How to pitch your work to a festival director

Three festival directors offer tips on pitching your art for inclusion in their events.
Pitch. Image is a silhouetted figure stands against a photo of the Milky Way in all its cosmic splendour.

For many artists, having one’s work programmed at a major festival can be an invaluable calling card when it comes to gaining international attention and developing a higher profile. But given the many gatekeepers who stand between artist and artistic director, how does one get on the radar of a festival director in the first place?

In a recent panel at the National Circus Summit in Australia, the Artistic Directors of Darwin Festival, RISING and YIRRAMBOI discussed the best ways artists can gain their attention.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts