Performing at the Festival


Interested in performing at Edinburgh International Children’s Festival?

We are one of the largest and most successful performing arts festivals for children and young people in the UK.  The Festival attracts between 300-330 delegates every year from all across the globe; we are a fixed point in the calendar for many, a benchmark for quality and a way to network with colleagues.

Edinburgh International Children’s Festival is a curated festival, and there is no official application process; shows are selected and invited once they have been seen by the Festival Director. Our preferred method of sourcing work is to always see them live in the first instance. We acknowledge that this is not always possible due to time and cost constraints and video links might be a more appropriate access option.

If you are interested in pitching a production for Festival programming. Please keep these things in mind:

  1. The programme is currently curated about 18 – 24 months in advance.
  2. We are a Festival for children and young people and concentrate on programming works for 0-14 years. We do not tend to programme works made for adults that may have appeal for young audiences.
  3. Email Festival Director Noel Jordan with details of your work and links to any online information about your production and your company. All submissions will receive a response.
  4. If you are sending video material please send a trailer of the work no longer than 5 minutes in length.
  5. If the video is of interest, we will contact you to discuss further.
  6. We will not provide any feedback on the artistic content of the work.
  7. Make sure you provide plenty of notice to attend live performances as our Festival Director’s calendar fills up several months in advance. Please note that attending performances is not always possible due to the cost, time and environmental impact involved. This can be especially true of an individual production that is being presented outside a Festival setting and is some distance from Edinburgh, involving flights and hotels.

“The Festival is a perfect platform for performances to been seen by programmers over the world. They know that they are going to watch high-quality performances. For performing groups it leads to a snowball effect. Our agenda is fully booked with international performances since the Festival (Simone de Jong Company, The Netherlands)

“This is a really useful festival to attend from a professional point of view.  Focused and well-curated it always offers something unexpected and memorable. The work is accessible and suitable for presentation to audiences” (Festival Delegate)

“Imaginate provides very unique platform for Scottish artists to showcase work, meet and build relationships with national & international promoters.” (Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Scotland)



Family Encounters

Every year we open the festival at the National Museum of Scotland with a day of short theatre and dance performances and experiences that are free for children and families. In order to curate this event, we open up call outs (usually between September - January each year) as well as inviting performances we have seen.  We aim to do commissions to support brand new work, this year we had two commissions in partnership with Merchant City Festival and Aberdeen Performing Arts.  We also invite children to commission for the day through our Creative Encounters project, in 2024 you will see two new works commissioned by children at Forthview Primary School and Pilton Youth & Children's Project. Family Encounters call outs are open to artists and companies based in Scotland to support the development of new performance ideas for children and families in public spaces.

The spaces we use at the museum are noisy public areas so they suit walk about performances, dance or non-verbal performances, installations and pop up interventions. It is not suitable for dialogue-heavy performance pieces, performed readings or longer performances than 15 minutes.  You can read through previous programmes here.

If you have any questions about Family Encounters or the work mentioned above, please contact Fiona Ferguson, Creative Development Director or call us at the office on 0131 225 8050.