A List of Theatre Festivals in the UK

posted in: Blog | 18

Theatre Festivals in the UK

Whilst doing some research for a project I’m working on at the moment I struggled to find a comprehensive list of theatre festivals in the UK. There’s this half attempted list on Wikipedia which proved to be useless and another list of British associated festivals in the arts, but nothing for theatre specific. Below you’ll find the list I’ve compiled.

(Frustratingly I know the dates will naturally be old before I even publish this, but it gives a good reference to rough timings the festivals were being presented in 2014, so future incarnations will be a day or two either way.)

January

London International Mime Festival, London
8 – 31 Jan
Annual. Mime. International.

February

Manipulate Festival, Scotland
1-8 February
Annual. Puppetry.

Queer Contact, Manchester
6-15 February
Annual. LGBT.

In Between Time, Bristol
14-17 February
Annual. Live art.

Imagine Children’s Festival, London
10-23 February
Annual. Childrens

March

Sprint Festival, London
6-30 March
Contemporary. Annual.

Behaviour Festival, Glasgow
6 March – 2 May.
Contemporary. Annual.

Flying Solo Festival, Manchester
12-22 March
Solo. Annual.

Transform Festival, Leeds
27 – 30 March.
Contemporary. Annual.

April

HighTide, Halesworth
10-19 April
Annual. New Writing.

Buzzcut, Glasgow
23-27 April
Annual. Live Art.

May

Gateshead International Festival of Theatre, Gateshead
2-4 May
International. Annual.

Brighton Festival, Brighton
3 – 25 May
Annual. Cross Arts.

Brighton Fringe, Brighton
3 May – 1 June
Annual. Fringe Festival.

International Gay Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin
5-18 May
Annual. Gay.

Norfolk & Norwich, Norfolk
9 – 19 May
Annual. Cross Arts.

Imaginate Festival, Scotland
11 – 17 May
Young People. International. Annual.

Mayfest, Bristol
15-25 May
Annual. Contemporary.

Spark Festival, Leicester
19 – 30 May
Annual. Children.

International Physical Theatre Festival, Liverpool
23-31 May
Annual. Physical Theatre.

Neat Festival, Nottingham
23 May – 1 June
Biennial.

Accidental Festival, London
22-25 May
Annual. Student led.

Pulse Festival, Ipswich
29 May – 7 June
Contemporary. Annual.

June

Incoming Festival, London
1-10 June
Annual. Emerging Work.

LIFT Festival, London
1 June – 6 July
Bi-Annual. Contemporary. International.

Ignite Festival, Exeter
2-7 June
Annual. Contemporary.

Postcards Festival, London
13-29 June
Circus.

TheatreFest, Barnstaple
19-22 June
Fringe. Annual.

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, London
20-28 June
Outdoor. Annual.

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, Hebden Bridge
27 June – 5 July
Multi-disciplinary. Annual.

Watch This Space Festival, London
27 June – 31 August
Annual.

July

The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, Manchester
1-31 July
Fringe. Annual.

BE Festival, Birmingham
2-12 July
European. Annual.

Manchester International Festival, Manchester
2-19 July
International. Bi-Annual.

Hat Fair, Winchester
4-6 July
Street Theatre. Annual.

International Youth Arts Festival, London
5-27 July
Youth. International. Annual.

Contacting The World, Manchester
7-13 July
International. Young People. Biennial.

Face to Face Festival, London
8-13 July
Solo. Annual.

Buxton Fringe Festival, Buxton
9-27 July
Fringe. Annual.

Latitude Festival, Southwold
17-20 July
Mixed Arts. Annual.

24 7 Festival, Manchester
18-25 July
Contemporary. Annual.

Camden Fringe, London
28 July – 24 August
Fringe. Annual.

August

Edinburgh Fringe, Edinburgh
1-25 August
Fringe. Annual.

Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh
8-31 August
International. Annual.

September

Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin
25 September – 12 October
Annual.

October

Fierce Festival, Birmingham
2-12 October
Live Art. Annual.

CASA Festival, London
10-19 May, London
Latin American. Annual.

London Horror Festival, London
13-31 October
Horror. Annual.

Afro Vibes, Nation-wide
13 October – 8 November
South African/UK. Biennial.

Dance Umbrella, London
14-31 October
Annual. Dance.

Belfast Festival, Belfast
16 October – 1 November
Contemporary. International. Annual.

TakeOff Festival, Durham
20-26 October
Young People. Annual.

JUICE Festival, Newcastle/Gateshead
24 October – 2 November
Young People. Annual.

SUSPENSE Festival, London
25 Oct – 3 Nov
Bi-Annual. Puppetry.

Spill Festival, London
29 Oct – 2 Nov
Annual. Live Art.

Homotopia, Liverpool
31 October – 17 November
Queer. Annual.

Spotted a festival that I’ve missed? Leave a comment or send me a tweet. Photo obtained under a Creative Commons licence by Khairul Nizam.

18 Responses

  1. Barry Priest

    Hi Jake,

    We dropped you a Tweet but here’s more details:

    Queer Contact Festival
    Celebrating LGBT arts and culture
    February , Manchester
    http://www.contactmcr.com/queercontact

    Flying Solo Festival
    Celebrating the art of the solo performer
    March , Manchester
    http://www.contactmcr.com/flyingsolo

    Contacting the World
    International youth theatre festival
    July, Manchester (every 2 years)
    http://www.contactmcr.com/contactingtheworld

    Afrovibes Festival
    Celebrating arts and culture from South Africa.
    Oct-Nov, UK-wide (Manchester, London, Swansea, Liverpool, Nottingham, Birmingham, Cardiff, Hereford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Lancaster, Newcastle)
    http://www.afrovibesUK.com

    Kind regards,

    Barry Priest
    Senior Marketing Officer
    Contact
    Oxford Road
    Manchester

  2. Alexia Kokkali

    Well done Jake! This list was long overdue. Loved your website!

    • Jake Orr

      Thank you Alexia. I was surprised that there wasn’t something like this already made public. Hopefully it will come in use to some people.

  3. Louise Chantal

    Thanks Jake. This is a very useful list I have already to several performers. Long overdue!

  4. Annie Fitzmaurice

    This is great, thanks very much. Also – what about Homotopia Festival Liverpool October / November annual.

  5. Thomas

    Great list thank you Jake.

    I wanted to add that RADA also presents an annual theatre festival in June/ July. (RADA Festival which will be 24 June – 4 July 2015)

    Thomas

  6. Dean Greer

    Theres a Comedy festival in Derby. For stand up and theatre alike. Jimmy carr is performing this year. Not sure on the dates its either june or july though. The DerbyLive website should tell you.