The Vaults, Waterloo, London
25th January – 5th March 2017

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

“You could be in Hogarth’s London, so bursting is it with unruly, gamey life”
The Independent

“The epitome of underground theatre… a cavernous treasure trove… the spirit of the Fringe is alive, well and thriving in SE1.”
A Younger Theatre

Join us underground for the fifth year of VAULT Festival.
From January 25th, hundreds of new shows explode across a Festival of Festivals in our Waterloo home. With new venues, new bars, new food and plenty of surprises, VAULT 2017’s limit is beyond the skies and into the stars.

“Goes from strength to strength with a vibrant, varied programme full of theatrical treats… a brilliant place to spot new talent…”
The Stage

We’ve crafted six undiluted weeks of entertainment for London: the artists you see here are the big names of tomorrow. Join us for an after-work drink, take in one of dozens of nightly shows, stick around for the seriously good cocktails and some free live music. And this year for the first time, VAULT features some fantastic new performances spaces around Waterloo.

From top notch comedy to thrilling drama, from table-top stomping music to an eye-popping film selection – VAULT has it all. The Film Festival returns bigger and better every Saturday and Sunday with a unique lineup, and our new VAULT Comedy Festival is an eclectic starburst that’s different every day.

Each Friday and Saturday we throw London’s most exciting themed parties until 3am – the LATES are where you can let loose. For those on a budget, we’ve got hundreds of 2-for-1 tickets across the programme every week and you can share and enjoy food from our new kitchen Balkano, nourishing our most energetic festival yet with flavours from the eastern edges of Europe.

VAULT finds inspiration in the future, and in these times of political and economic uncertainty we look to the skies and find no sign of any limits to human creativity and passion. That’s why we’ve made PROXIMA V – a carefully selected strand of sci-fi and space experiences designed to make you think about where we’re all headed, and if we really are all in it together.

We’d like to be – so beam down beneath the surface and be part of it with us.

Read More: Our Philosophy | Our Story | Your Visit


The Vaults, Waterloo, London
25th January – 5th March 2017

“The business model for the creative industries is broken. For every performer at Edinburgh working for nothing, read musician on Spotify or writer on the net. Providers of content make peanuts, while the controllers of the infrastructure… walk away with extraordinary profits.
… How can we transfer some of the wealth grabbed by, say, hotels in Edinburgh and hand it to the people who generated it?”

Patrick Collinson, The Guardian, 29 / 8 / 15

We want VAULT Festival to be the people’s festival. For six weeks, join this carnival of experience, filled with entertainment and unexpected adventure. From hard-hitting drama to outrageous comedy, from dance to late-night parties, VAULT takes in the bravest and best of the next generation of creators.

“It’s risky to bring a show [to Edinburgh Festival] … in the faint hope that someone will spot a gold nugget and offer to help nurture it. In any case, if you are only here with something in the hope of catching someone’s eye, you are selling audiences short. They should be the people you really make the show for, not some producer who may or may not pitch up.”

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 20 / 8 / 15

We put up the flag here at the edge of theatreland, and gather acts & artists, bands & companies from all over to come and make something unforgettable.

We’re doing our best to reinvent the non-funded creative sector and make it sustainable for both the artist and the festival. What we give is space: to innovate, take risks and cooperate with each other. We don’t charge rent. We do take 30% of show box office, which goes some way – but not all the way – towards covering our costs. The artists get the other 70% – a better deal than Edinburgh venues offer. In this way, Artists and Festival live or die together.

VAULT is built around a triangle of interests: the audience, the artists, and the staff who make it happen. It’s designed to be a rewarding experience for all three, exploiting no one. Come and see what the people have made: there’s a conversation every single night about where we go from here.

The VAULT Story

The Vaults, Waterloo, London
25th January – 5th March 2017

VAULT Festival was created by the Heritage Arts Company in 2012. We wanted to design a festival around a triangle of interests – the audience, the artists, and the staff – without unfairly disadvantaging any of them. We pulled together artists who didn’t mind the idea of delivering a show in an unused, unlicensed ‘venue’ under the ground in exchange for fair treatment. With contributions from KILN Theatre, Silent Opera, HAMMER Horror, future Fringe First-winners Katie Bonna & Richard Marsh and several others, an eclectic and exciting artist-led programme began to emerge beneath London’s busiest commuter station.

