Applications for VAULT Festival 2020 are now closed. Thank you to everyone who made an application. We’re reading them now – we’ll be in touch with everyone as soon as we can.
VAULT Festival is built around five core values:
Opportunity, Equality, Honesty, Respect and Kindness.
VAULT Festival is a multi-arts and entertainment platform. Its primary purpose is to provide a place for live performance of all genres and styles to flourish in a supportive environment; accessible to a multitude of artists and audiences.
We consider these values in relation to our four participant groups: our audience, our visiting companies, our team, and our collaborators. We are constantly striving to make the festival better for all of those people, and every decision is made with our values and participants in mind.
We’re VAULT Festival. The biggest, boldest, and wildest curated performance festival in the UK. Taking place in venues across Waterloo, London from the end of January to the middle of March each year, VAULT Festival runs for 8 weeks and hosts around 450+ productions each festival.
1. Open Applications: Available from the beginning of June and closed mid-August for the following year’s festival. This makes up approximately 80% of our programme each year. Everyone is welcome to apply and further details on how to get involved are included below.
2. Collaborative Curations: We work with partner organisations to co-curate aspects of the festival programme. These normally either take the form of a “takeover” of one of our venues or a specific programming award that is co-curated by us and our partner. In the past we have worked with the Pleasance Theatre Trust, Summerhall, New Diorama Theatre, Northern Stage, The International Theatre Institute in this way. This makes up around 5% of our programming.
3. Direct Approaches: We actively seek out and approach artists and shows that we’re interested in programming. These shows make up around 15% of our programme.
Please note that we’re entirely unfunded, and also a very small team, so we’re rarely able to operate as a producing house – as such we’re not currently considering proposals based on VAULT Festival acting as sole or co-producer.
Our goal each year is to create a broad programme which is stylistically and narratively varied, from diverse and underrepresented voices, and which will attract the widest range of audience interests and demographics possible.
We encompass a whole spectrum of different performance styles; including all kinds of theatre, musicals, circus, clowning, comedy, cabaret, burlesque, opera, podcasts, dance, escape rooms, huge parties, and immersive experiences. Everything is welcome.
The breadth is essential to the continued existence of the Festival, and the programming team aims to keep the Festival’s content creatively fresh and exciting. By doing so, VAULT Festival hopes to provide a continuing series of opportunities for emerging artists and new work, as well as hosting more established voices and productions.
VAULT is a curated festival. This means the programming team explicitly chooses what will and won’t be in the programme. This is an inherently subjective, human-driven process, through which many aspects of a production are taken into account:
VAULT Festival is programmed by our Head of Theatre & Performance, Head of Comedy, and Head of Lates, who work alongside the Directors to programme the festival.
During the application process we work with Associate Readers, active, exciting, and experienced members of the theatre & performance industry, to help read and assess the applications so that we’re ensuring each application is read at least twice, often more.
We want to create an environment where artists are safe to try things out, and develop their voice – whatever that might be.
We champion diversity. We want the festival to represent the voices of London, and of the world. We want to provide a platform for underrepresented stories and people to create and share their work.
VAULT Festival is a place of collaboration and learning, so we favour ideas with people in mind: in storytelling, in design, in approach. We’re looking to elevate the experience for the audience and participants.
We respect ambition combined with deliverability. Often big ideas are the most exciting, but we need to know you’ve got your feet on the ground, too. If you’ve got huge ambitions, make sure to let us know you’ve considered all the challenges of presenting work at VAULT Festival.
We value entertainment and challenging work equally. We’re lucky to have an engaged, thoughtful audience. Exciting work comes in all forms.
We appreciate VAULT Festival-specific ideas. Whether it’s a brand new production or an existing show re-packaged, we like work which uses VAULT Festival’s unique atmosphere as a strength. We want to know you’ve considered the underground location, the quick turnarounds, the size of the venue & the challenges of the noise from the rumbling trains. If you have to compromise your idea too much to squeeze it into the Festival’s framework, VAULT Festival might not be the right place for it – the show should come first.
We love honesty. Who you are – whether an individual or a team – is vitally important. VAULT Festival doesn’t work without a supportive community, and works best when everyone is honest.
We favour proposals from artists & productions which:
Open Applications for the following festival are open from early June to mid-August each year.
For VAULT Festival 2020:
Information on performing at VAULT Festival, including the financial deals, logistics, and how to apply, can be found in the Application Guide.
You can see the venues we have available here. This includes current tech specs and a crib sheet outlining how we programme each venue.
To make sure you hear about VAULT Festival first, please make sure you’re following us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, and keep an eye on this website.
We hope to answer most of your questions about the Festival here and within the Application Guide, but if you have any questions or if you’d like to invite us to see your show, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us: email@example.com. We’re a very small team so can’t see every show we’re invited to, but we will do our best.