I am applying to the Festivals Investment Scheme but I can’t see it in my dropdown menu
The Festivals Investment Scheme is not open to individuals. You must register as an ‘Organisation/ Group’.
Do I need a tax clearance certificate and/ or bank account in order to apply?
No. These will only be required if your application is successful.
Can I apply to Arts Grant Funding and also the Festival Investment Scheme?
You may not apply for the same project twice through different funding streams. If you have applied to Arts Grant Funding 2021 you may not apply to Festival Investment Scheme 2021 for the same programme of activity. Festivals seeking support up to €35,000 should apply to the Festival Investment Scheme.
If we run more than one festival per year should we apply for the 12-month programme or in two separate rounds?
If your organisation produces more than one festival per year you will have to apply in one application. Festival organisations may only make one application to FIS in any calendar year. You should apply in the round where your first activity takes place. For example, if your first festival is in April and your second in October, you should apply for both festivals in Round 1 as your first activity is in April of that year.
I cannot find the application or guidelines on the website?
The Festival Investment Scheme
guidelines can be found on the available funding page here. Guidelines are
normally available when the application window opens – one month before the
application deadline. The application form is available via the Arts Council’s
Can I apply to all three bands?
No, you may only apply to one band and make only one application to FIS in any calendar year.
Do I need to be set up as a company in order to apply?
No. If you do not have a company/ organisation name please use the name of your festival. If you are successful in receiving funding you will need to get a tax number and bank account in the name you have applied under
If there are two rounds for the Festival Investment Scheme, when is the best time for our festival to apply?
If your festival commences between January 1 and June 30 2021, you should apply in Round 1 (Deadline: 23 July 2020).
If your festival commences between July 1 and December 31 2021, you should apply in Round 2 (Deadline: 12 November 2020).*
*Festivals that normally make an application to Round 2 may seek permission to apply to Round 1 by making a business case for early submission to the Festivals Team.
I am applying under Band C and I cannot find the Development Plan?
The development plan has now been incorporated into the Band C application. You are required to fill out both parts (part one and part two) to be assessed under Band C.
What is the most appropriate band to apply under?
You may apply for whichever band you believe appropriately matches your festival’s stage of development as long as you fulfill the eligibility criteria. You should expect the process to be more demanding in Band C than Band A. You may wish to read ‘Choosing the correct band for the Festivals Investment Scheme (FIS)’ in the applicant guidance notes which provides more information.
Please note: you may only apply to one band and make only one application to FIS in any calendar year.
If I have made an application to the Arts Council under Strategic Funding, Partnership Funding or Arts Centres funding can I also apply for the Festival Investment Scheme?
No, those organisations that have made applications for Strategic, Partnership or Arts Centres funding are NOT eligible to apply for FIS.
What costs may I apply for as part of my application?
You may apply for costs that assist your organisation to deliver your festival activity. Please read the relevant guidelines in full before making an application.
My festival takes place in the Republic of Ireland but we have a number of international artists in our programme, is my application eligible for support?
Yes, as long as your primary festival activity takes place in the Republic of Ireland you are eligible to apply.
Does a commitment to public engagement mean that the Arts Council wants organisations to start producing workshops and master classes?
The Arts Council recognises that public engagement can be different from festival to festival depending on the artistic priorities of your organisation. You will know the best way to maximise engagement with the public and how to reach new audiences. We would encourage you to think ambitiously and creatively about how you are best placed to do that. We recognise public engagement as: audience and recipient of, participant in or volunteer who contributes to the development of an arts activity.
We are setting up a new festival. Some sections in the application require information on track record, festival statistics and brochure as a mandatory supporting document. Are we still eligible?
Yes, new festivals may apply to FIS under Band A. As you will be unable to supply information and documentation on your festival you should provide us with information on the management team producing the festival along with their record of experience. You should include CVs as mandatory support documentation instead of a festival brochure. Where statistics are required for a previous festival, please enter 'new' in the relevant boxes.
What happens if I do not provide the mandatory supporting documentation outlined in the application form?
If you do not provide the required mandatory supporting documentation required under each band your application will be deemed ineligible and will not be assessed.
Can applications transfer bands during assessment?
If applying to the higher bands (B or C), applications may be moved into a lower band:
if there is not sufficient evidence for the stream under which you applied
if the funding requested is below the financial support available in that band.
Applications do not move into higher bands under any circumstances.
Funding offered may be less than the band minimum limit due to the competitive context of the scheme.
The Arts Council also reserves the right to award less in circumstances where it considers the information provided to match a lower band of investment than the one in which your organisation applied.
Do I include my benefit in kind in the income/expenditure section of the application form?
No, your income and expenditure should list only your cash items. You are asked to list your benefit in kind in another part of the application form. Benefit in kind is classed as any payable service provide for free.
If I apply to a higher band (ie. Band B or C) and the information I have provided is insufficient for that band will my application be assessed?
Yes, once your application is deemed eligible it will move forward to assessment. It may be considered under a different band more appropriate to the information you have provided if there is not sufficient enough evidence for the stream under which you originally applied.
If I don’t have all my other income confirmed from other sources can I still make an application?
