Performing Arts Open Call



Westival, formerly known as the Westport Arts Festival, is getting ready to celebrate our town, community, and our culture with a feast for your eyes, ears, hearts, and minds. We want artists of all disciplines to join in, and take a front row seat on the cusp of creativity along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Our goal is to present a diverse programme of contemporary arts, family events, literature, music and much more, from the 24th of October and across the October Bank Holiday Weekend 2018 in the thriving heritage town of Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland. Events will appeal and engage with a broad audience and will celebrate the west of Ireland's thriving arts community while throwing one hell of a party along the way!

Our programme of events will be a mix of family-friendly adventures along with late night antics for partygoers and thrill seekers. Performing arts will include, but are not limited to; music, comedy, theatre, spoken word, and literary events, outdoor adventures for families, parades, talks and lots more. We aim to excite and astonish festival goers.

This year we’re holding an open call for ideas for events and activities which can be included in this year's programme. The closing date is midnight on July 25th, so make haste! Be bold and ambitions with your ideas. We want to inspire and thrill our audiences, to engage with them, and to leave them with a positive and memorable experience of Westival and Westport.

Please read our full FAQ below before submitting your application. Please note this application is for Performing Arts Only. Visual Arts Applications should apply here.

WESTIVAL 2018 | Performing Arts Open Call | FAQ

Application closing date midnight July 25th. 

Festival Dates 24th - 29th, October 2018.

Be bold and ambitions with your ideas. We are looking for something a little different, innovative, and not often seen in the West of Ireland. If you like, you can even embrace the time of year and theme your event around Autumn or Halloween. 


Application Timeline

Deadline for submissions is July 25th, 2018. Successful applicants will be notified in early Aug for a further discussion about involvement in this year's festival.


What We Are Interested In

  • We love to hear ideas that cover all art forms, pop-ups or happenings. Proposals can include; music, theatre, performance art, food, literature, spoken word, comedy, debates, talks, discussions, dance, street spectacle, site-specific happenings, dance, design, architecture, circus, cabaret, storytelling – this list is not exhaustive so don’t feel like you have to fit into any particular category. If you’re excited about joining Westival 2018 and your idea wows us, that’s a great start!
  • We want to hear from performers in the area and have a connection to the locality.
  • This year we are especially interested in growing our audience, with a particular focus on a national audience, communities and families, culturally curious folk and overseas visitors from the UK, USA, France & Germany.
  • We love to hear from art collectives from all disciplines.
  • Diversity excites us and we want to hear from all nationalities, languages, ages, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds, and religions.


Proposal Assessment

  • Your proposal will be assessed by members of the Westival programming committee and an independent arts consultant.
  • Final decisions are at the discretion of the Westival programming committee.


What We Consider in Your Assessment

  • Originality is important, and the quality of your proposal counts. We want your event to artistically enhance the festival, the town, and enrich our audience’s experience.
  • Feasibility of your proposal. We need to see that your project can be produced on time and on budget, and we will prioritise proposals which demonstrate experience in producing and realising events or the activities you propose to deliver. Your proposal should also include an indication of the fees and costs involved (see below).
  • The target age-group or audience type for your event. 
  • Your ability to assist in the marketing & PR of your event to support the main festivals marketing team. This is particularly important with events depending on box-office ticket sales.
  • Venue sourcing and suitability. Ideally your proposal should either already have a specific venue or have a type of venue in mind to suit your performance. We are also here to help match you to a venue if needed. Our established venues are intimate with a seating capacity of 300 or standing capacity of 350.
  • How the proposal fits into our overall Westival Programme. We already have some events confirmed so if your proposal duplicates other elements of our programme it may not be considered.


Budget / Funding Award

  • The total funding award will be at the discretion of Westival programming committee.
  • Please include an indicative budget for your proposed activity including all artist fees and additional costs.
  • We will consider a box office split where appropriate. Our venues are intimate with a seating capacity of 300 or standing capacity of 350. Bear this in mind when proposing your budget.
  • Any budget overspend is the responsibility of the applicant.


Eligibility Criteria

  • If you are employing a team of people to deliver your event, please note that employer’s liability is the applicant’s responsibility - proof of insurance will be required as part of your supporting documentation should you be selected.  
  • If your activity involves your direct contact with children or vulnerable adults, you will need to show that you have been garda vetted for the purpose.


Offered to Successful Proposals

  • Your event or activity will be marketed and published as part of the overall Westival 2018 programme.
  • The inclusion of your event/activity in the official printed programme and website.
  • We endeavour to secure media profile for the festival and its artists. Depending on the scale of the event you have proposed, we may require that you be available for interview by media.
  • Box office facilities. Ticketed events will be sold through the Westival box office online, in person or by phone.


How to Apply

  • Deadline for submissions is July 25th, 2018.
  • Apply online here.
  • We cannot accept postal, by phone or face to face applications.
  • If you have any access needs relating to the application please contact us here.