Artistic Ambitions

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

Our goal is to create a high quality programme of bold and innovative shows that are stylistically and narratively varied, that showcase underrepresented artists & stories and gives them space to thrive, and which will attract an audience with the widest range of interests and demographics possible and inspire them to fill their lives with creativity.

We programme across a wide spectrum of live performance styles; including all kinds of theatre, comedy, musicals, clowning, cabaret, burlesque, circus, drag, opera, podcasts, dance, escape rooms, huge parties, immersive experiences, tech-driven hybrid shows, and things we haven’t thought of yet.

We aim to keep the programme creatively fresh and exciting. We’re interested in work that is pushing the boundaries of live performance, telling stories that haven’t been heard before, and affecting positive change in the world.

We programme work that is relevant for now. We programme work that is political – both directly and indirectly. We programme artists who are underrepresented in the arts. We give a platform to voices & stories that haven’t been heard before. We programme work that is fun & entertaining. We want a programme where something can be fun AND representative, entertaining AND showcasing an “unheard” voice.

By doing so, we hope to provide the opportunity for early, mid-career, and more established artists to showcase and try out new work, hone their skills, and give them the space, support, and courage to try, fail, and succeed, brilliantly.

Programming Strategies

We want our programming to be fair and accessible. We programme through the following ways:

• Open Applications. (around 80% of our programming)
— Anyone can apply. There are no application fees. We take every application on its merits to ensure a fair and democratic process. Every application is read and assessed by a minimum of two people.
• Direct Invitations (around 15%)
— We reach out to shows or artists to invite them to present work at the Festival
• Programming Partners & Awards (around 5%)
— We work with partners, and organisations to co-programme specific slots through “takeovers” and our “Programming Awards”.

Programming Categories

We have thirteen broad programming categories, they don’t affect the likelihood of being programmed. The programming categories help us understand how you, and your audience, will define your show, how it will be categorised in our promotional materials, and which of our team will be the primary programmer for that show.

Musicals & Gig Theatre
Dance, Physical Theatre & Circus
Cabaret, Circus & Burlesque
Spoken Word & Poetry
Mixed Bill, Podcasts, & Variety
Performance Art, Live Art, & Installations
Live Music
Lates (Immersive or Themed Parties & Events)
Site Specific, Immersive, & Digital-Live Hybrid
Pop-Ups & Vehicle Venues


VAULT Five is a 9 month mentoring programme for early & mid-career live performance makers aiming to help them step up in their careers and ambitions by culminating in a show at the next VAULT Festival.

The Programme is aimed at artists & live performance makers of all live performance disciplines who are looking to elevate their careers to the next level. The programme will be particularly beneficial to early career & mid career live performance makers who have made 3+ shows and are looking to expand their ambition.

The programme is open to anyone involved in the making of live performance including theatre makers, comedians, cabaret artists, ensembles, writers, directors, and writer/performers. You need to have a show or project in mind that you’d like to create and bring to the next edition of VAULT Festival.

The FIVE selected participants will each receive 9 months of mentoring (monthly meet up sessions) from an experienced industry professional relevant to their creative specialism, a performance slot option at the next VAULT Festival relevant to their performance practice accompanied by Marketing, Producing, and PR support, monthly meet ups with the other participants and the VAULT Festival team including becoming part of the VAULT FIVE Alumni group that will grow each time the programme is run.

To apply, please visit the VAULT Five website. The deadline for applications is 12pm, Tuesday 14th June 2022. If you have any questions, you can contact us at [email protected].

Applicants who are shortlisted for VAULT Five, that are not then successfully selected for the scheme, will not need to apply again for their show to be considered for VAULT Festival 2023.

Applicants for VAULT Five who are not shortlisted for VAULT Five, will need to apply separately for their show to be considered for VAULT Festival 2023.


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