Festival 2018 Opening Weekend: Call out for work


5pm on Monday 5 March 2018


The Opening Weekend will take place on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 May 2018 and performances could be programmed for one or two days - 10 am to 5pm



5pm on Monday 5 March 2018


The fee is £120 per performer per day plus travel, and up to £50 for materials.


All performances will take place in and around the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF.  Performances that are suitable for outdoor spaces will be considered.


How to apply

If you have an idea for new work that you are looking to share then we want to hear from you.  Please download, and fill in our simple application form and email it – with Festival Opening Weekend 2018 in the subject box – to applications@imaginate.org.uk by 5pm on Monday 5 March 2018.

Selection process

A panel led by our Young Associates (aged 16 – 25 years) with support from Imaginate and National Museum of Scotland staff will meet in early March to select the programme, we will respond to all candidates by Friday 17th of March.

Download NMS spaces for Opening Weekend 2018Download Edinburgh International Children's Festival Opening Weekend Application Form 2018

We are delighted to announce that this year the festival Opening Weekend will once again take place in the National Museum of Scotland.  In partnership with the Museum we are inviting proposals from artists who would like to try out a new idea for children and their families within the exhibition and gallery spaces throughout the building. This call out programme will be curated by a group of Young Associates (age 16 - 25 years) in celebration of the Year of Young People.

The festival Opening Weekend is an excellent opportunity to be part of the festival, to try out a new idea and receive audience feedback. In the past, we’ve seen a wide range of walkabout characters, pop-up performances, spaces to make things, live music and more, including:

  • Builder-clowns in high-vis jackets
  • A human-scale game of snakes and ladders
  • An intimate cello performance for one audience member at a time
  • A special hair salon offering sound-escape therapy, taking us to exotic locations around the world

Things for you to consider:

  • The museum is a noisy, vibrant space full of families and things to do, it has an average footfall of around 4.500 people per day.  Think about what would be interesting, fun, thought provoking or an unexpected artistic experience for them to come across.
  • Due to noise, dialogue-heavy performance pieces or performed readings aren’t suitable.  As the audience is often passing through, interactive and walk about or pop-up pieces work well.  Short performances that gather an audience can work if based on visual, sound and/or movement.
  • The Opening Weekend is a free event so there will be a continual ebb and flow of visitors all day of various age ranges and interests.  The majority of the audience are likely to be age 2 – 8 years with a smaller number of babies and children age 8+ coming along with their families. 
  • There is limited get-in and get-out time. 

Our colleagues at the museum have very helpfully highlighted several areas that could be used during the weekend. This is not an exhaustive list but these are areas the museum staff have hosted similar styled events before and know work well for audiences.  Please download this document (NMS Spaces for Opening Weekend 2018) for more detail about the main spaces available. 

Further information

If you have a proposal that falls outwith these guidelines, please contact Fiona Ferguson, Creative Development Director.  If you have a question about technical support, venue spaces or your budget please contact Pamela Walker, Producer.