The Deal (Financial)

“The epitome of underground theatre… a cavernous treasure trove… the spirit of the Fringe is alive, well and thriving in SE1.”
A Younger Theatre

We’ve designed our deal to remove barriers to entry – minimising up-front costs and rewarding the creative party as much as possible. Making creative work for a live audience is always risky, however, and we want any potential applicants to understand the ins and outs of the deal before making the decision to apply. VAULT Festival’s structure isn’t built for long runs or exclusive use of venues, so please do keep this in mind before applying.

Important Note – Lates

The information on this page applies to nearly all productions at VAULT Festival, but the Lates programme is very different. If you’re looking to apply to be one of our Lates shows, please read the The Deal – Lates page.

Choose Your Deal

For VAULT Festival 2020, you can choose from two financial deals. They work in exactly the same way, but the numbers are different. We do this to allow you to choose the level of risk/reward you’d like to take one, depending on your circumstances, rather than us deciding for you.

The “70/30” Option

70% Box Office Split, in your favour. The MFC (Minimum Festival Commitment – see below) is set at 19% of the maximum gross potential box office.

The “60/40” Option

60% Box Office Split, in your favour. The The MFC (Minimum Festival Commitment – see below) is set at 15% of the maximum gross potential box office.

The 70/30 option gives you a higher potential income, but has a higher minimum commitment.

The 60/40 means you can’t make as much (as the 70/30) if you sell well, but means your guaranteed financial commitment is lower.

If you are very confident of selling over 50% of your total tickets available, the 70/30 option is better for you.

If you aren’t confident or want to play it safer, then the 60/40 option is for you. In 2019, our Average Paid Attendance (excluding comps) for visiting productions was 53% across the programme.

NB: Some productions – particularly large-scale immersive shows, and shows that provide their own venue via a vehicle or pop-up structure – will be subject to bespoke financial deals.

Minimum Festival Commitment (MFC)

Every Production is subject to a “Minimum Festival Commitment”. This commitment is what enables the festival to exist in the first place. The MFC is tied to your chosen price band, venue capacity and run length. It is calculated by multiplying:

Ticket Price x Capacity x Number of Performances x 15% OR 19% (Deal Dependent)

For most shows, this is not charged up front, but taken out of your final Box Office Settlement. For some single performance shows, we do require a transfer up-front as a deposit against the final box office settlement. VAULT Festival retains this MFC or the chosen Box Office split figure – whichever is higher – not both.

Box Office Commission

3% (inc VAT) of the Gross Box Office is deducted prior to the Box Office Split being calculated to cover the Box Office Commission Costs and Transactions Charges. This 3% is also deducted prior to calculating what your MFC will be.

What You Pay

Aside from the MFC, there are no compulsory costs to pay to be part of the festival (no registration fees or brochure listing charges), and therefore, for most productions, nothing to pay upfront either.

Throughout the festival, there will be optional add ons, marketing opportunities and some event specific costs that we always try and deduct from your Box Office takings rather than charging you upfront for them, to help with your cash flow.

What We Keep

We keep the MFC. If the VAULT Festival share (30% or 40%) exceeds the MFC, we keep that instead. This includes VAT; we don’t add that on top.

Festival Contributions

We add £1.50 to the outside of every ticket, called the Festival Contribution (FC), a per-ticket cost paid directly from audiences to the Festival. It doesn’t feature in any of the calculations you’ll be looking at to work out income, MFC, box office taking, or appear on your reports.

What You Keep

Once the festival’s split exceeds the MFC, the festival then instead takes 30 or 40% (deal dependent) of the box office takings (after the 3% Box Office Commission has been deducted) and you then take the remaining balance. If you are registered for VAT, you’ll have to pay the taxman from this cut.

To help you see how the financial deal works in practice and to trial different run lengths / ticket prices / venues, we have created an example seater which you can download and try things out.

Financial Obligations

If your total Box Office amount does not exceed the Minimum Festival Commitment (MFC), we will keep your Box Office receipts and invoice you for the remaining difference. It is important you understand before applying that you can end up owing the Festival money if you do not sell enough tickets to meet this cost. You’d have to sell less than 19% of your tickets for this to be the case.

Cancellation

You will still be liable to pay the MFC if you cancel after signing a contract for any reason. VAULT Festival can only cover its costs if we can sustain a certain amount of footfall, and replacing cancelled shows is not often possible late in the day.

Ticket Price Bands

Accessible pricing is an important part of VAULT Festival’s objectives, so all our price bands now feature built-in “preview pricing” for shows doing full week runs to incentivise audiences to attend your early performances. For shows doing one/two night runs or part-weeks, the first two columns are the default prices for you.

We also understand different productions need to bring in different levels of income, so there’s a range of bands to choose from. You’ll need to know the price band you’re aiming at by the time you fill out your Application. In 2019, our average ticket price (taking into account any discounts & offers, but not including the FC) was £11.72.

Band Preview + FC Full Price + FC
A £5.00 £6.50 £6.00 £7.50
B £8.50 £10.00 £9.50 £11.00
C £10.50 £12.00 £11.50 £13.00
D £12.50 £14.00 £13.50 £15.00
E £14.50 £16.00 £15.50 £17.00
F £16.50 £18.00 £17.50 £19.00
G £18.50 £20.00 £19.50 £21.00
H £20.50 £22.00 £21.50 £23.00

Example Seater

You can download an example seater to explore how different venues and price bands affect your bottom line.

Festival Wide Offers

In addition to offers and promotion codes a Visiting Company might want to set up, all productions at VAULT Festival take part in several “Festival Wide Offers” designed to help bring more audiences into your show.

Membership

To encourage ticket sales, VAULT Festival allows audiences to buy different tiers of Membership, each of which give access to reduced ticket pricing.

The Value Membership is designed for people who know they want to see a lot of different shows throughout the Festival. It guarantees them 10% off all tickets (though it’s limited to one ticket per event, so Value Membership holders are not able to bulk-buy discounted tickets).

The Supporter Membership is the next tier up, and guarantees Supporters 10% off all tickets (though it’s limited to two tickets per event, so Supporters are not able to bulk-buy discounted tickets). Supporters also get 4 free tickets (limited to two per event).

The Friend and Patron Memberships increase this discount to 20%.

Universal Combo Offer

Everyone benefits when audiences choose to see more than one show, so we encourage people to book for more than one thing at a time through our Universal Combo Offer, which discounts each ticket by £1 when audiences book for two or more shows.

Sunday Deals Day

We aim to incentivise visitors to make the most of their experience on Sundays by offering larger Combo Discounts than on other days.

2-4-1 Tickets

A limited number of buy one, get one free tickets will be available to some performances on a first-come, first-served basis. The same split rules will apply to these tickets as to full price tickets, and there will be no more than 60 mandatory across your run.

Group Discount

An automatic 10% discount for groups of ten or more will apply to all shows.

Targeted Offers

We have many promotional partners, return-visitor schemes and a network which we can use to offer limited discounts to specific audiences. The Sales Team and Communications Team work together to promote shows which need an audience boost, and will automatically set up offers for performances which need support. In addition, you can set up a limited number of Promotion Codes to target specific audiences in your own networks – such as Friends & Family discounts.