Our Support for Ambition Initiative is Back!

Support for Ambition:

If you are an artist, venue or promoter based in Dumfries & Galloway, your event could be included in our 10 Day Arts Festival or year-round Arts Live programme. We provide support for performance events that must take place in D&G during our Arts Live Spring/Summer season (January – July 2023), or 10 Day Festival 2023 (19th – 28th May).

Support for Ambition is our initiative that enables artists, venues or promoters to present performance events in the region by providing financial, promotional, and advisory support to deliver the next season of performing arts events. This is a great opportunity for those based in the region – for artists to showcase their work and venues and promoters to share performances with local audiences.

If you are a local artist, you may want to apply to Support for Ambition to stage a performance in the region. This might allow you to realise a creative idea and present it to an audience, establish a relationship with a venue or attract new and existing audiences to your work.

If you are a local venue, you may want to apply to Support for Ambition so we can support you to take risks in the work that you programme by offering financial support for your event. This could be because you are trying to build a new audience, try something different, or something a bit more ambitious which carries a financial risk that you cannot support yourselves.

Performances can be in theatre, music, dance, comedy or spoken word.

We also welcome applications to present online performances. You are not required to find a venue for this, but we can host your online event.

We have a dedicated budget for projects organised by young people under the age of 26 years old. Get in touch with our Youth Development Officer Liam Russell if you’d like to learn more: stageit@dgartsfestival.org.uk

Successful applicants will receive:

  • Advisory support from the D&G Arts Festival team
  • Inclusion in either the Spring/Summer Arts Live or 10 Day Arts Festival programme
  • Free publicity across our social media and marketing channels
  • An event entry on our websites ‘What’s On’ section
  • Inclusion in our printed promotional materials, which are distributed to key outlets throughout D&G
  • Inclusion in our core marketing campaigns and regional online and offline advertising and PR

You can apply for up to £750 maximum to present one performance event in the region during our Arts Live Spring/Summer season or during our 10 Day Arts Festival in May.

What we support:

  • Artists’ fees, travel and accommodation*
  • Venue hire*
  • Publicity
  • Set-up and technical costs*
  • Box Office Fees

*If you run a venue, are artists or sound technicians, etc. these will include your fees provided they are included in the application.

What we won’t pay for

  • Promoters’ or venues’ time
  • Costs of catering for the public
  • Rented items that are not returned
  • Cancellation costs
  • Tickets must be charged for, we cannot support a free event or free tickets
  • Increases in your expenditure budget after your applicationis submitted

Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival – Support for Ambition (SFA) Scheme Conditions:

  • We will underwrite your event with a Support for Ambition up to an agreed maximum against an income and expenditure budget agreed in response to your application.
  • By accepting this offer you understand that it is not a GRANT but a Support for Ambition against a specified minimum ticket income and maximum expenditure.
  • Please note if your costs increase, or you do not achieve the minimum income achieved, the SFA will not cover all of your expenditure.
  • The SFA does not cover any cancellation costs and will not be paid in the event of a cancellation.
  • You have read and agree to the conditions of the Support for Ambition Scheme in this document.  
  • You agree to submit a post event evaluation, regardless of the SFA support required, and submit it to the festival office within 14 days after the event.
  • You will display Arts Festival signage provided by us prominently at your event.
  • You will reserve 2 tickets for each show for Festival trustees/Arts Ambassadors. We are hoping to have a representative of the Arts Festival at each show, to help us measure the success of your events.
  • An allocation of at least 75% of your tickets will be made available to be sold at the Midsteeple via Ticket source, our online booking system.

Please remember it is your responsibility to ensure your event is a success. Plan ahead and plan when you will start promoting and creating a buzz about your event.

The total costs of the event should be more than the Support For Ambition (SFA) requested, we are looking for promoters to buy in with a shared risk. The artist, venue or promoter should be confident in achieving a minimum audience. The SFA will ensure that all agreed event costs are covered, provided you achieve above the minimum. Should ticket income be more than the event costs, you will keep profits.

Typically we will offer up to £750 support, depending upon the overall cost of the event. The costs should include artists’ fees, travel accommodation, venue hire, technical costs and publicity. If for example, you are an artist or a venue, you can include your own fees in the budget. Typically we will expect the SFA to cover no more than 50% of the total event costs but we will make exceptions for high risk or developmental projects.  You must supply us with 75 words of copy and a good quality image for our listings, and publicity. You will be primarily responsible for the promotion and marketing of your event. We do, however, offer support via press releases, newsletters, website material and social media.


To apply, please fill in the online application form via the link below. To access and fill in this form, you must be on a PC. If you don’t have access to a PC, please contact us and we will provide the form in an alternative format:



Send us a proposal of your event and up to a 200 word description for your event,

An up to date artist CV or some information on your venue and what you normally offer,

We request you fill in a voluntary Equality, Diversity & Inclusion form: https://forms.gle/MZK33p3VLqP38Md18

It must include a budget outline for your event, showing Income against expenditure with a minimum ticket expectation. Please click on our budget example below for more information.

Additional Information:

We welcome proposals in alternative formats such as BSL, Braille, sound or video recording or transcribed by phone. We have a budget for removing barriers you might face to submit a proposal. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this in more detail or submit your application by phone.

As a rural organisation working in an urban-centric performance sector, we recognise the urgent need to centre the work of marginalised artists as an essential act for achieving equality in society. Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival is especially welcoming of applicants who face marginalisation, including D/deaf and/or disabled people, LGBTQIA+ people, women, people of colour, working-class, and people from any related background or identity. If you feel you are often excluded from performance opportunities, we would like to hear from you and support you.

If you would like to discuss your application beforehand, please contact us and someone from our team will get back to you either by email or to arrange a meeting. Please be cautious we are a small team and might not be able to fulfil all requests.

If you are an artist, who needs support pairing with a local venue to submit your application, please contact our General Manager, Lou Davies, who will be able to advise: lou@dgartsfestival.org.uk

The deadline for receiving applications is Wednesday 21st September 2022 at 5pm.


All proposals are entered into our admin system and sent to a panel, comprising of D&G Arts Festival staff, members of our Board and venues and artists from or with a connection to D&G. They will read the proposals before attending a panel meeting to discuss and select from the applications received.

During the panel meeting, we will assess each application using the following criteria:

  • The artistic quality and creativity of the event idea
  • Ability to capture a new or existing audience
  • Ensure there is a realistic budget, ticket income projection and ticket price
  • Ensuring a mix of performance work that appeals and reaches different audiences in our diverse region

We conduct our selection through a fair and open access application process that is in line with our equal opportunities policy. No decisions will be made before the application deadline.


Deadline:                       Wednesday  21st September

Selection Meeting:         w/c 26th September

Decision Date:                Wednesday 5th October  

Contact email:                Lou@dgartsfestival.org.uk

Application:                    Application Form

Voluntary EDI Form:       EDI Form