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The Coventry City of Culture Trust are working in partnership with The Albany Theatre Coventry to bring GENERATE Festival to the city in 2021. The Festival will host a range of local community and amateur performance groups from across Coventry and Warwickshire responding to the theme of FREEDOM and celebrating the diversity of our city.

Would you like the chance to bring your group’s work to an outdoor setting, perhaps for the first time?

Would you like to be part of a summer of surprises bursting in the city during this August 2021?

If any of the above sounds like you or your group, we’d love to hear from you!

GENERATE FESTIVAL supported by National Lottery Community Fund #LoveCoventry

Inspired by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s successful community performance programme The Dell, Coventry City of Culture 2021 and The Albany Theatre will be bringing the talent and creativity of local performers to a green space near you in August 2021!

The Festival will take place across multiple weekends in August, running from midday til dusk. You will only be expected to perform once in the schedule.

Scheduled dates are:

  • Saturday 31st July and Sunday 1st August
  • Saturday 7th August and Sunday 8th August
  • Saturday 14th August and Sunday 15th August
  • Saturday 21st August and Sunday 22nd August
  • Saturday 28th August, Sunday 29th August and Monday 30th August (Bank Holiday)
What we are looking for:

The festival offers a great opportunity for groups to bring an already established performance or to create something new specifically for the space. The programme will be wonderfully diverse, creative and accessible to all ages.

We are looking for performances that:

  • Respond to the theme of FREEDOM. Coventry has always let in new ideas and our city celebrates the freedom to differ and the freedom to express ourselves. Everyone in Coventry has a voice.
  • Last between 20 – 40 minutes in total (this can be more than one dance piece for example)
  • Are suitable for a family audience
  • Does not include large set pieces and lots of props
  • Have no or minimal costume changes
  • Require little to no tech, there will be no lighting or generators on site. A small PA will be provided.
  • Are suitable for enjoyment in an outdoor space 

There is a limited number of performance slots within the festival. A panel made up of The City of Culture, The Albany and members of the community, will select groups / companies based on the following criteria.

  • Range of groups and art form within the schedule. The Festival is open to everyone and we want to present performance work from groups of different background, cultures and more!
  • Availability
  • Description of potential performance
  • How this responds to the theme of FREEDOM
Community Performance Grants of up to £1,000 available per group

We understand that that COVID-19 has created many new challenges for performance groups across Coventry and that some may have not rehearsed in person since March 2020. In order to support your group in taking part we can offer small grants of up to £1,000 per group to support the successful community and amateur arts (theatre, performance, choir) groups that are selected to participate in the festival. As part of your application we will ask how you plan to use the grants.

To qualify the group must

  • Be active in a CV post code, Coventry and Warwickshire
  • Be a not-for-profit organisation that does not pay staff (excluding MD/ musicians)
  • Be an existing and established group

The grant should not be spent on ‘business as usual’ costs to the group.

Some suggestions of how the grant could support you:

  • Online Zoom rehearsals (paying for zoom subscriptions)
  • Costumes
  • Equipment
  • Transport to venue or location
  • Practitioners to support performing outdoors – eg Vocal coaches
  • Cover for your Public Liability Insurance
  • PRS licence for music
  • Membership to networks such as the Coventry Alliance of Theatre Societies
What will City of Culture and The Albany Theatre provide

All groups will be confirmed by 31st May 2021 and contracted by 11th June 2021.

We will send you an example Risk Assessment with guidance on how this needs to be completed for your performance.

We will provide a point of contact between now and the performance dates if you have any questions or concerns

We will provide a Stage Manager, Technician and Front of House support to look after the audience and provide First Aid

The Festival is low minimal tech but we will provide a small portable PA for dance groups to use.

