OUR 2021 SUMMER SEASON Be Festival

BE FESTIVAL Commissions 2021

BE FESTIVAL is Birmingham’s annual festival of international arts. We exist to uncover exciting artists and companies making work across Europe and bring them together for a celebration of theatre, dance, circus, site-specific performance, music and visual arts.

Due to the global pandemic which led to the closing of theatres and hospitality venues for over 12 months, we delivered last year’s festival, BEatHome, online. This year, as restrictions begin to ease, we’re evaluating all options for delivering the 12th edition of BE FESTIVAL. We are curating a festival which is COVID-19 compliant, a festival that can be delivered either in person, outdoors, digitally or a combination of these. Our aim is to be as flexible as possible, so the festival might take place in two different periods: one festival in summer and another in winter. 

2020 saw the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and BE FESTIVAL is adopting recommendations and action points contained in the More Than A Moment programme. This is an ongoing process and our board and staff are committed to ensuring the ethos of our festival reflects these. 

As part of our commitment to creating a more inclusive and representative programme, we are inviting submissions from emerging or established artists from Black, Asian or other ethnic groups who have previously been underrepresented in our programme to be part BE FESTIVAL 2021. 

We’re keen to include projects that explore pressing discomforts of contemporaneity and concepts such as memory, identity, patriarchy, inequality, otherness, discrimination, migration, borders, ecofeminisim, extractivisim and consumerism. Completed work should be ready to present between July 21 and February 22. 

We will be awarding a maximum of two commissions of £1,500 each. We encourage submissions from artists whose work is currently in development and would benefit from the support BE FESTIVAL is able to offer to make it happen.

For this particular call, we are only interested in work that uses non-traditional theatre spaces and work which is compliant with social distancing guidelines. For example, soundscapes, promenade work, outdoor site-specific theatre, work that explores spaces that were accessible during lockdown such as supermarkets, parks, etc. work using media such as the post or the telephone, work that invites the audience to become the performer, work that could be presented without the presence of the artist in case of testing positive for COVID-19 and/or travel restrictions. 

Submissions can be of a new project of or existing works that are re-imagined to the current circumstances and proposed formats. Your piece can be in any genre from theatre, live art to digital screenings. It can be delivered digitally or in person, site-specific or outdoor work – or it can be a hybrid of these, the choice is yours. 


If you experience any difficulties in completing written forms, we also welcome video applications of up to 5 minutes in length that respond to the questions on the form above. Please send these to info@befestival.org

The deadline for all applications is Sunday 23rd May 2021 at 23:00 (UK time)

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