Totally Thames 2023 Open Call

Totally Thames 2023 – “Climate Grief Karaoke” by Katy Dye. Image provided by Thames Festival Trust.

18 February 2023

Between 1 and 31 September, Thames Festival Trust will once again organise the event Totally Thames in London.

The organisers tell HTBS in a press release that,

Totally Thames is river-related season of diverse and accessible arts and culture events throughout the month of September along the 42-mile stretch of the Thames. It is curated and managed by Thames Festival Trust, working with artists, local communities, river interest organisations and businesses to bring the river to life every September.

The Trust say that everyone is welcome to apply to join the events, and they are eager to support artists, creatives, producers, river enthusiasts, young people, heritage professionals and businesses from all backgrounds to submit exciting and new ideas that will happen around Thames, Waterways and Climate Change themes. 

Those interested in participating in the event should apply not later than Friday 31 March. When accepted, you will receive extensive marketing support, join networking events, and the chance to be part of one of London’s cultural events. The organisers write that “We are one of the only Open Call festivals to charge no registration fee and it is completely free to take part.”

Apply online now.

The Trust write that these are the “submission guidelines” for Totally Thames:

To apply to Totally Thames, your event will need to align with one of our programming aspirations and criteria. We are looking for creative events that respond to at least one of the following programming strands:

  • River Arts & Culture: We want to spotlight the river as a canvas and source of inspiration for art and creativity – sculpture, visual arts, performance, and music.
  • Environment, Climate Change & Sustainability: We are interested in artworks, installations and projects that respond to and/or actively tackle and educate about this issue.
  • River Stories & Heritage: The Thames foreshore is home to thousands of years’ worth of London secrets and history. If your event focusses on the history beneath the river’s surface, or on the practice of mudlarking, we want to hear about it.
  • River Spectacle & Events: The Thames is host to hundreds of water sports, large scale races, and other river-based events every year. If you are planning one of these that people can either take part in or watch, please do register to take part.

You also need to comply with the following:

  • Have a Digital Element: The event should be delivered to both a digital platform and an event space. We require all events to be multi-platform to ensure we can reach the widest and most diverse audience with no barriers to access. We will also accept proposals for events that are digital only. There are many different and simple ways to bring your event to the digital realm. If you would like to discuss options with a member of our team, email us.
  • Have funding or a funding plan in place: We are unable to provide funding for open calls, but we provide an in-kind marketing package. To be able to accept your project onto the programme, you need to confirm that you have the necessary funds to present the project as part of Totally Thames.
  • Take place in London between 1 – 30 September 2023.
  • If your event starts before the 1 September, but continues during September (e.g., an exhibition) and fits with our criteria we will be interested in including it in our festival.
  • Have a venue secured or in negotiation: It will be your responsibility to lead on this relationship, though we can provide some advice and possibly introductions. Ideally, we are looking for events that take place on and around river, foreshore and river associated locations.
  • PRS form in place: Have it submitted or to be submitted if music of any kind features in your event (we request proof).
  • All licenses and documents in place and/or investigated: Permissions, TENs, insurance, etc. This includes a Risk Assessment including any appropriate measures for Covid-19 safety should restrictions be in place.

We are unlikely to accept any events which do not fulfil all these criteria. Please note that there is also no guarantee that your event will be selected onto our programme should you meet our criteria.

For more details, please contact: Annabel Taylor-Munt, Programme Manager, Thames Festival Trust.

Phone: 020 7928 8998 Email:

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