About VAULT

VAULT Festival is London’s biggest, boldest and wildest arts and entertainment festival, hosting hundreds of events each year across Waterloo.

In 2019, VAULT Festival showcased 400+ shows from more than 2,000 artists, featuring the best new writing in theatre and comedy, cabaret, immersive experiences, late night parties and more. Over 79,000 audience members joined us underground for what was our biggest festival to date. View the 2019 Official Programme here.

“A major London festival … showcasing new and rising talent.”
The Independent
“The epitome of underground theatre… a cavernous treasure trove… the spirit of the Fringe is alive, well and thriving in SE1.”
A Younger Theatre

Who We Are

VAULT Festival is produced by The Heritage Arts Company.

PRODUCERS, DIRECTORS, FOUNDERS Mat Burt & Andy George

FESTIVAL STEERING TEAM Mat Burt, George Islay Calderwood, Laura Drake Chambers, Andy George, Rhea Heath, Bríd Kirby, Bec Martin-Williams, Josh Morrall

HEAD OF THEATRE & PERFORMANCE Bec Martin-Williams
HEAD OF COMEDY Bríd Kirby
HEAD OF LATES Laura Drake Chambers

GENERAL MANAGER Rhea Heath
HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS Josh Morrall
HEAD OF OPERATIONS George Islay Calderwood

Meet The Team

Produced By
The Heritage Arts Company
Directors: Mat Burt & Andy George

Heritage Arts creates cultural moments that excite the public imagination. Sometimes we produce our own things, and other times we help our friends bring their ideas to fruition. We offer creative guidance, ingenuity and originality. We’ve made or produced live music, radio plays, straight theatre, gallery installations, multiplayer games, educational experiences and more. We’re not finished yet. www.heritagearts.co.uk

Festival Steering Team

Mat Burt
VAULT Festival Founder, Director & Producer

Mat is a writer, sometimes director and accidental producer.

He is a founding member and Creative Director of the Heritage Arts Company, who have produced a multitude of creative works across theatre, radio, film and more. He enjoys writing, and has been a performance director since 2008, to greater or lesser success, while specialising in creating experiential activities for brands and organisations.

He’s proud of his nerdy interest in systems and technology which serves him well in his role overseeing databases, websites & ticketing at VAULT Festival.

George Islay Calderwood
Head of Operations

George is a Bar Manager and Operations Consultant.

He joined VAULT in 2015 as Quartermaster and decided to stay. He started his journey at The Old Vic Tunnels and, since their closure, continued to work for likeminded Companies and Productions such as The Old Vic Theatre, The Bush Theatre, HighTide Festival, Alice’s Adventures underground, Witness for the Prosecution, Hair: The Musical, The Crystal Maze, and The Vaults.

George also dabbles as a Director and Dramaturg; most recently alongside Stephen Jeffries directing his short Kampala.

Laura Drake-Chambers
Head of Lates

Laura is a visual artist, Art Director and freelance Creative Producer based in South London.

She has worked in late night theatre and events for nearly 10 years, designing and producing shows and performances around the UK. She began work as a performer and producer in 2008 in London’s nightlife scene and has since created commissions at late night events from The Royal Academy of Art, Zedel, MAMA group, Festival Republic, A Curious Invitation, The Last Tuesday Society and more.

In 2013 she founded production company & performance collective Shotgun Carousel, of which she remains Creative Director.

Andy George
VAULT Festival Founder, Director, Producer

Andy is a Producer and Production Manager based in London.

He has been responsible for some of the biggest site specific and immersive events in London including the Olivier Award nominated Alice’s Adventures Underground (2015, 2017 & Shanghai) and three productions of the Olivier Award nominated You Me Bum Bum Train (2011, 2012, 2015).

Andy is a Producer and Head of Production for the Heritage Arts Company, and one of the co-Founders of VAULT Festival.

Rhea Heath
General Manager

Rhea joined the VAULT Festival team back in 2016 as a Festival Assistant, and hasn’t been able to escape since. She has since worked at the festival in a variety of roles in FOH and Venue Management, Customer Service and Ticketing. Outside of VAULT, she has also worked at Glastonbury, Latitude, Standon Calling and Bestival/Camp Festival in Operations, as well as being the Box Office Manager at the Bridge Theatre for the previous year.

When not thinking about all things VAULT, you’ll find Rhea listening to podcasts about space.

Bríd Kirby
Head of Comedy

Bríd is a Theatre and Comedy Producer working across the UK and Australia. She runs a production comedy called Fight in the Dog which specialises in creatively producing new writing and innovative comedy. Bríd also works as a producer for Century Entertainment in Australia.

Producing local and international comedians across all the festivals in Australia each year. Prior to this she has worked at Chambers Management as a Tour Promoter and The Invisible Dot as their Venue Manager.

Bec Martin-Williams
Head of Theatre & Performance

Bec is a producer, director, erstwhile actor and co-founder of award-winning Australian theatre company pantsguys Productions.

As a director, Bec has directed for Arcola Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, RSC Education, the Shakespeare Institute, independently and internationally. Bec is currently Participation Manager at Arcola Theatre where she produces all talent development, community, youth and family work for the theatre, as well as programming Creative Disruption, a 6-week festival of community productions and emerging theatre companies.

Bec trained at Actors Centre Australia and the National Institute of Dramatic Art, and has a Masters in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute. She has taught in the UK, Australia, Ireland and the USA.

Josh Morrall
Head of Communications

Josh joined the VAULT Festival team in 2016 after a few years in the wilderness of the automotive engineering profession.

Prior to that he worked in film and theatre as a writer, director, producer, bartender, and actor. He manages VAULT Festival’s Marketing and Press departments, delivering the festival’s communications strategy.

Mission Statement & Values

“Goes from strength to strength with a vibrant, varied programme full of theatrical treats… a brilliant place to spot new talent…”
The Stage

“Features the most exciting emerging companies around”
WhatsOnStage

“If you want to support the arts, VAULT Festival is the way to go about it”
BuzzFeed

VAULT Festival operates according to three Fundamental Working Principles and five Core Values, which we apply to four distinct Participant Groups.

Our Mission is:
  • To fill and expand our cultural imaginations, and encourage everyone to fill their lives with creativity, adventure, and inspiration.
  • To create the most accessible platform for creators to innovate, collaborate, explore and achieve and through which audiences can discover the bravest and boldest artistry.
  • To fulfil equally the interests of our four participant groups; the visiting companies, the audience, our staff, and our collaborators. We will create the opportunity of most value for all four groups and champion their involvement.
  • To create an ever-improving platform and industry where artists, audiences, and staff are respected, supported and championed in a fully inclusive, supportive, and diverse community.
Our Fundamental Working Principles are:
  • No Surprises
  • Bridges Not Walls
  • Serve Sincerely
Our Core Values are:
  • Opportunity
  • Honesty
  • Equality
  • Respect
  • Kindness
Our Participant Groups are:
  • Visiting Companies
  • Audiences
  • Staff
  • Collaborators (Venues, Charities, Sponsors & Partners)

The VAULT Festival Story

“One of the most diverse and eclectic lineups of any arts festival in the capital.”
This Is Cabaret

“You could be in Hogarth’s London, so bursting is it with unruly, gamey life”
The Independent

VAULT Festival was created by the Heritage Arts Company in 2012 as a one-off project. An interesting, almost-underground set of tunnels owned by Network Rail (now The Vaults, a diverse year-round venue programmed and managed by its own team) wasn’t in use – so Heritage Arts populated it over three long weekends in February with a handful of productions, a couple of big parties, and a cinema.

It was a potentially disastrous, ambitious project, and a lot of work for a still-young company. It came through against the odds thanks to the hard work of a tiny team and the belief, goodwill and wonderful attitude of the artists and audiences willing to take a punt on a new idea.

There was no Festival in 2013; the idea of doing it again was daunting, and we were engaged in a number of other projects.

Throughout that year, we were developing the idea further – what would VAULT Festival look like a second time around? Could we improve it? (Obviously). Could we expand it? (Maybe). Could we turn it into a sustainable opportunity for artists who were struggling to find affordable, flexible spaces to get their work in front of an audience? (Hopefully).

VAULT Festival returned in 2014 with a more defined remit, a much longer run, and a (slightly) bigger team. We saw an opportunity to create something unique – a short-term, high-capacity playground for a multitude of artists and performers which would allow them to try stuff out without breaking the bank. By putting a lot of different shows in one space, we hoped to reward artists financially for their hard work, with the festival taking only a small percentage of the overall box office and hoping that enough people would buy a drink that we could cover our costs.

So we ran our first six-week Festival in 2014. And once again – through the efforts of an incredibly committed team, curious and supportive audiences, and a new group of talented artists – it worked.

This plan, or philosophy, is pretty much the same in 2019 as it was in 2014. We’ve now put the Festival on seven times, each hosting more shows and bringing in more audiences than the last. The number of artists looking to present work in London is extraordinary, and we do our best to enable as many of them as possible to do it at VAULT Festival. The team has grown each year to meet the huge administrative, technical & promotional demands of the Festival, and the level of commitment from staff and the quality of the work artists present continues to exceed our expectations.

The festival has largely grown for two reasons. Firstly, to meet the demand of the artists. More and more artists were wanting to present work with us, so we wanted to be able to facilitate as many of them as possible. Secondly, the more our team grows (and the more “properly” we tried to do things), the more our costs increase. So part of the expansion is about trying to make the finances add up and keep covering the growing Festival costs.

The 2019 Festival featured 428 productions, in eighteen venues, across eight weeks, and welcomed (as close as we can tell) 79,851 people through the doors.

VAULT Festival 2020 Credits

PRODUCED BY
The Heritage Arts Company, Directors Mat Burt & Andy George

FESTIVAL STEERING TEAM
Mat Burt, George Islay Calderwood, Laura Drake Chambers, Andy George, Rhea Heath, Bríd Kirby, Bec Martin-Williams & Josh Morrall

PRODUCERS/DIRECTORS/FOUNDERS Mat Burt & Andy George
GENERAL MANAGER Rhea Heath
HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS Cressida Peever
HEAD OF CREATIVE COLLABORATIONS Nathan Woodhead

HEAD OF THEATRE & PERFORMANCE Bec Martin-Williams
HEAD OF COMEDY Bríd Kirby
HEAD OF LATES Laura Drake Chambers
PROGRAMME COORDINATOR Emily Moseley

SALES & TICKETING COORDINATOR Madison Lymer

HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS Josh Morrall
ART DIRECTOR Thomas Kirk Shannon
MARKETING COORDINATOR Grace Chapman
PRESS & MEDIA OFFICER Isabel Dixon

HEAD OF OPERATIONS George Islay Calderwood

Charity Partners

In 2019, VAULT Festival supported two important causes: Help Refugees & Child.org’s Team Mum campaign

Help Refugees

Help Refugees is a pioneering charity leading a new movement in humanitarian aid. Help Refugees is not simply another aid organisation. They’re a group of everyday people, taking joint action to improve lives of refugees. In less than two years, they’ve become the biggest facilitator of grassroots aid on the continent, with more than 80 projects across Europe and the Middle East.

When you buy any ticket to VAULT Festival, you’ll be given the chance to donate to Help Refugees and support their vital work to provide humanitarian aid to displaced people around the world.

Child.org’s Team Mum Campaign

VAULT Festival have partnered with Child.org’s Team Mum campaign to launch pregnancy support services in Meru, Kenya. Our exciting new venue at The Horse and Stables will host a variety of theatre, comedy, music and poetry, all with a special emphasis on the power of femininity and motherhood.

A percentage of ticket sales for this venue will be donated to Team Mum. You can also help support this vital appeal by donating to Team Mum when you book online or purchase tickets at the venue box office.

Our Venues

VAULT Festival 2020 will take place across numerous venues in Waterloo, all of whom we’re grateful to be working with. For directions, please see the Your Visit page.

The Vaults

Leake St, London, SE1 7NN | www.thevaults.london

The beating heart of VAULT Festival. The Vaults is London’s home for immersive and alternative arts. Our mission is to collaborate and conspire, embracing artists from all walks of life to come together and inspire others.

Network Theatre

246A Lower Road, London, SE1 8SJ | www.networktheatre.org

Network Theatre is a community theatre space in the underground railway arches of London Waterloo station. Run by the volunteers of the resident Network Theatre Company, we produce our own productions of contemporary and classical theatre and provide a unique location for visiting theatre companies and events.

Vaulty Towers

34 Lower Marsh, London, SE1 7RG | www.vaultytowers.london.

Vaulty Towers is a cosy, upbeat pub on Lower Marsh, run by the team at The Vaults.