Yes, your application is an indication of the programme and activity you intend to run. You may indicate sources of income as either confirmed or pending. It is helpful in assessing your application to know when you will expect to hear about pending items in your application.
If my application is successful can I expect an award which matches the funding available in the band under which I applied?
If your application is successful, generally you should expect to receive an award within the limits of each band. For example, if you apply under Band B you should expect to receive an award between €7,001 and €20,000 depending on the competitive context of the scheme. However, the Arts Council reserves the right to award less in circumstances where it considers the information provided to match a lower band of investment than the one in which your organisation applied.
In the Festival Investment Scheme guidelines it provides scoring information. Does my application require a minimum score to be considered for funding?
Yes. Applications that score a mark of 60% or over are deemed eligible for funding consideration. Applications that score under 60% will not be eligible.
How much funding support can I ask for in my application?
There is a maximum amount you can apply to under each band. You should ensure that the amount you are requesting:
- under Band A is no more than €7,000
- under Band B is no less than €7,001 and no more than €20,000
- under Band C is no less than €20,001 and no more than €35,000
If funds are awarded we will only fund up to the maximum limit in each band. Funding offered may be less than the Band limits due to the competitive context of the scheme.
Our festival established in 2010 and we've run six festivals consecutively up to 2015 but we took a year off in 2016. Do we qualify for Band C as there was a year between festivals?
As long as you can give evidence that your festival ran 5 years consecutively and that your organisation has been established for 5 years, you will be eligible to apply for Band C. The break of a year has not affected the organisations history of having produced five consecutive festivals.
When my application is assessed can I get feedback?
All applications that are deemed eligible can receive a written assessment. This can be requested from the Festival’s team by sending an email to email@example.com at any time.
We run a classical music/literature series which takes place every month over the course of the year. Can we apply to the Festival Investment Scheme?
Proposals that are linked events (e.g. a quarterly or monthly music or literature series), programmes primarily focused on the delivery of workshops series, summer schools, on-going classes or one-off events, etc. will not be prioritised for funding through the Festival Investment Scheme. You should speak to someone in your relevant artform team about other types of funding for this activity including Arts Grant Funding.
We run a festival that takes place in a larger festival programme. The larger festival is already supported with Strategic Funding from the Arts Council. Can we apply for a Festival Investment Scheme
You may apply to the Festival Investment Scheme but restricted to applying to Band A and a maximum of €7,000 in your application.
Our 2020 festival was cancelled due to COVID-19, should we submit figures for our 2019 festival as the previous festival or leave the questions relating to previous festival blank?
You should refer to the applicant guidelines which details the information we require in relation to past festivals.
Our programming for our 2021 festival is at the early stages and we cannot yet confirm specific artists. Should we leave this section blank in the form in relation to programme?
No. In your application you are asked to provide us with your festival mission statement (and for higher bands B and C, your artistic policy). It is important to ensure that your programme proposal reflects your festival’s artistic vision or mission. Whilst you may only be able to provide a pending list of artists and projects at this stage, it will be possible for you to discuss your vision for what you want to achieve with your 2021 programme by referring to your artistic priorities as outlined in your mission or artistic policy. Your application is an indicative programme of what you intend to programme.
We are planning our festival for 2021 but we are unclear about whether our venues and spaces for our programme will be available. Should we include contingency plans in our application?
Yes, you should include how your festival will be impacted by Government health restrictions and what measures you have put in place to prepare for these as part of your planning.
We were funded for a festival in 2020 that had to be cancelled because of COVID-19. Can I submit the same programme for funding in 2021?
Yes. You can submit your 2020 festival programme for consideration to the Festival Investment Scheme if it was cancelled due to COVID-19. You must ensure that your mandatory supporting materials (including ALL letters of support) are updated to support your 2021 application
Our festival is in July 2020, our programming is at the early stages and we cannot yet confirm specific artists. Should we leave this section blank in the form in relation to programme?
No. In your application you are asked to provide us with your festival mission statement (and for higher bands B and C, your artistic policy). It is important to ensure that your programme proposal reflects your festival’s artistic vision or mission. Whilst you may only be able to provide a pending list of artists and projects at this stage, it will be possible for you to discuss your vision for what you want to achieve with your 2020 programme by referring to your artistic priorities as outlined in your mission or artistic policy. Your application is an indicative programme of what you intend to programme.
Can I apply to the Festival Investment Scheme if I am applying to the Capacity Building Support Scheme?
You may apply to both these schemes as long as your applications are distinct and not for the same proposal. The Festivals Investment Scheme is to support Festival programmes and activity and the Capacity Building Support Scheme is for organisational supports and NOT arts activities.
Should I be submitting a festival proposal that takes into account public health guidance given the Covid ’19 pandemic and should I have a back-up plan outlined in my application?
Yes, in preparing your proposal, you should base it on the best public-health advice and guidance available at the time when you are making your application.
Given this, you should ensure that what you are proposing is feasible or adaptable should social distancing and/or other public-health measures impact on all or part of the period to which this proposal applies.
You are also asked in the application to provide contingency planning so that we can understand how you will manage your festival if these plans have to change.
In the event that your application is successful and you subsequently need to change or alter some or your entire proposal on the basis of changed public health advice, you should contact your arts team in advance to discuss this.