The team will publicise the Festival via the Coventry City of Culture Trust and The Albany Theatre website, via our social media and with flyers and print

Your groups responsibility:

  • You will need to provide a Risk Assessment for your performance (using our example as guidance). 
  • You will ensure you have the correct public liability insurance and will provide a copy of the certificate by the date requested. 
  • You will ensure all correct licences for any music used and child performers are in place prior to the performance. We can support you with this process.
  • You will adhere to all City of Culture Trust policies as requested. 
  • Companies will always remain responsible for all their belongings.
  • Performances to be no longer than 40 minutes, we may cut performances off if they overrun
  • Please be considerate to those who are performing after you and get out as quickly as possible. Your contract will state the time that you need to clear the stage by, this is usually 15 minutes from the end of the performance. Please consider this when looking at what you would like to present at the festival.
  • Provide a good quality image (min 1MB) by 7th June 2021 and 200 words of copy. The image should be of your current or recent production or of the company with no text. This may need to be cropped to fit publicity templates.
How do I get involved?

We want to make sure there is a balance of art forms and groups from Coventry and Warwickshire involved in the festival so we would like to know more about your group and why you would like to be involved in the festival. You can tell us about yourself by;

  • Completing the application form via the following link: Online Application Form OR
  • Sending us a word version of the application form by email to or in the post. Available to download here or on request to Darren by email.
  • Sharing a video or audio version, no longer than 4 minutes or examples of your group sent to us via We Transfer

We want you to submit whatever works best for you and tells us most about your group.

We are holding two – GENERATE Festival Application Surgeries in May, where you can meet the organisers and ask more questions. These will take place on:

Tuesday 11th May, 6pm – 7pm (Online via Zoom)

Thursday 20th May, 6pm – 7pm (In person at The Albany Theatre)

Visit: to book your tickets

Key Dates

Deadline for applications: 24th May at 5pm

Successful groups will be notified by: 31st May 2021

The Festival schedule will be finalised by: 4th June 2021

For a chat about the Festival, ask questions or book your place on the Information Session please contact: Darren Knapton on 07826 521 729 or email

Access and Support  

We are committed to ensuring everyone can engage in this opportunity. Please chat with us if you require any additional access support in either applying or taking part in the festival. Please get in touch using the details below to discuss how we can meet your support or adjustment needs.  

Darren Knapton on 07826 521 729 or email

Frequently Asked Questions

There is no wet weather contingency and if conditions are deemed to be hazardous to the audience or performers, the performance will be cancelled.

The space may be open to the public and therefore please be prepared for other noise and possible activity around the space.

Audience will sit in marked ‘bubbles’.

Is this a voluntary opportunity? This is a voluntary opportunity for participation however we do have a limited number of grants available to support the successful groups in preparing for the festival

Can we apply if we are a professional performance group? This opportunity is for community, amateur and youth groups.

What is the maximum size of the groups that can take part? This is dependent on the art form and we will discuss with you and make decisions on a case by case basis and in relation to government guidelines at the time of the Festival

We are a local band can we apply? We will be looking at music groups on a case by case basis however there will be no amplification available on site other than a small PA for music for dance groups.

Will there be a sound system for our group to use? A small portable capable of playing music will be available. Please provide your music on a memory stick labelled in order. Please do not provide a phone or Ipad for your music.

Will there be microphones for my group to use? No

Will there be a changing room at the space on the day of our performance? It is highly unlikely that we will be able to provide a changing room on the day due to the nature of the green space the festival will take place on. Please be prepared to attend on your performance day arriving in costume.

Will there be toilets on site? Toilets will be provided on site.

Will the Festival be accessible to my family and friends? We hope the performances at GENERATE Festival will be wonderfully diverse, high energy and accessible to people of all ages. The festival is free but ticketed. We invite people to bring picnics and chairs of their own to enjoy the show with and to meet up with other families, engaging with performances as well as enjoying the space.  

How big will the stage be? Approximately 32 feet wide by 12 feet deep and 1 foot high. There will also be a wheelchair ramp giving access to the stage.

Our group is not based in Coventry and Warwickshire, can we still apply? Our focus for this year’s Festival is supporting and showcasing the incredible talent of groups based in a CV postcode.

If our group is not successful, are there other ways we can get involved? Our aspirations are that this festival can continue in years to come. We would love to keep groups on our database so we can let you know about further opportunities in the future.

This programme is part of #LoveCoventry, a flagship programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.