The Platform

Hay Festival is inviting submissions for The Platform, a new and exciting opportunity for young creatives to showcase and share their work at Hay Festival 2024.

Creative event at Hay Festival

The Platform aims to help promote, support and develop outstanding young creative artists who are at the start of their careers, by bringing their work to one of the world’s most popular arts festivals. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, this brand new initiative will give emerging creatives the opportunity to share their work with Hay Festival audiences and meet and network with new and established artists.

We are inviting submissions from creatives between the ages of 21 and 28 who are establishing their practice across a diverse number of art forms including, performance (theatre, dance, street), poetry, digital art, film, audio, music and literature. Visual art may possible; we will be limited on size and hanging/installation capacity, but we are open to hearing about how this could work in a festival context.

The Platform will take place at Hay Festival on Wednesday 29 May (the Festival dates are Thursday 23 May–Sunday 2 June) and will operate across the Festival site both indoors and outdoors. The Exchange Marquee will host indoor events where artists will have a 20-minute space to share their work with audiences. Works can also be shared in other locations across the Festival site, for example in gardens, meeting places and in The Canteen, a large marquee with street food traders, where they could potentially be longer in length or displayed over an extended period of time if practical.

What are we looking for?

Ultimately the submissions we receive will govern what we do, but we interested in hearing about new and exciting ideas and approaches across diverse art forms. We are prepared to be flexible with the project in order to accommodate your ideas.

Your proposal could include anything from poetry to performance. It could be something you have already worked on and previously presented, a section of a larger piece of work or something you want to show for the first time. It could be very simple or quite complex. The context is the biggest factor to take into consideration: remember that we are based in a field and there are some restrictions on what we can do.

Space and time are limited, we won’t be able to accommodate large scale casts, complex lighting set ups or sets for example. The pieces will all be part of a much larger Festival programme, so any extreme noise and disruption will also have to be carefully thought about. If your proposal is an indoor performance the number of participants/performers should not exceed three per event, unless they are within daily travelling distance of Hay-on-Wye, as we have limited budgets for travel and accommodation. Digital projection is difficult because of light levels in May.

Abiding by all Festival policies, particularly health and safety, will be mandatory, as will understanding if there is any age restrictive content. If you want to show something in the Exchange Marquee then please note the technical specifications below.

The unique gathering of the cultural industries that takes place at Hay Festival will enable the selected artists to not only share their work, but also meet other young and established creatives and develop their career.

Our hope is that The Platform will provide an exciting creative development opportunity and enable all of the participants to go on to achieve their personal artistic ambitions. We are passionate about ideas and want to hear yours!

Events in the Exchange Marquee

The Exchange Marquee is a traditional canvas marquee, so a blackout isn’t possible.

  • Approx 20 minutes per event
  • Stage size available – 28ft x 8ft x 1ft high and carpeted – audience seated
  • Venue size available - 15ft x 40ft – coconut matting on an uneven surface – audience standing in the round/limited seating
  • Power and PA available
  • Lighting – basic wash
  • Two 75” large screens available
  • Seats 200

There will be a two-hour get-in time for events, which will then take place within a one-hour time slot. The Exchange Marquee will be free but ticketed for audiences and is located in a prime position on the Festival site.

Events in other Festival spaces

Work for other spaces will have to take into account Festival audiences, health and safety regulations, timing of other Festival events, location and weather conditions! If your piece is an artwork you/we will have to consider how and where it will be displayed and kept safe from the public (if that is necessary). Power is available in some parts of the Festival site but access is limited.

What support will I get?

The aim of The Platform is to help elevate and develop outstanding creative artists at the start of their careers. This is a new initiative for Hay Festival and your participation in this first year will be crucial in helping us understand, reflect and respond to the project and how we can continue to support and develop young creatives.

We are able to pay return travel to Hay-on-Wye for up to three people, two nights' accommodation (if required) for up to three people, meals while at the Festival for up to three people for one day and a single event fee of £350. Participants must make their own travel arrangements but costs for travel will be reimbursed as set out in the T&Cs below. The Festival site is fully accessible for wheelchair users. Guide dogs are permitted.

All artists will be supported by Hay Festival’s admin, production and technical teams.

Deadline for submissions is 2pm, Wednesday 17 April 2024.

Creative platform at Hay Festival

How to apply

We invite submissions from all creatives between the ages of 21 and 28 working across diverse art forms, including performance (theatre, dance, outdoor), poetry, film, digital art, audio, music, sculpture and literature.

To apply please complete the digital application form.

A large print version can be downloaded here, which can be copied and sent separately if necessary.

We will also accept video or audio applications that address the same questions. If you wish to apply via this method this guide has some good practical advice.

The application asks for the following:

  • A short outline of your proposed project (no more than 500 words).
  • A CV/biography - including any professional experience (no more than one side of A4). Please attach to the online application or send with the large print form if applying that way.
  • Please write a statement outlining your creative ambitions and goals as an artist (no more than 150 words).
  • Please supply links to a website, YouTube, social media, publications, Soundcloud or photographs related to your work.

An anonymous Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form which will be emailed to you on receipt of your digital application - it is included in their download application. 

