VAULT Creative Arts announced plans this morning to build a new multi-space, year-round venue in Central London. Following their eviction from their underground venue in Waterloo last year, the organisers of VAULT Festival set out on a fundraiser as part of a hard-fought battle to secure the festival’s future. Now, with several more fundraising targets set out ahead, they set out on a new chapter with a renewed sense of purpose.
While the precise location and design of the new purpose-built venue have not yet been revealed, it has been given the name VAULT London in a fundraiser which lays out the organisation’s priorities. VAULT are looking for contributions to increase the accessibility of the new venue, with funds donated during the Big Give Christmas Challenge to be used for captioning, hearing loop, and audio description systems in all of the spaces Funds donated within Big Give’s Challenge period – from the date of publishing 28th November to the 5th December – will be matched by the funding platform if the target of £9,925 is reached.
The doors of the new venue are set to open in Spring 2024, alongside the announcement of other creative ventures to come promising additional support for early career artists. Festival Director and Co-Founder Andy George said “We are pumped to have found a new home for VAULT following a challenging few years. The fact we’re still alive and kicking, and with a very bright future ahead, is very much thanks to the love and support we’ve received from artists and audiences who are as determined as we are to keep the mission of VAULT alive.”
“One of our non-negotiables for our new home was ensuring we have step-free access so more people can enjoy the work of our wonderful artists. But we don’t want to stop there. We want to install access tools throughout the building so that artists and audiences who are d/Deaf, deafened or living with sight loss can enjoy everything we and our artists do. We want to champion a world that is accessible by default, not by exception.” he added.
In conjunction with the venue’s launch period, VAULT announced their inaugural fundraising gala, which will take place one year to the date of the doors closing on the festival’s original home – the 19th March 2024. The gala will take place at Shoreditch Town Hall and tickets will be available in early 2024.
Opinion – ‘From a Much Noticed Absence, VAULT Appears Refreshed and Revitalised’.
The gap left by VAULT Festival in London’s art scene has been a much noticed absence. Spaces where the emphasis is on access and opportunity can feel few and far between, and monolithic festivals like EdFringe and Brighton Fringe even more fraught in their approach to early career, underprivileged, and experimental artists.
VAULT Creative Arts have managed to carve out a space for themselves in Lower Marsh with intervening festivals like A Pinch of VAULT offering respite and resplendence a stone’s throw from the Thames. It would be hard to imagine VAULT finding a new home immediately North of the River with the roots they have established in Waterloo with established spaces like The Glitch and Vaulty Towers – and if I had to hazard a guess I would expect we won’t be straying too far from the Festival’s old haunts.
More importantly, VAULT’s carefully worded choice of ‘building’ a new venue establishes that their priorities are clear. This is not just the creation of a new space but a building into the local community, building of a prospective home for grassroots performance in the city, and the building of inclusivity and access into the heart of the work they do. It is immensely admirable to see the fundraiser so focused on delivering access – showing that the core value of access has far from dripped out of VAULT in this hiatus, instead the Festival’s organisers appear refreshed and revitalised in their approach.
If you are willing and able to, you can donate to VAULT’s accessible arts fundraiser here. Donations before 5th December will be matched by the platform if the aforementioned fundraising goal is reached.