City A.M. is running a campaign to help save Vault Festival after landlords announced they would turf out the festival to prioritise commercial work. Help save this vital London festival by donating on the Save Vault page. Read about the festival here, and read our interview with the Bridgerton cast of Bridgerton here, calling to save the London event
London risks losing a jewel in its cultural crown if the Vault Festival doesn’t find an alternative venue, Emma Corrin, star of Netflix’s The Crown and Lady Chatterley’s Lover, told City A.M.
Our paper is campaigning to save Vault Festival, the second-biggest Fringe festival in the UK behind the Edinburgh Fringe, which has been booted out of its venue by landlords favouring more commercial work.
Emma Corrin, the British A-List actor who recently starred opposite Harry Styles and as Diana in The Crown, told City A.M.: “It’s incredibly important.
“It’s where a lot of new work originates, where a lot of new voices can be heard. I think that’s integral in keeping the fabric of theatre alive.”
The arts sector generates £23 billion annually, bolstering the economy by providing over 360,000 jobs. Vault Festival has welcomed almost half a million visitors through its doors since it opened in 2012 and is one of the capital’s best places for new actors to hone their craft, and for writers and directors to experiment with staging new work.
Corrin follows Bridgerton stars Jonathan Bailey and Nicola Coughlan who also put their names behind our campaign. Coughlan said Vault Festival’s closure “would be a devastating loss.”
Many will be heartbrokenBessie Carter on Vault Festival losing its license
“I remember going to Vaults to see people who I really admired who’ve now gone on to do such amazing things, like Jack Rooke, Camilla Whitehill, it’s such a breeding ground for talent and a chance for people to try things out and grow and develop their voices,” added Coughlan.
Bridgerton leading man Jonathan Bailey said the festival “needs to be protected at all costs.” He added: “There’s no doubt it’s one of very few breeding grounds for the next generation of theatre makers.”
Queen Charlotte actor Golda Rosheuvel echoed their concerns, calling the news “a very very sad day.” “All these memories came flooding back,” she said. Lady Danbury actor Adjoa Andoh added: “We shut down these places at our peril.”
Bessie Carter, who plays Prudence Featherington, took a pragmatic approach, saying she believes “we can collectively solve this.” Carter is encouraging Londoners to “make enough noise and attract funding and assistance from people who can afford it” to help ensure the festival “maintains its central location.”
“Many will be heartbroken,” she added, speaking about the possibility of the festival not finding a suitable replacement venue for next year.
Vault Festival funds two thirds of the costs of putting on a show from box office takings, giving a vital platform for actors, writers and directors, who can stage professional productions for cheap.
Emma Corrin’s career has shown how important Vault Festival is for the arts. In 2021 Corrin led the West End cast of Anna X, a play about the fake Russian heiress Anna Sorokin, but the play actually debuted at the Vault Festival in 2019.
The festival is held in a unique space below Waterloo Station that benefits from being so centrally located, within a few minutes’ walk from South Bank attractions like the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre. Speaking about The Vault Festival losing their venue, Time Out said it was “hard to imagine” another venue in central London that could offer the same benefit of space and location.
Following the news that the festival’s landlords would turf them out, festival co-founder Andy George said: “It’s become extremely clear that the creative industry needs Vault Festival to thrive and the artists we champion need Vault Festival to springboard their careers.
“This devastating blow comes after three of the harshest and hardest years of the festival’s life; but we’re determined to make sure this isn’t the end. We can only survive if we receive support, and I’m asking for your help. Help us make this the end of a chapter, not the end of Vault Festival. Help us save Vault.”
Find out more about the festival, book tickets and support at Vaultfestival.com