The Horse & Stables

122-124 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7RW | www.thehorseandstables.co.uk

A traditional English pub with a modern twist and a youth hostel upstairs, The Horse & Stables is a brand new venue for VAULT Festival 2019. Child.org will host an exclusive stage in support of their Team Mum campaign, raising funds to deliver pregnancy services to rural Kenya, offering health information and medical support for new mothers.

Sponsors & Partners

VAULT is proud to work with a number of sponsors and partners.

WeAreWaterloo

VAULT Festival is proud to be working in partnership with WeAreWaterloo, the Business Improvement District for Waterloo, which works with 400 businesses in the area to make Waterloo a great place to visit, live and do business.

Natalie Raben, CEO of WeAreWaterloo, said, “We are delighted to be supporting VAULT Festival once again in 2019. VAULT’s purpose – to encourage audiences to fill their lives with creativity, adventure, and inspiration – resonates with its Waterloo home, and confirms it as the place for fringe and experimental theatre, performing arts, comedy and drama. We look forward to welcoming curious audiences of all ages to Waterloo from January to March.”

Pleasance Futures

For over 30 years the Pleasance has provided a platform and launch pad for a great many artists at both the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and at Pleasance London. The Pleasance has also supported a great many individuals in associated creative, administrative and technical roles. We call this wealth of experience and support Pleasance Futures.

Pleasance Futures offers a variety of initiatives for an array of individuals both on and off stage. From carpenters, crew, electricians to photographers, reviewers, bloggers and film-makers the Pleasance recognises how important those first opportunities into the creative industries can be.

Meantime Brewing

Meantime Brewing Company is an award-winning craft brewery in Greenwich, London, England.

Stagedoor

Stagedoor is London’s most comprehensive theatre guide, tailor-made for you with thousands of audience and critic reviews, personalised recommendations, and seamless booking.

White Light

Lighting & AV hire, sales, installation, technical service and consultancy services in theatre, events, broadcast, leisure, trade and education markets.

Nick Hern Books

Nick Hern Books is the UK’s leading specialist performing arts publisher with over 1,000 plays and theatre books in their catalogue.

Sandford Orchards

Sandford Orchards are craft cider makers from the heart of idyllic, rural Devon. The rich red, fertile soil of mid Devon and the unique micro-climate that comes from being nestled between two moors makes the perfect growing environment for cider apples that’s why we insist that every single apple we use is grown within 30 miles of our press. We only ever make cider from naturally fermented, freshly pressed apple juice. No concentrates, no artificial flavours or aromas. We take our learnings from the traditional Devonshire cider makers of yesteryear and shape their techniques for the modern era.

Hi-Spirits

Hi-Spirits is one of the UK’s leading spirit distributors with a diverse portfolio of award winning brands. We work very closely with bars, retailers and distributors to create effective, bespoke brand support that really drives customer demand and builds sales. If you’re a brand owner, we’d really love to hear from you. We’ve proven that our approach works, time and again, and we believe we can show you a much better way to promote your brand in the UK. We’d enjoy the chance to discuss this with you.

Liana Collection

The Liana Collection represents a small portfolio of exceptional drinks brands. Each share a common ambition to grow from niche, emerging brands to established names in the UK drinks scene. We work with the UK’s leading distributors, retailers and bars to help develop brand identity and consumer awareness. We are based in the heart of one of the World’s most exciting and vibrant drinking scenes, London.

HB Reavis

HB Reavis are an international workspace provider with a mission to create remarkable experiences through real estate solutions. In practice, we invest in, design, build and manage our buildings, from bespoke headquarters and retail malls to co-working spaces. But because we put users and local communities at the heart of every decision, these are also inspiring spaces that enhance productivity and wellbeing. After delivering 1 million sq m of space since 1993, we now have projects in the UK, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary and Germany. Add €1.2 billion of capital, a €7.0 billion pipeline and 700 talented people, and it’s clear we’re shaping Europe’s real estate landscape.

Steeldeck

Steeldeck Stage Rentals have been providing creative, flexible and safe portable staging hire and tiered seating solutions to a wide range of events and productions for over 25 years. Whether small stage hire for a private party, camera risers for film sets, or bespoke stage structures for festivals, we are the experts at providing staging for hire and tiered seating that’s right for you.

Stage Sound Services

As a major independent supplier of sound and video equipment SSS provide a fully integrated service and technical expertise across the UK and internationally.