It worked. 7,500 people came to the three weekends of events which were the product of genuine, shared creativity

With no VAULT in 2013, people wanted us back. The hard work of volunteers, staff and artists created something that seemed to fill a void in the arts landscape. And artists and audiences alike asked why there wasn’t another one on the horizon.

When we decided to bring VAULT back for 2014, we  wanted it to be a lot bigger – if it was going to be a real opportunity for artists, it also had to be one hell of a playground for audiences. So we made a six week, thirty-day stretch of relentlessly busy programming with as much variety as we could fit under one roof. We experimented with season-long adaptations of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas and Ian McEwan’s The Cement Garden. We needed to make sure the artists were getting the best possible opportunity they could. We almost doubled our lineup: including acts who would go on to huge success – Superbolt Theatre, Nabokov & Dawn State amongst them, & comedians like Luisa Omielan, Sara Pascoe & Yve Blake.  And we more than quadrupled the amount of seats available to the public. The response was astonishing

VAULT 2015 was a huge step up in the quality of the festival. We turned pro in 2015 – remember the decor, remember the atmosphere? It was totally different – we had found our stride. We featured our own Italian restaurant with Forza Win, and a programme of over 100 artists. With a growing team of festival staff, armed with experience and belief, we welcomed over 30,000 people to the Festival. Emma Thompson told us we were ‘the Future of Theatre’ and our press ballooned to reviews and features in over 300 outlets. The Festival had truly arrived.

VAULT 2016 saw 40,000 guests come down to join us underground, and with a line-up that included a new Film Festival, a wildly entertaining family programme, and a bigger-than-ever roster of artists, who could blame them? The Suffolk Punch was our next restaurant, with fine produce from the coast made by the Suffolk Young Producers.

Which brings us to 2017. We’re fantastically excited about our programme this year – in no small part because the hundreds upon hundreds of applications we now receive annually mean we’re spoiled for choice. We’ve aimed at a balanced, varied bill of all kinds of work from artists we think are either doing great things or are just about to. Our team at VAULT HQ are an invested family of people who care about what these six weeks mean to our artists and audiences equally, and they’re working hard to make 2017’s edition the best yet.

We’re proud of VAULT’s past. We’re focused on its present. And we’re looking forward to exploring its future.

The Team

VAULT Festival is produced by the Heritage Arts Company. 


Festival Directors – Mat Burt, Andy George & Tim Wilson
Associate Director – Rosalyn Newbery
Film Festival Curator – Niger Asije

Director of Communications – Mat Burt
Deputy Directors of Communications – Jessica Clarke & Josh Morrall
Director of Production – Andy George
Technical Manager – John Mackinnon
Deputy Technical Manager – Rich Irvine
Accounts & Office Manager – Hannah Falvey
Production Assistant – Ursula Kerswell
Head of Lighting – Paul Walmsley
Deputy Head of Lighting – Sarah Readman
Head of Sound – Daffyd Gough
Deputy Head of Sound – Sean Gallacher
Sound Engineer – Sam Walshe
Festival Technicians – Ryan Beattie & Roshan Conn
Art Director – Thomas Kirk Shannon
Assistant Art Director – Ellen Camilla Rose
FOH & Operations Manager – Rachel Foster
Festival Assistant and Co-FOH Manager – Viviania Bianchini
Buildings & Site Manager – Natasha Kerswell
Venue Stage Managers – Rhea Heath, Carmel Macaree, Amy Taylor, Izzy Tyndall Bristow, Hannah Wallis, Sue Small
Box Office Duty Managers – Freyja Costelloe & Alex Levene
LATES Duty Manager – Sasha Catalano
Bar Manager and Quartermaster – George Calderwood
Head Chef – Martin Shaw
PR – Full Fat | www.wearefullfat.com
Marketing – Joe Public | www.joepublicmarketing.com

Our Supporters

VAULT Festival is proud to be supported by a variety of partners.

Get In Touch

For all ticketing & booking enquiries, including group bookings, please contact us via email at boxoffice@vaultfestival.com.

If you need to get in touch over the phone, you can call the team on 07598 676 202. Box Office phone hours are from 1pm – 5pm, Wednesday – Sunday. We receive a lot of calls so please bear with us if the call goes to voicemail – leave a message or send us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

For general enquiries, please contact us directly on info@vaultfestival.com.

Lost property? Email lostproperty@vaultfestival.com.

For Press enquiries, please contact Sean Harwood from Full Fat on sean@wearefullfat.com.