The Vault Festival kicks off next week promising to be bigger and better than ever. I asked Laura Drake Chambers, head of lates, how she goes about putting together the programme and advice for first-timers.
Image by Tom Shannon
With 500+ shows at the festival, where do you start when putting together the programme?
Working to find the right companies is one of the most enjoyable parts of the process.
London is full of incredible creativity, it’s saturated with artists and communities expressing themselves through late-night work, it’s definitely not a chore going out and finding great work to programme.
Making sure to look at the balance between companies that are hungry to expand into larger venue spaces, or in a place that would benefit from the support that VAULT can offer and also partner well with the ethos of VAULT Festival to bring in new and exciting audiences into our festival is key.
What is the process and what is the most difficult part?
I approach a lot of the Lates companies personally, to gauge how right they are for the scale of the event spaces we can offer.
Once I’ve approached everyone on my radar for that year, it’s then just piecing it together like a fabulous jigsaw puzzle!
I think the most challenging part can be fitting the shows together in the right order. I try to see the festival programme as an arc of connected events and focus on giving each company the right spot within it.
What are you looking for when deciding if a show is suitable?
A few simple things really – with the larger events in The Underbar on Saturdays, I need to be confident that the night will sell, so artists aren’t exposed to unnecessary risk and taking the show space is a positive move.