Only digital applications are accepted either via the digital application form, or if returning a large print version or a video/audio link by email (to If sending a video/audio link please ensure the media is easily accessible.

Applications delivered by post and late applications will not be considered.

On stage at Hay Festival

Terms & Conditions

  1. You must be resident, but don't have to be born in, the UK.
  2. You must be aged between 21 and 28 on the date of your submission.
  3. You must submit your proposal no later than 2pm (GMT) on 17 April 2024 via the methods prescribed.
  4. All proposals must be an original work of the applicant and must not infringe the rights of any other party. Hay Festival accepts no liability if applicants ignore these rules and applicants agree to fully indemnify Hay Festival against any claims by any third party arising from a breach of these rules.
  5. All applicants agree to take part in project publicity and evaluation.
  6. Hay Festival reserves the right to cancel or alter the scheme at any stage if deemed necessary, and if circumstances arise outside its control. In this event, a notice will be posted on
  7. Hay Festival, as data controller, is responsible for handling personal data provided to Hay Festival, in accordance with data protection law. Hay Festival has a legitimate interest in using the personal data for journalistic, artistic and literary purposes and in the public interest and in using the personal data for the performance of the contract with Hay Festival. For more information visit
  8. By applying for the scheme, entrants warrant that they have legal capacity to enter the scheme and agree to be bound by these Terms & Conditions.
  9. Hay Festival reserves the right to disqualify any proposal which breaches any of these Terms & Conditions or which may bring Hay Festival into disrepute.
  10. These Terms & Conditions are governed by the laws of England and Wales.
Lights on stage


After reading the FAQs, if you have any questions or require additional information, please contact

How will my application be assessed?

The assessment panel will include members of the Hay Festival Wales content and production team who have many years' experience in producing and creating performances (studio, main house, outdoor and site specific), film, audio, visual and installation art and festival events. We will also invite other artists to comment on specific artform applications.

We will be looking for innovation, passion, and a clear focus in terms of your ambitions and aspiration as an artist – but this isn’t an essay, it's just about telling us what excites you!

The assessment will focus on bringing together a diverse and representative group of artists in terms of artforms, location and languages, and any lived experience noted in the application.

We may ask applicants to attend a video call with members of the selection panel, which will give you an opportunity to further explain your proposal. We give applicants good notice if invited for a follow-up conversation.

How many pieces of work are you looking for?

We envisage a maximum of nine, but it will very much depend on the complexity of the proposals we receive.

Can I submit more than one idea?

Yes, but each proposal will require a separate application form. We will only select one idea per applicant.

Is there a production budget?

No. Unfortunately we don’t have the funds to support with personal production costs. We will provide production and technical support at the Festival and can provide 75” screens in the Exchange Marquee, and power.

You will be responsible for bringing any other materials you require with you. Vehicles won’t be able to drive to the venue, so any materials will have to be carried or via a trolley on site. If your event is complex we may have to undertake a risk assessment. Anything that is stage-based will require a detailed running order with technical cues if required.

But don’t worry, if your submission is successful we will talk to you in more detail about your production/technical requirements.

How will my travel be reimbursed?

We will reimburse out of pocket expenses standard class, return journey to the Festival from within the UK. This includes:

  • Standard return rail fare
  • Coach or bus return fares
  • Car/van mileage @ 45p per mile

Expenses could be a combination of the above, i.e. a train and bus ticket. We can purchase tickets in advance for you, otherwise please retain a receipt, or complete a form for mileage and your travel costs will be reimbursed when you arrive at the Festival.

Where will I be staying?

Participants will be allocated accommodation in Hay-on-Wye or the surrounding area, depending on availability. Unfortunately, accommodation can be scarce during the Festival period and we are unable to guarantee en-suite rooms. We will pay for three people involved in the event for up to two nights.

How do the catering arrangements work? I have food allergies and/or dietary requirements, can you cater for me?

You will receive your meals on the Festival site – these will be on the evening of Tuesday 28 May and breakfast, lunch and dinner on Wednesday 29 May. There will be provision for those with food allergies and/or dietary requirements. Coffee, tea and other drinks will be available throughout the day. Please note you will have to pay for any other food or drink purchased outside of our catering or Green Room facilities.

When will I know if my application has been successful?

We will contact all applicants the week beginning 29 April 2024.

If I am unsuccessful, will I receive feedback?

Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications we may receive, we will not be able to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants. However, with your permission as outlined in the application form GDPR Consent section, we may contact you again to mention further opportunities.

I have a disability or an illness that might make it difficult to take part, can you help?

We are available to discuss any concerns and requirements you may have. The Festival site is fully accessible for wheelchair users, we have a designated Quiet Space and guide dogs are permitted. Please contact us to discuss accessibility. We will invite all successful artists to complete an access form in advance.

And lastly...

This new initiative is about supporting young emerging artists. We love ideas at Hay Festival and we want to hear yours. Unfortunately we are limited in the amount of events we can take, so if you aren’t successful this time please don’t be downhearted, there will be other opportunities. In the meantime thank you for your work and thank you for applying!