FAQs for the 2023 Programming from the Community for the Schedule of Programming

What is the Berlin Performing Arts Festival?

Since 2016, the Berlin Performing Arts Festival (PAF) has presented the diversity of Berlin’s independent performing arts community at numerous theaters and performance venues throughout the entire city on an annual basis.

This festival, which takes place simultaneously all over Berlin at a wide variety of performance venues, provides a greater visibility for the artistic positions developed in the independent performing arts community outside of state and municipal theaters and communicates their richness and diversity to a wide audience.

Who Organizes the Festival?

The Berlin Performing Arts Festival is an event shared between all independent performance venues, groups and artists working in Berlin, the independent performing arts community. The community is responsible for the festival both artistically and organizationally. The festival coordination team works for Landesverband Freie Darstellende Künste (LAFT) Berlin, the Berlin State Association for the Independent Performing Arts.

LAFT Berlin represents the interests of the professional independent performing arts community of Berlin in dealing with politicians and the public. LAFT Berlin centrally promotes the festival and the participating productions, both in Berlin as well as internationally, and provides comprehensive support to the independent performing arts community for the realization of the festival.

The participating performance venues and event locations curate their contributions themselves. The festival’s schedule of events and the productions presented in the so-called Programming from the Community will be decentrally organized and financed by the participating performance venues and locations. The performance venues and event locations as well as the participating artists and groups must ensure that their participation in the festival can be independently realized in terms of organizational, financial and technical requirements. As a result, we ask all interested parties examine very carefully the extent to which it is possible to participate in the festival based upon their respective financial situation.

Who is the Festival Intended For?

The festival’s schedule of programming is intended for the Berlin audience and visitors to the city, as well as the artists of the independent performing arts community living here and, of course, industry professionals and interested parties from throughout Germany and abroad.

What Does the Festival Offer?

Since 2016, the Berlin Performing Arts Festival has annually presented the work and artistic positions of Berlin-based artists and groups working in all genres of the performing arts for the Berlin audience as well as visitors to the city and industry professionals from throughout Germany and abroad for multiple days packed with performances and events. The communication team promotes the participating productions both in Berlin as well as throughout Germany and abroad.

In addition, the festival team develops diverse discourse, communication and accompanying formats that provide a potential audience with access to and insight into the independent performing arts community which then supplement and round out the festival’s schedule of events.

Who Can Submit a Production to the Festival?

All Berlin-based performance venues and event locations of the independent performing arts community that present the work of professional Berlin-based groups and/or artists can submit a contribution to the festival. This means that each presenter and/or contractual partner / each location has the opportunity to submit one contribution.

A presenter with multiple stages/performance locations can also submit only one contribution.

The participating performance venues and event locations must have existed for at least six months by the time of the festival and must regularly present events.

The operators of the performance venues are simultaneously also the contractual partners with the festival, serving as representatives for the submitted production.

Berlin-based groups and/or artists who present work in public space are excepted from this regulation. For the 2023 edition of the PAF, only existing productions that were premiered since 2020 can be submitted; these can be digital, analog as well as hybrid. It is not possible to submit premieres.

And What Are the Rules for Art in Public Space?

Productions that take place in public space can be submitted without a performance venue or event location. All other criteria (existing productions, maximum one submission, selection of performance dates, et cetera) also apply to submissions without a specific event location.

The performance location in public space and the financing of the work must be clarified and confirmed before completing the form. Digital submissions are not seen as art in public space and thus can only be submitted by performance venues and event locations/contractual partners.

Submission of Digital and Hybrid Forms

Alongside analog formats, there is also the opportunity to submit professional digital and/or hybrid formats for the 2023 Berlin Performing Arts Festival. These will be included in the schedule of programming at fixed times, just like analog contributions, and can be offered between May 31 and June 3, 2023 at the corresponding times.

They must be provided via the channels of the respective performance venue (website, social media, et cetera) or a third-party provide (e.g. via video platforms). In addition, the general conditions of participation of the 2023 Berlin Performing Arts Festival also apply to digital and hybrid formats.

Who is the Presenter?

The presenter is the performance venue or event location that submits a production to participate in the 2023 edition of the PAF. The presenter becomes the contractual partner of the PAF that submits a production - please note that even if multiple performance venues are available, each contractual partner may only submit one production.

In addition, the presenter functions as the ticket seller for the events that it contributes. They are responsible for the realization of the event as well as for, if applicable, GEMA and other fees. The presenter has the authority to make a decision of last resort onsite and should have a liability insurance policy for presenters, as they are liable for audience members in the event of any incidents. They should also be responsible for contracts with the group/individual artists and additional participants and, if applicable, is liable for paying the social security contributions for artists (KSK). This list is used to serve as a definition of presenters as well as the consequences involved and makes no claim to completeness.

What Benefits Does the Shared Ticketing Platform Provide?

The shared ticketing platform that the festival has offered since 2016 allows all tickets to be sold centrally via the festival website and thus makes it easier for audience members to purchase tickets. In addition, audience members are able to receive a volume discount when they purchase multiple tickets. The festival organizes the shared ticketing platform for the performance venues and event locations. This gives the performance venues the option of offering some or all of their contingent of tickets via the shared ticketing platform. It is also additionally possible for the performance venues to sell tickets via their own advance ticket sales platforms and at their box office.  Our ticketing partner, tickets.de, transfer the income directly to the performance venues and/or event locations. The PAF does not keep any of the ticket income. 

What Artistic Positions Can I Submit?

All professional works within the field of the performing arts (spoken word theater, performance, music theater, sign language art, dance, figure, puppet and object theater, children’s and youth theater, contemporary circus, installations, et cetera) as well as interdisciplinary work that can be ascribed to the performing arts can be submitted. This also applies to productions in public space. All productions can be submitted in analog, digital or hybrid form by the performance venues. We do ask that productions which have been submitted to the festival not be presented in the three months before the festival; ideally, they will not be presented after the end of the open call.

Is There a Selection?

The schedule of programming of the Berlin Performing Arts Festival is curated by the performance venues and event locations. The operators of the venues submit one contribution to the schedule of programming in coordination with the artists, artist collectives and groups. As such, the members of the independent performing arts community decide for themselves the work they present during the festival. Contributions to the schedule of programming must be properly submitted using the online form and must meet the conditions for participation in the Berlin Performing Arts Festival.

A Note About Possible Performance Dates and Times

The contributions to the schedule of programming can be scheduled on four days during the festival (May 31 to June 3, 2023) during the times indicated: 10:00 am, 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm. No artistic positions from the productions submitted will be offered on the opening night of the festival (May 30, 2023) or on the final day of the festival (June 4, 2023).

Instead, we invite everyone to share discussions and celebrations together on these two days. A maximum of four performances for the respective production can be specified on the online form. In addition, those submitting are asked to provide alternative dates. The festival coordination team will create a reasonable overall schedule of programming and inform the performance venues and event locations of their ultimate performance times.

Additional performance times can be announced via other sections of the festival’s website, but these will not be part of the overall schedule of programming. In order to ensure that the scheduling of programming includes events all throughout the days of the festival, we ask you to not only suggest performance times in the evening, but to also include alternative performance times. The festival team is responsible for creating the overall scheduling of programming. We reserve the right to change performance dates in coordination with the performance venues and event locations.

The Berlin Performing Arts Festival Fights Racism & Discrimination

The Berlin Performing Arts Festival clearly positions itself against racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, interphobia and transphobia, age discrimination, antisemitism, fascism, ableism and other forms of discrimination and repressions of all kind and works toward the independent performing arts community becoming a place that is critical of discrimination, where people with different societal positioning do not experience any discrimination. The Berlin Performing Arts Festival reserves the right to exclude persons or institutions who do not respect the position against discrimination articulated above.