Summerhall and La Manufacture announce a new collaboration to create artistic links between Edinburgh Fringe and Avignon Off festivals

Summerhall and La Manufacture are leading venues for contemporary performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Avignon Off Festival respectively.  Together the two venues account for more than 250,000 attendances every year at performances of cutting-edge new theatre, dance, visual and live art, music.

At the time of Brexit and other global issues in which European humanist values ​ are in danger of being forgotten, it seemed essential to us, as curators and presenters of contemporary work in Edinburgh and Avignon, to create an alliance initiating a dynamic between the two festivals.  There are many similarities between Avignon and Edinburgh, but limited connections between Anglophone and Francophone touring markets.

Summerhall and La Manufacture share a common spirit, a common vision of the performing arts, and for several years a number of artists have presented their work as part of both our festival programmes.

This initiative aims to support artists and has been suggested to us for some years by the artists who have presented work at our two venues.  Many artists and promoters have told us that Summerhall and La Manufacture play similar roles in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Avignon Off festival respectively, and that the two organisations have much in common in terms of innovative programming, support for artists and being a ‘marketplace’ for onward touring for high quality contemporary theatre, dance, visual and live art.

This alliance aims to facilitate and boost the circulation of projects and artists between our two festivals.  Regular exchanges take place between the teams of Summerhall and La Manufacture. Operational and specific support will be offered to projects from one venue wishing to transfer to the other venue.

The Summerhall team will be present in Avignon in July 2019 and will award a “Summerhall Award” to a show from the La Manufacture programme wishing to perform in 2020 at Summerhall.  Conversely, La Manufacture team in Edinburgh in August 2019 will award a “La Manufacture” prize to a Summerhall project to be presented in Avignon in 2020.  The winning artist or company will be offered a guaranteed festival slot with a bespoke financial deal including in-kind support from the presenting venue.

Other projects are in the process of development for 2020.

Verity Leigh, Programme Manager Summerhall
Pascal Keiser, President La Manufacture

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