Feeling creative? Love writing or performing and looking for opportunities to step on stage?
Apply now for our Summer Fringe Festival!

Applications for our Summer Fringe are now closed.

What is the Summer Fringe?

The Summer Fringe offers the opportunity for creative people living in Yorkshire to share their talents, try new formats and engage with warm, supportive local audiences. In 2021, Fringe performances included an exciting and eclectic range of artforms, including storytelling, improv, comedy, poetry and a live podcast.

Produced and hosted by Fringe partners Playful Being, this year’s Summer Fringe will consist of six live outdoor performance evenings in the atmospheric courtyard of Ilkley Manor House on Thursdays from 21 July to 25 August between 6.30 and 8pm.

Ilkley Literature Festival and Playful Being are looking for applications for performances in any artform including dance, music, poetry, theatre, spoken word and more with cross-artform collaborations and interactive elements encouraged. Pieces should aim to be around 5 to 20 minutes in length.

Who can apply?

The Summer Fringe provides a fun opportunity for non-professional writers, performers, community groups and others who don’t set out to make a living from their artistic work to share their creative talents. Professional creatives are welcome to make submissions if they would like to, but they should be aware that there are no fees paid for Fringe appearances.

We welcome applications from Fringe newcomers and 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 for audiences, and how you might bring together different art forms or collaborate with other creative people or groups.

Image of three people performing to a crowd under a gazebo.

Applications are open to groups or individuals aged 18 and over. Applicants must be from, or have strong links to, the Yorkshire region. Our selection aims to showcase a range of artforms to reflect the diversity of the region.

As long as your idea is family friendly and you like the idea of getting out in front of a live audience, we want to hear from you.

What have past Fringe performers said?

“I loved it all… as a performer and as an audience member. I loved the space and […] the team were wonderful, as always. It felt professional, caring, supportive and very well organised. A credit to the Lit Fest.” – Geraldine Woodhouse, 2021 performer

“The space was incredible, a really beautiful space. All run really smoothly, all the staff were incredible and it felt like a safe space to enjoy the performances. Really enjoyed being part of the festival.” – Spoke Poetry Hub

Financial Arrangements

The Summer Fringe Festival 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, but they should be aware there are no fees for Fringe appearances.


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 any social distancing rules which 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.

Please Note

  • The Summer Fringe will run on the following days:
    Thu 21 July
    Thu 28 July
    Thu 4 Aug
    Thu 11 Aug
    Thu 18 Aug
    Thu 25 Aug
  • 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 act on any relevant Covid rules that may need to be implemented

How to Apply?

Applications for our Summer Fringe are now closed.

If you have any questions, please contact fringe@ilkleylitfest.org.uk

Deadline for applications: 11.30pm, Friday 6 May 2022.
Successful applicants informed: Friday 20 May 2022.

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