Image of a woman performing in the Ilkley Manor House Courtyard, and a person holding a sign on a brown piece of paper.

ILF Summer Fringe Festival

We’re thrilled to announce that we are planning a summer Fringe Festival in July and August 2021 with six evenings of outdoor performances in the atmospheric heritage quarter of Ilkley.

What’s on offer?

  • Six live performance evenings in the Ilkley Manor House courtyard (every Thursday evening from 22 July to 26 August)
  • Three different, inspiring ways for Yorkshire-based artists to get involved
  • Opportunities to collaborate with other artists and perform cross-artform pieces

What we’re looking for

You will be a group or individual from, or with strong links to, the Yorkshire Region. Our selection aims to showcase a range of artforms to reflect the diversity of the region. Performances could include dance, acoustic music, storytelling, improv, comedy, poetry, sound art, or something else. Surprise us!

We welcome applications from Fringe newcomers and Fringe veterans alike. This might be your first performance or a chance to present something new. You might experiment with a whole new format or give existing work a different spin. We want you to think about how to make your event interactive and engaging, and how you could draw on other art forms as well as your own.

Our last live events in 2019 ranged from improvised comedy to poetry slams; from moon-themed jazz to mass group readings; from poetry prescriptions to papier maché ‘Happy Balls’, and so much in between.

If you like the idea of getting out in front of a live audience, we’d love to hear from you.

There are three ways you can get involved and you can submit an application for more than one:

  1. Chain Reactions Live – create and perform an original response to one of our six commissioned pieces on the theme of ‘Spark’. You can view the pieces here.
  2. Summer Showcase – readings or performances (on any theme) of up to 20 minutes. Cross-art form collaborations are warmly encouraged!
  3. Open Mic – quickfire and informal performances of up to 7 minutes. Sign up on the night or register your interest on the application form.

Financial Arrangements

The ILF Fringe is intended for non-professional artists, writers and performers who don’t set out to make a living from their practice. Professional artists are welcome to make submissions if they would like to, but they should be aware there are no fees for Fringe appearances.

Please note:

  • performances will take place early evening and must finish by 8pm
  • the performance evenings will be weather dependent and may need to be cancelled at short notice
  • all performances must be suitable for a family audience
  • we will, of course, have to act on any relevant changes to Covid rules as and when they occur


We may be able to offer a basic PA system, but this is not guaranteed. Please bear this in mind when applying and show us how your performance can be as ‘unplugged’ as possible.

Getting an audience

Audiences are not required to book in advance or pay for tickets, and everyone attending will need to comply with whatever social distancing rules apply at the time. Ilkley Literature Festival and the Manor House will publicise the Summer Fringe evenings, and you are strongly encouraged to spread the word and help attract an audience for the evenings.

How to Apply

Applications are now closed. We will inform successful candidates by Monday 14 June.

Did you see our 2020 Fringe digital showcase? Click here to see the amazing local talent.

Sign-up to our newsletter

Sign up to our mailing list below.

* indicates required