid pandemic, and its name is inspired by the motto on Inverclyde’s crest – ‘Meliora semper prospicimus’ – which means to look forward to better things.

Arboria II Luminarium

A giant inflatable Luminarium sculpture will be installed outside Beacon Arts Centre this summer as part of an arts and culture weekend during Inverclyde’s Meliora Festival. 

The Luminarium will allow visitors to lose themselves as they journey through winding paths and domes of light and colour inspired by cathedrals and Islamic architecture, accompanied by calming sounds and music.  

The structure, designed by Architects of Air founder Alan Parkinson, will be at the Beacon from Friday, 17 June, to Sunday, 19 June, as the venue hosts a weekend of Meliora Festival events.

The Beacon will be the first location to use Architects of Air’s new Aboria II structure. 

Meliora Festival also incorporate the Clyde Comedy festival and big name acts including Elaine C Smith and Ed Byrne will be performing at the Beacon.

Further comedy acts still to be announced.

Chattin' Up Elaine C Smith

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Ed Byrne and Friends

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Darren Connell - Thank you for being my friend

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The Beacon’s weekend will see Scottish Opera performances, aerial dance and circus skills workshops taking place, as well as street theatre productions and music from local bands including The Laurettes.

There will also be magic shows, food and drink stalls and Inverclyde Libraries staff will hold fun Book Bug story-telling sessions inside the Luminarium for young audiences.

The weekend coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Waverley paddle steamer’s maiden voyage.

Excursions are being planned to sail visitors ‘doon the watter’ from Glasgow to Greenock, berthing at Custom House Quay outside the Beacon. 

Pop-up Opera: Be a Sport, Spike!

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Pop-up Opera: A Little Bit of Barber

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Pop-up Opera: A Little Bit of Figaro

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Visual arts at the Beacon

The work shown at the Meliora Festival and the indoor exhibition space responds to the Beacon Arts Centre's location on the Clyde and the artists' history of sailing on the west coast as a child. The two large painted inflatable sculptures installed outdoors for the Meliora Festival operate as beacons, containing incongruous tongue-in-cheek references to spinnakers, maritime flags, clowns, the Krankies, beach balls, pool toys, melting ice lollies, and selkies beckoning ships and pedestrians over to visit as it were. Inside the gallery a collection of small, painted, inflatable sculptures and skins reference natural treasures found in tide pools, seaside holidays, beach toys, nautical buoys, gob-stoppers, and sea anemones among other things. Claire Ashley is originally from Edinburgh; she is now based in Chicago USA. 

Cantankerous Clowns/Psychedelic Selkies by Claire Ashley

17 - 19 June 

Puns, Puckers, Particles by Claire Ashley

17 June - 2 July 

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