A packed audience sit in the sun to watch the Lord Chamberlain's Men perform.
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men perform at Brandon Hill Bowling Green. Photo by Jon Craig.

Applications for the Bristol Shakespeare Festival are open from September to February, annually.

Every year, we host touring companies from across the UK and abroad throughout the month of July. On average, our touring companies stage more than 40 performances across ten locations, with an average of 4,000 audience members throughout the month.

There are two options we use for touring companies:

If you’re planning to charge for tickets:

If you will be charging your audience for tickets, we ask for an up-front festival entry fee which covers the cost of marketing, festival volunteers, box office, public liability insurance (alongside your own) and any other additional assistance required. You are guaranteed a full-page listing in our festival programme.

If your tickets will be free or by-donation:

If you would like to perform at the Bristol Shakespeare Festival and wish to stage a free-to-attend performance, there is no festival entry fee. You will receive a half-page listing in out festival programme.

We occasionally have opportunities for sponsorship – if you have a production but would struggle to pay an entry fee, please get in touch with us to discuss further options.

If you are not local to Bristol and would like to be paired with a venue, we are happy to assist. We have good relationships with a variety of local performance spaces and can help to find one to suit your production. We expect all companies to hold separate agreements with their venue of choice, and that all site licenses (etc) are acquired by the company prior to the performance date.

All festival participants who apply on time will receive the following:

  • A listing in our festival programme, which is distributed from May throughout the city and surrounding area
    Full marketing support on social media, in local press and in any interviews undertaken by the festival
    Tickets sold through a central box office managed by the Bristol Shakespeare Festival (all companies should provide an allocation of tickets to be sold by us)
    Audience and ticket sales updates upon request
    Festival volunteers at each performance to assist with ushering, box office collection, programme sales, etc.
  • Regular communication with the festival management team to answer any queries

For an application form or for any further information, please contact Festival Producer Helen Orphin.

We look forward to hearing from you!