Be a part of SHOUT Festival 2021!

SHOUT Festival will be back in November 2021, and we’re looking for brilliant artists and imaginative ideas to be part of our commissioned programme.

What is SHOUT?

SHOUT is the festival of queer arts and culture for Birmingham and the West Midlands. It aims to amplify the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people and communities from across our city and region, and start new conversations and tell new stories about LGBT+ life.

What are we looking for?

We’re looking for new creative work, ideas and projects that explore queer life in all of its beautiful variety. They might be projects that tell stories of the personal or political, or that shed light on unknown nooks and crannies of LGBT+ culture; that look back on our history, or forward to our future.

We’d love to hear from artists who are working with grassroots communities to tell queer stories drawn from the lived experience of LGBT+ people; and we’d love to hear from communities with a story to tell.

We’re keen to listen to ideas from anywhere in the world, but we’re especially interested in new queer work from the West Midlands.

And we’d love to hear ideas from artists and creative makers from communities that have often been under-represented in SHOUT festival, including LGBT+ people who are Black, Asian and global majority; Romany or Irish Traveller; D/deaf, disabled or neurodivergent; people with lived experience of migration; working class or older people.

Does this have to be a polished, finished piece?

No – we’re just as interested in ideas as finished works, and we’re interested in any and all art forms. We’re keen to work with artists and community partners to develop ideas collaboratively. We want to start conversations and get to know new people.

And while we’re especially looking for work that could be featured in our festival this November, we’ve got one eye on the future beyond that, too – so please get in touch even if your idea is going to take years to evolve. We’re patient like that. And if we ask you to spend time developing ideas for us, we’ll pay you for your time.

What about Covid?

The festival’s scheduled for November and we really hope to be able to do face-to-face events by then. But we learned in 2020 that a lot of people value being able to access work online. So even if we’re back to laughing and crying and hugging together, we’ll still be looking to work with artists to develop online aspects to most of our projects, so everyone can be a part of them.
And if we end up back in some kind of lockdown, we’ll SHOUT into our screens once again.

Will I get paid?

Yes – we’ll make sure that all artists taking part in the festival, or commissioned to develop projects, are paid fairly for their time, expertise and ideas.

How and when do I make submissions?

You can send us an email to shoutfestival@blgbt.org. There’s no template or form to fill in, but please make sure to tell us a bit about yourself and what you’ve done before; and about your idea and what you think might be needed to make it a reality.

You can send us a few paragraphs of text or a video or audio file if you prefer: whatever you’re most comfortable with.

You can make submissions to SHOUT at any time: but if you want to be considered for the 2021 festival, please contact us by 31 May 2021.

If you need to access this information in a different format or have any other access needs we can support you with at this stage, you can email us on shoutfestival@blgbt.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

How will decisions be made?

At the same time as this open call, we’re consulting with a wide range of LGBT+ community groups, and recruiting a new festival producing team and a new advisory group. This will take a little time, so we’ll ask you to bear with us: but we hope it means that the decisions on the festival will be made by a diverse group of people who represent a wider range of queer experiences and perspectives, and informed by an up to date dialogue with our communities.

Access Needs

If you need to access this information in a different format, or have any other access needs we can support you with at this stage, you can email us on shoutfestival@blgbt.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Any questions?

Just send us an email on shoutfestival@blgbt.org – we understand that everyone’s needs differ, so we’ll be happy to discuss directly.