FAQ: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

VOILA! FESTIVAL 2024

This page gives you information for your application to Voila! Theatre Festival. It is not a contract, and we may make adjustments to these details. Successful applicants will receive formal contracts from their venues in June 2024.

If you still have questions after reading through these FAQs, please email Amy & Katharina at hello@voilafestival.co.uk and/or listen to the recording of the Q&A session from Thursday, 4th of April.

WHAT IS THE VOILA! THEATRE FESTIVAL?

Voila! is a pan-lingual theatre festival designed to break through borders, language barriers, and cultural assumptions. Since 2012, the festival has presented multilingual performances from Europe, the UK, and beyond at The Cockpit in London. Since 2020, we have evolved into a hybrid festival with performances on stage and online.

WHERE DOES THE FESTIVAL TAKE PLACE?

For 2024, Voila! will expand into a multi-venue umbrella fringe festival in London. You can see a full list of venues taking part in Eventotron, along with the details of how to apply to each venue. 

WHEN DOES THE FESTIVAL TAKE PLACE?

Voila! will run 4 – 24 November, 2024. Shows will be scheduled in the evenings on weekdays and in the afternoons and evenings on weekends. Each venue will have its own performance schedule; please see each venue’s info page in Eventotron for more details.

WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE?

Voila! Festival is an opportunity for UK and international companies to present their shows in a friendly, supportive setting. Voila! Festival aims to attract press and industry attention for artists, and provide a platform for potential touring beyond the festival.

We run a peer-assessed award scheme in partnership with OffWestEnd, as well as a brand new award in partnership with Thessaloniki Fringe Festival, which will invite one show to perform in Greece in May 2025. 

Thanks to our partnership with Theatre Deli, all Voila artists will receive a Theatre Deli membership for three months leading up to the Festival start date, which will allow them to work in the hot-desk area for free and book rehearsal rooms with a generous discount.

WHAT DO PEOPLE SAY ABOUT VOILA?

“An essential festival, platforming emerging artists and theatre that might be considered too political or uncomfortable for bigger venues.” – The Stage

“Voila! Festival worked as a catalyst for the further progress and development of both the show and our company, reaching press and industry contacts that wouldn’t be reachable in a different context. For us, as a new company, Voila! was the ideal platform to take the first step on a long journey. It’s a big family and we’re proud to be part of it!” – Mikra Theatricals


“Voila! Europe clearly has an imaginative and energetic approach to presenting international work in an urban festival setting; from its initial aims it has proved itself to be responsive, quirky and risk-taking.” – European Festivals Association 

WHAT DOES ‘INDEPENDENT THEATRE’ MEAN?

The festival embraces an entrepreneurial ‘independent’ or ‘fringe’ model in order to platform emergent theatre: contemporary artist-led work that responds to our world with a sense of urgency. We support theatre makers to take the next steps in self-producing their work, bypassing mainstream institutional gatekeepers. 

Voila! Festival is a platform to support the work of independent artists and companies. We provide the venue, the box office and administrative support, a festival PR and marketing campaign, and mentoring from the festival team. You provide the idea, the artists, the production, and a show-specific marketing campaign. Like entrepreneurs in partnership, we take the risk and reap the rewards together.

WHAT IS THE FESTIVAL LOOKING FOR? 

The festival champions work by migrant-led companies and under-represented groups, as well as unusual narratives and performance styles which might not usually find a place on British stages. 

Voila! is a multidisciplinary festival, open to shows with elements of dance, circus, stand-up, performance art, music, etc. We serve a mainly theatre-going audience; when we programme dance, music, or circus, it has a strong theatrical or narrative element.

We do not specify a theme for the festival; instead, we want to know what topics artists think are the most urgent for our times. In the application, we will ask you to consider why your show is a good fit for Voila! Festival. This could be reflected in international performance techniques, languages, aesthetics, genre, subject matter or narrative.

We recommend looking through the Voila brochures on our history page to get a sense of what we’ve programmed at the festival in the past.

This year Voila! Festival has expanded to multiple venues in London, where artists can apply directly to their preferred venue. All have different capacities and opportunities, so make sure your show fits the chosen space. 

DOES MY SHOW HAVE TO BE IN ENGLISH?

No; we welcome performances in any language. For shows that are less than 50% in English, we may ask you to provide surtitles and a surtitle operator.

WHAT DOES THE FESTIVAL PROVIDE?

Marketing Support: 

  • The festival will include your show image and information in the printed brochure, on the website, and in our social media marketing. 
  • We will support any social media activity you initiate to promote your show by sharing on our social media channels whenever possible.
  • We will issue a press release for the festival, including information about every show. Although we can’t promise, there may be opportunities for interviews about you and your show. The more marketing materials you are able to provide us with, the more we are able to help. 
  • We will supply branding and Voila! festival logos for you to use on all your publicity (although we cannot produce printed flyers or posters for individual companies).
  • Voila has a growing loyal audience – but we can’t guarantee a certain level of ticket sales for any specific production. We can provide advice and guidance on how to promote your show; you should expect to run your own marketing campaign to find your target audience and sell tickets. 
  • Box Office: We will provide box office services to sell tickets to your show on the Voila website and via the venues’ box offices. Companies will keep a percentage of the net box office receipts; please see more details of the financial deals below. 


Networking: We will create opportunities for you to connect with the other artists performing at the festival, as well as members of the theatre industry and press. 

Professional Development: We will provide resources and access to mentorship around marketing, producing, and planning for the future life of your show.

