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.

Established in 2009 by Creative Youth, the 10-day festival hosts around 200 events across venues and spaces around Kingston upon Thames every July. Anyone and everyone is welcome to apply. International Youth Arts Festival aims to provide a supportive environment for artists at every stage of their creative journey, from experienced performers to those putting on their first show. 

Applications for all art forms are welcome: theatre, music, comedy, dance, circus, visual art, cabaret and more.  If you’re over 27 but your work is directed at young audiences, we’d love to hear from you too.

Applications for IYAF 2021 have now closed and our programming team are busy reading all the submissions. They will be in touch with all artists by March. 

We are currently accepting applications for our Film Festival strand. Applications will be open between 1 – 26 March 2021.

Visit the Film Festival page for more information.


For International Youth Arts Festival 2021 we are committed to continue our work and adapt our vision for the festival to the various situations which could face us in terms of the Covid –19 pandemic. Think creatively with us, we welcome all your ideas and questions.  

Our 2021 festival applications will be split into 3 categories:
– Indoor
– Outdoor 
– Digital 

Alongside our usual venues, for IYAF 2021 we are particularly interested in expanding our outdoor programme in various outside spaces – this could be for theatre, music, comedy, visual arts, dance, circus and more. Also, we potentially have access to some new exciting, unconventional performance spaces next year, and we are interested in any immersive/ experimental project ideas. 

If you are applying with an indoor performance, please be mindful it may need to comply with government guidelines.  

For creatives wanting to apply with a digital performance we can potentially live stream this via any of our social media platforms and website. We can also show pre-recorded projects as we did in our International Youth Arts Festival: Digifest 2020 programme.  


All applications are processed through Eventotron.

  1. Visit
  2. Create an account
  3. Go to ‘Festivals’
  4. Find ‘International Youth Arts Festival’ and begin your application form

The Festival Director, Petra Tauscher, and Programme Manager, Tom Stocks, will programme successful applicants into appropriate venues or spaces in Kingston upon Thames using the information provided in the application form.  If you have any access requirements, please get in touch with Tom at to discuss an alternative application process.

Application deadline: Friday 8 January 2021, 5pm 


All applicants will have a response to their application by March 2021.  

The festival generally operates on a reasonable box office split. Successful companies will be required to pay a registration payment of £165.00 at the point of acceptance. There are potentially different arrangements for individual artists with reduced box office potential. There is a higher registration payment required for the Rose Theatre Main House. Please note that no financial exchange will be necessary until March 2021.  

The registration fee includes your venue hire, a technician for your performance, festival administration, a slot in our brochure and other festival perks such as access to free workshops and performances throughout the entire festival. Other additional marketing packages for an extra fee will be available. 

Due to the on-going COVID-19 situation, we ask that all companies work collaboratively with IYAF to adapt to the changing government guidelines and situation. Contractual agreements and any financial exchanges will not be expected to be made until around March 2021 at which point the exact terms and conditions will be clarified. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this please email Tom at 


The Festival 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. International Youth Arts Festival attracts a friendly and supportive audience of many thousands, who return year after year.

The Festival takes place every summer in Kingston upon Thames, 30 minutes from London Waterloo, surrounded by beautiful architecture and stunning views of the river Thames.

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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