Introducing Our New Programming Panel
by Josh Morrall Head of Communications
The deadline for applications for VAULT Festival 2019 is Friday 24th August. Click here to apply.
A lot has changed since VAULT Festival closed its doors for another year back in March.
VAULT 2018 broke all our previous records and exceeded our wildest expectations. We hosted more shows than ever before, created by hundreds of talented artists from a variety of backgrounds, and welcomed more than 70,000 audience members to enjoy it all. We’ve come a long way since we opened in 2012.
We knew that in order to keep up this incredible momentum and to make sure the festival maintained the high-standards set by the artists, performers and producers who have made it possible throughout the years, we needed to make some pretty big changes.
To ensure VAULT continues to deliver exciting and diverse ideas to our audiences whilst offering a fair and supportive platform for both established and emerging artists from all backgrounds and walks-of-life, we have introduced three new roles that will head up our programming panel for VAULT 2019.
We are delighted to welcome Gillian Greer as Head of Theatre, Bríd Kirby as Head of Comedy, and Laura Drake Chambers as Head of Lates. Gillian currently works as Senior Reader at the National Theatre and has worked as a writer, script reader and dramaturg. Bríd programmed our comedy festival for VAULT 2018 and specialises in creatively producing new writing and innovative comedy. Laura is a visual artist, Art Director and Creative Producer who founded Shotgun Carousel in 2013 and specialises in creating spectacular late night events.
These new members of the team will oversee the programming process and ensure that every application we receive is read in detail by our extended programming panel made up of representatives from the arts industry, artists and creatives, and our very own staff members.
Programming has always been one of the most difficult parts of creating the festival each year. In 2017 we received more than 1,100 applications and it was the duty of a very small team to sift through them all. It is vitally important to us that we give due care and consideration to every single one of those applications, and with even more applications expected this year, we knew that we had to be prepared.
We want VAULT to be the people’s festival. To showcase work that is entertaining and challenging for our engaged audience, creating an environment where artists feel safe to try out new things and develop their creative voice.
We’re often asked what our process for programming VAULT Festival is, and if there is a secret formula or guaranteed way of a show getting ‘in’. The truth is, we’re not looking for any one thing in particular and there is no sure-fire way to get into the programme. We aim to be as transparent as possible in everything we do, and programming is no different.
So what are we looking for? We favour proposals from artists and productions which have a distinct voice and will benefit from being a part of the festival. We don’t need fully formed ideas with a completed script and a team in place, but we do ask that companies know who their audience are and have considered the practicalities of staging their show at VAULT. Above all, we value honesty. Who you are – whether an individual or a team – is vitally important. The festival doesn’t work without a supportive community.
From the application deadline an intensive reading process begins. This takes us a minimum of four weeks during which time every single application is read by at least two members of the team. An application is never rejected outright at this stage and we carefully consider whether a show is right for the festival. This is the hardest part of the job for all involved. There are various reasons a show might be turned down, but more often than not it’s because there simply isn’t enough space for us to programme everything we want to.
We aim to make VAULT 2019 the best festival we possibly can, and we think this is a promising start. If you want join us underground and be part of next year’s festival, now is the time to apply! Applications close on Friday 24th August at 18:00, so head over to our brand new Application Guide and get started.