Festival Pass: We encourage participating cast and creative team members to see the other performances in the festival, with special access to low-cost tickets for all the shows.

We run a peer-assessed award scheme in partnership with Off West End, as well as a brand new award in partnership with Thessaloniki Fringe Festival, which will invite one show to perform in Greece in May 2025. 

Thanks to our partnership with Theatre Deli, all Voila artists will receive a Theatre Deli membership for three months leading up to the Festival start date, which will allow them to work in the hot-desk area for free and book rehearsal rooms with a generous discount.

WHAT DO I NEED TO PROVIDE?

The Show:

Companies are responsible for all costs associated with rehearsing and making their show. This may include hiring the cast and creative team, design materials, decor, insurance, etc. You need to make sure that you have secured the rights to use any copyrighted works such as play texts and music.

We run to contract and the show goes on no matter what. We expect the same from you.

Marketing:

Companies must prepare marketing materials.  We can help you use them and we will back up what you do, but we cannot create the materials for you.  It is essential you come with the following prepared:

  1. A show title and a high-resolution image, without text, that clearly identifies your show.
  2. An English language strap line that describes your show in one short sentence.
  3. A longer English language description of your show that accurately describes your show and tells people why they should see it (50 words).
  4. An e-flyer that you can email and post on social media with your show image, title, strapline, blurb, plus dates, times, and the festival footer.
  5. Additional marketing materials: These might be production or rehearsal images, video trailers, past press quotes, etc.
  6. Your own mailing list:  All the past audiences, friends, contacts, family members, press and industry people you can think of that might be interested in your show, no matter where they are.
  7. A clear idea of who your show is for, what you are offering them, and why they should buy a ticket. If you can’t answer these questions, no one else can.
  8. All your publicity must include the Voila! festival and venue logos (we will supply a footer for you to use).
  9. You must have an account on Instagram and preferably also accounts on other social media platforms where you can actively engage with potential audiences.
  10. You must be willing to cooperate with marketing requests for additional materials, press interviews, social media promotions, and audience Q&A events.
  11. We expect you to respond to email requests in a timely manner, and pass along festival information to the rest of your company.

WHAT DOES IT COST TO PARTICIPATE?

It is free to apply to be part of Voila. Successful applicants will pay a registration fee of £150 to participate in the festival. This fee covers listings and inclusion in the printed festival brochure and Voila! website.

Each venue will have their own hire scheme, which may take the form of a hire fee, a guarantee, a box office split, a deposit to protect against cancellation, or a combination of these. Please see each venue’s page for more information about venue hire deals and box office splits.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROPOSING AN ON-STAGE SHOW?

In the ‘Venue Finder’ on Eventotron, you can choose a venue that is suitable for your show based on the information they provide about audience capacity, technical specifications, and financial deals. 

You will need to first submit your show information on the festival application form and then enquire with a venue(s) via the Eventotron ‘Venue Finder’. (More details in “How Can I Apply” below.)

The venue programmer will then consider your show for their Voila! festival programme and let you know if your application is successful by the 7 June. 

You may enquire with multiple venues, but please note that if you receive an offer from all of them, you will need to choose one single venue to present your show.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROPOSING AN ONLINE SHOW?

The pandemic has presented a challenge and an opportunity to expand what we mean by “theatre” and how people can access it. The festival is open to digital theatre proposals; each venue will have its own approach to programming digital work; please see the venue pages for more information.

WILL THE FESTIVAL SUPPORT MY SHOW TO PARTICIPATE FROM OUTSIDE OF THE UK?

We are not able to provide financial assistance directly, but we will do our best to support artists from outside of the UK, by helping you to access funding available through your country’s embassy or cultural attaché. The festival can also supply a letter confirming your participation to support other funding applications. However, you will need to make sure you can receive box office payments in £ GBP. 

We encourage international companies to apply as early as possible, in order to allow time to coordinate additional support.

HOW CAN I APPLY?

All applications will go via the platform Eventotron.

Here is a quick guide on how to apply. 

  • Set up a profile on Eventotron & log in
  • Search for the Voila! Theatre Festival and click the apply button. You can choose to create a new event or use an existing event if you have used Eventotron before. (The “event” is your show.)
  • Fill in the application form in writing or by recording a video answering the questions. (If you choose the video option, you will need to put an ‘x’ in the required questions throughout the rest of the application form to submit.)
  • Submit your application. You will not be able to edit your answers once you have submitted the form.
  • After you have submitted your application, you can find the venue(s) you want to apply to in the Eventotron “Venue Finder” section. Please read carefully through their offer/capacity etc. & only apply to a venue(s) that are suitable for your show.
  • Click “Enquire” to send your application to your chosen venue with a short note. The venue will then be able to consider your show for their Voila! festival programme.
  • You may enquire with multiple venues, however we expect that each show will only perform at one venue during the festival.
  • The programming team from each venue will get back to you with their decision.
  • All applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by 7th June. 

You can find more info about how to sign up on Eventotron here.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

We will contact all applicants by 7th of June 2024. 

If you are invited to present your work at Voila! Festival, your venue will ask you to confirm your participation by returning the signed contract, providing show marketing information and images, and paying the registration fee as soon as possible after receiving the festival invitation. 

I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS…

We’re happy to help! If your question is about the Voila! Festival, please get in touch with Amy & Katharina at voilafest@thecockpit.org.uk and/or listen to the recording of the applications Q&A session from Thursday 4th of April.

If your question is about the venue, please contact the venue directly via the information on their venue page.