Following recent national and international developments in regard to the spread of the Covid-19 Pandemic we are sad to inform you that we are having to cancel the International Youth Arts Festival 2020. This is not a decision that we have taken lightly but, as I’m sure you realise, we have to act in the best interests of the companies and individuals taking part, our audiences, our volunteers and our staff.
Please read our full statement here

The International Youth Arts Festival is the UK’s largest multi-arts festival for and by people under 27, featuring some of the most exciting new work by emerging young talent.

The 10-day festival hosts around 200 events across 7 different spaces including Kingston’s famous Rose Theatre, the Arthur Cotterell Theatre and many more. IYAF is delivered by Kingston-based charity Creative Youth, and 2020 will mark our 12th Festival. It is also a great opportunity to trial and test new work just before other international summer festivals. We are placed in the UK festival calendar between the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe offering the possibility of a compact tour at an amazingly affordable festival rate. The International Youth Arts Festival attracts a friendly and supportive audience of many thousands, who return year after year.

IYAF has hosted a number of industry leading companies such as The Young Vic Theatre, Rambert, National Youth Music Theatre, Police Cops, The Pauline Quirk Acadamy and many more. Supporting international companies is key to our work and in our 2019 festival we had companies from China, South Africa, America, South Korea, Germany, Sweden, Spain and many more.


Creative Youth and IYAF supports work for and by young people between the ages 5 to 26. These may be professional or amateur. Children or young adults may be involved as performers, creators and artists or as producers and event managers. Performers over 26 may bring work created for families or young people under 16. The Festival welcomes work of any genre: theatre, music, dance, film, comedy, circus, cabaret, visual arts and more.

Artists apply to the International Youth Arts Festival using Eventotron, an online database of events. If your production is accepted into the festival, we’ll then use Eventotron for all our important company communications and information gathering. Please make sure to get up to speed with Eventotron in good time before the application deadline.

We welcome everyone from professional companies or artists who are touring, or testing something new, to festival first-timers looking for the opportunity to show what they can do. We provide a platform for you to showcase your work, whatever your artform. Come and explore and share new ideas with audiences and artists from around the world next summer.

Successful applicants must pay a registration fee of £165.00. Unsuccessful applicants do not pay a fee. Applicants performing in the Rose Theatre Main House may be required to pay a higher registration fee. There are no venue hire fees at the International Youth Arts Festival. All selected applicants are programmed into a venue by our Festival Director – from the main auditorium at Kingston’s Rose Theatre to intimate studio spaces and the outdoor stage.

The fee does not apply to visual artists or musicians who apply.


The Festival takes place every summer in Kingston upon Thames, 25 minutes from London Waterloo, surrounded by beautiful architecture and stunning views of the river Thames.

Link up with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share your preparations for the festival. We partner with other creative organisations, such as Brighton Fringe, in the UK and around the world, so engaging online can boost your profile too.

Please see our 2019 Festival Brochure for reference:

We felt so taken care of and welcomed and most importantly treated with respect and kindness from every single member of the IYAF team. Thank you so, so much! IYAF is so special and such a wonderful festival for young people and we hope to carry on being a part of it!
– Juliette Smith of Amplify Dance, participant

The cast had an amazing day and your team were fantastic. It was great to have a relatively healthy audience and one that was not just made up of people we knew already!
– Matthew Lyons of Chickenshed, participant

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