Well. That’s been a busy three weeks.

We’ve now finished reading through every single application you’ve sent our way – and this year it’s been a lot. We’ve had more than 1,000 applications across the Theatre, Comedy & Lates programmes, so it’s taken us a little longer than in previous years to get through them all. We’d always rather take the time to examine each one properly rather than rush through, and hopefully you agree that’s the right way to approach it.

We’ve been astonished by the quality of what we’ve been reading, watching and listening to, and remain unable to articulate our gratitude for your interest. I’ve said it before, but, whatever happens: thank you for making the time and effort to send something in. We really do value all of them hugely. You’ve made this the most popular applications window we’ve ever had, and that deserves respect.

Roughly accurate recreation of our reaction to the volume of applications.

So, we’re on to the next step, which is offers. We’re going to start sending them out today. It’s a pretty simple process if your show has been selected – you’ll get an email from us with a PDF attachment with the offer details. It’s got some links to look at to make sure you’re completely up to date on the deadlines, requirements and tech specs, and once you’re happy, you can drop us a reply to say you’re in. Then we send you a contract – and from that point, the (oh so short) journey to getting your show on at VAULT begins in earnest. Time to start getting those marketing assets ready.

Of course, you’ll also have calculated by now that the amount of applications means that we can’t possibly programme everything we’d like to. I’m afraid a good number of you are going to be disappointed, and receive an “Application Unsuccessful” email from us. We aim to get those out as swiftly as possible too, as we know hanging on in silence can be super frustrating – we’ll endeavour to get an email to you, one way or another, in the next two weeks. We’ll say more about this in the contents of that email, but for now suffice to say that in the vast majority of cases, it’s not that we didn’t like your idea – it’s just that there are simply so many strong applications that some, because of the laws of physics, can’t fit into the programme.

The important thing to say, and the main reason for writing this quick blog, is that this is a multi stage process. We don’t send out all the offers at once, so if you don’t get an email from us immediately, don’t read anything into it. There’s a lot of admin on this end and that just means we have to take our time. The speed with which you hear from us doesn’t reflect our thoughts about your show.

We really appreciate your patience, and in either case you’ll definitely hear from us, so hang tight.

Thank you – and good luck.



Mat Burt is Director of Communications. As one of three Festival Directors, he has joint responsibility for the programming and delivery of the Festival. The Communications Department specifically looks after messaging to our visiting companies and audiences; this includes things from marketing, web & social media to box office, sales and lots of copy editing. He is a small part of a wonderful team.