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Real Quick Open Call

Real Quick is the Barbican’s new platform for rapid responses to the state of the world. A series of talks, performance, and creative experiments tackling current affairs and recent happenings.

How do we programme Real Quick?
Events are programmed in one of three ways:
  1. Working with programming partners who will develop events with us
  2. Programming some events ourselves
  3. Inviting submissions from artists and organisations through our rolling open-call process
Real Quick is intended to provide the space for practitioners who want to harness the energy which so often stems from moments of political and social change.

It aims to help artists to develop, test and share new ideas outside the extended planning and production cycles which naturally determine many large institutions’ programmes.

If you would like to propose a Real Quick event, please read the following criteria.
What makes a Real Quick event?
Events can take the format of:
  • talk, discussion or debate
  • workshop
  • performance
If your event doesn’t feels like one of these but fulfils the following criteria, then you can still submit it.

The event may be a solo undertaking, or involve many artists / participants.

The three key criteria for a Real Quick event are:
  1. Content - this is a platform explicitly for artistic or discussion-based responses to contemporary cultural, social, and political issues.
  2. Relevance and speed - events should be relevant now. Why this event - and why now?
  3. Style - events should be informal and inclusive. We welcome participatory practice, or events which engage with the audience in some way.
Your event or intervention must cover all three of above criteria to be considered.  
You must be ready to hold your event anytime from submitting an idea, up to a month after.

Format & audience experience
Space and capacity
The capacity for events will range between 30-100 people depending on the format of the event and the space we have available at the time. Applicants will not be able to specify the space they want to use.
Due to capacity and the short lead-in time we have to market events (7 days), they are most likely to take place at lunchtime or early evening to benefit audiences already in the building.
The Barbican is open most of the day and evening for a range of events and audiences, so your proposal has to be suitable for a busy environment. It probably isn’t the place to test something that might be better suited to an auditorium or black-box theatre.
Events will be free to attend, and take place in our public spaces and foyers. Audiences will be able to book free tickets online, but we will also accept walk-ups depending on the capacity.
Tech and other support
Whilst we will do all we can to provide the requisite technical support for artists, please note that any technical requirements requested will be subject to agreement. There will be an event coordinator for support, a host for audience management, and you will be supported to write a risk assessment beforehand.
Due to the nature of this project, we are looking for artists who consider and adapt to the above restrictions.

Successful applicants will be paid a production budget/fee on a pre-determined scale, between £250 - £500 depending on the event. All Real Quick events, regardless of programmer, will receive the same budget (see section 1). All applicants should be able to invoice us either as a certified freelancer with a UTR number or as a company or charity with a certified number.

Please only apply if you are proposing a budget appropriate event, and are able to invoice us according to the above guidelines.

Apply now

You can submit your idea for a Real Quick eventby filling out the application on the next page.

If we’re interested in supporting your event, we’ll be in touch within 10 days. Unfortunately we are not able to reply to those that are not successful. Thank you for your interest.