What makes the LFA unique is that each year our vast programme of festival events is principally delivered not by us, but by a diverse community of passionate event organisers. It’s the breadth and creativity of these organisers that delivers such a varied and engaging programme of events for the festival each June.
We are now delighted to announce our ‘Call for Events’ to be part of the 2021 festival in June. Whether you’ve previously run events for the festival or are thinking about holding an event for the first time – we would love to hear your ideas.
Our theme for the 2021 Festival is ‘care’. We’re particularly looking for events which respond to this year’s theme in new or interesting ways.
Why Run an Event
The LFA exists to democratise the discussion around architecture and our city. Holding your own event is a great way to be part of a powerful group of people shaping the discussion around our built environment. You might be an architect, community group, artist, student, residents group, film maker, photographer, passionate individual, politician, local authority, developer, designer, tour guide or from any other background – we want to help you put on an event!
As the world’s largest annual architecture festival, the LFA offers you a platform to get your voice heard, test new ideas, start a debate, celebrate your work, meet your neighbours, get noticed, meet new clients, make a point, publish research, build something new, bring your team together, meet new people or change our city for the better.
Some of our most successful events are run as a partnership between different individuals, groups or organisations. It’s a great opportunity to work with others to put on an amazing event.
It’s free to submit and stage events as part of the festival for all non-commercial events, as long as you submit before our deadline.
Digital and Physical
Since the festival was founded in 2004, the majority of events each year have been physical events – tours, debates, parties, workshops, drawing classes, lectures, film screenings – that you had to attend in person.
Last year, in the height of the pandemic, we transitioned to run a new digital festival, which helped us engage a vast new audience online. Then in the autumn we held many of our physical events as part of a longer ‘festival season’.
For 2021 we want to harness the best of real-world events with the accessibility of digital events that allow people to participate from different place and at different times. So this June the LFA will be a new hybrid festival including both physical events and digital events – allowing more people to participate in more ways and in more places.
You can submit purely digital events that take place online. Or you can submit physical events that can take place in a covid-secure way. Even if you’re thinking about a physical event, it’s worth thinking about how others can enjoy the event or activity online. So if you’re holding a talk for example – could you also stream online? If you’re holding an exhibition – could you also make parts accessible online?
Many of the events that we’re holding ourselves, such as the Architecture Bake Off or our new Showroom Showcase are designed to be deliverable whatever covid rules are in place.
How to Submit an Event
Our ‘call for entries’ is split into two parts. Firstly, we ask for a simple outline of your event proposal which must be submitted via our website.
The sooner you submit your ideas the sooner we can start helping you with your event. We’ve made the approval process simpler this year. You’ll no longer have to wait for our curation panel to approve your event proposal at their meeting.
Instead the LFA team will review all submission according to our criteria for accepting events. We’ll give you a decision within 7 days.
This means you can get feedback and start finalising your event with the certainty that it’s been accepted into the festival.
Before you can submit a proposal you’ll need to create an account on the LFA website. If you or your organisation have run events with us before then you can use your previous account details and login here. Otherwise, if you’re new, you can create a new account here.
From within your account, you’ll find a host of information to help you plan and submit your festival events. We suggest you read our ‘Guide to Running’ an event, which you’ll inside your LFA account.
If you’d like to discuss your proposal before submitting anything then why not join one of our virtual surgery days? See below for more information.
Submit your outline event proposal before: 9 March 2021. This is our final deadline for proposing an event idea. We understand it’s difficult to plan ahead, which is why we’re initially only asking for basic information about your proposal. The sooner you let us know your initial idea the more time we’ve got to try and help with your event. Once your event is accepted you then be able to adapt and finalise the event as the festival gets closer.
Once your event proposal has been approved you have until 9 April to finalise and confirm all your event details so it can be ready for us to publish online and for our curation panel to consider for their top picks. We’ll launch our programme to the public on 4th May.
You’ll find a full list of dates in the LFA calendar within the account section of the LFA website.
When you submit an event proposal we’ll check it against the following criteria for inclusion in the festival. The LFA team will review all entries and either approve, reject or ask for changes to event proposals within a week of submissions based on the following basic criteria:
- Does this event have potential to meaningly engage the public in an aspect of their built environment?
- Does the proposal align with this year’s theme? We will accept some events which don’t respond directly to the theme – for example the LFA Bake Off – but these need to be particularly strong events.
- From the text provided, is the event proposal clearly explained? Would a public audience have a clear understanding of what they can expect from the event?
- Does the event have a realistic chance of being delivered with the resources available? Is funding secured? Is a venue secured?
- Is the event free, or are the costs reasonable?
- Has the organiser considered the diversity of participants (e.g. on panel discussions) and the accessibility to the event (whether physical or digital)
- Does this event appear to be a commercial activity aimed at marketing or promoting a particular business, product or service? If we believe the event has a strong commercial purpose, we may ask the business to join our trade partner programme. This helps us keep the festival free for a wider range of people.
What are the curation panel looking for
This year our curation panel helped select this year’s theme from the suggestions that were submitted by our event organisers.
Rather than ask our curation panel to approve every single event, we’ll be asking the panel to select their top picks once the programme has been finalised.
Our Curation Panel will be sharing what they’re most looking for in their pick of festival events via our Views Pages on the LFA website. This is also a great place to look over the coming weeks for inspiration on our theme.
Surgery Days – More Help
If you want to discuss any ideas before submitting, why not join one of our surgery days. The LFA team will be available all day for one-two-one sessions by zoom or over the phone.
- Monday 18th January
- Friday 5th February
- Friday 19th February.
- Friday 5th March.
On your preferred day simply drop us an email to email@example.com when you’re ready to talk and we’ll get back to you via your preferred method as soon as one of the team is free.