Open Call, 5 Festivals Co-commission

Artistic field:



Art Commission Brief

Building on the success of a co-commission in 2018, bluedot, Kendal Calling, Shambala, Lakes Alive and Arts by the Sea are providing a new opportunity for artists to create and tour a new artwork to each of their festivals in 2019.

The festivals are particularly interested in seeing applications for outdoor light art, digital art and large-scale installation work that has sufficient scale and impact for each festival setting. The artwork will be showcased in arenas that have audiences present throughout the day and after dark so should be created to be visible at night as well as during the day. Artists are encouraged to consider the use of light as a key artistic medium for the commission. The artwork could also include ambient sound as well as light, however this should be designed to have a controllable volume level. The artwork should encourage interaction and exploration of the work. Interactivity for audiences is a key factor for all 5 festivals and the piece should be designed to be robust enough to withstand audiences.

Commission Level

£12,000 is available for touring a new piece of artwork to the following festivals: Kendal Calling, bluedot, Shambala, Lakes Alive and Arts by the Sea.

Application and Commissioning Process

Artists are required to complete the online application form via the link below to be considered. All completed applications will be reviewed for award by the panel, and you will be notified of the decision in writing, via email. Unfortunately, due to limited resource the festival is not able to offer feedback on unsuccessful applications. 

All participating festivals are listed below. Please check your / your team's availability to set up, supervise and de-rig the work at the events listed below, before applying. 

Please note: it is expected that you have teams to supervise your artwork during the live show days at each festival. The festivals will have security teams patrolling the area but there is not enough resource to staff each individual piece of artwork.

Application Timescales

  • Application return deadline – 1 March 2019
  • Panel review and shortlisting – 15 March 2019

At this point you may be required to provide more information or clarify your proposals

  • Unsuccessful applicants notified, and awards made by 1 April 2019
  • Delivery and Communications – April to July 2019
  • Live event dates:

bluedot festival (18-21st July).

Kendal Calling (25-28th July).

Shambala festival (22-25th August)

Lakes Alive (6-8th September)

Arts by the Sea (27-29th September)

  • Feedback and evaluation – October 2019 


  • The commission is open to organisations and individual artists.
  • The project must be presented at all co-commissioning festivals.
  • The commission is for a new piece of work; however, developments of existing work will also be considered.
  • All project expenditure must take place after the panel decision has been formally announced to successful applications.


Commissions will normally be paid in two instalments:

  • 90% at the start date following confirmation of funding and provision of a detailed budget.
  • 10% on satisfactory completion of the project and the project self-assessment and evaluation.


Applications will be assessed against the following criteria

Artistic Quality

Public Engagement

  • Is the artistic idea clearly described?
  • Is the project adaptable for woodland and town centre settings? 
  • Do the plans indicate that the artistic aims of the project are likely to be achieved?
  • Has the applicant demonstrated that they have a track record of achieving their artistic aims?
  • Does the application demonstrate a commitment to artistic excellence and ambition?
  • Will the activity provide an excellent experience for those that engage with it as audiences, readers or participants?
  • How innovatively does the project reflect any themes of the 2019 commissioning festivals i.e. Changing Landscapes (Lakes Alive), Mind Matter (Arts by the Sea) and Observe, Experiment, Explore (bluedot)?
  • Does the project reflect the relevant scale for the space and fits with the night time festival environment?
  • Has environmental impact been considered in the design of the work?
  • Is there evidence that the activity will involve good quality public engagement?
  • Does the proposed activity engage new participants, readers or audiences?
  • Does the applicant understand who the intended audience / readership for the project are? Do they have a realistic plan for how the work will reach that audience / readership?
  • If the activity is about developing rather than presenting work, the application must demonstrate how the fund will eventually help them to reach an audience or readership for their work.




  • Are the plans to deliver the activity clear and realistic?
  • Does the applicant have demonstrable track record of delivering similar projects or activities?
  • Does the application demonstrate that those involved in the activity have the relevant skills and expertise?
  • Is the timetable for planning and delivery realistic?
  • Does the applicant have a sustainable policy for producing work?
  • Is there evidence of value for money?
  • Is the budget for the activity realistic?
  • Is there a clear and realistic breakdown of income and expenditure?
  • Has the applicant provided payment details?
  • For individual applicants, has s/he provided a reference?  


Project Delivery and Monitoring

Each successful applicant will be expected to provide the panel with a detailed budget and a project plan for how the project will be carried out (including the end date). The budget and project plan will be submitted to the panel by the start date agreed by the applicant and panel. 

In addition, each applicant will be required to submit an interim report on a date agreed with the panel (or panel delegate) and liaise with each festival representative on H&S compliance and production delivery. All successful applicants will be required to submit information and evidence for evaluation of the project and festival.

The panel can offer successful applicants advice and support during the development of the project, adding to the overall learning experience.

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