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Our vision

The Festival exists to entertain and inspire the City's workers, residents and visitors with special events and world-class artists in beautiful surroundings, whilst providing unique opportunities for community involvement, learning and participation.

Animating the City with world-class arts

Each summer the City of London Festival brings the City's unique buildings and outdoor spaces to life with an extensive artistic programme of music, performance arts, comedy, debates, film, walks, tours and talks, much of it free to the public. Inaugurated in 1962 to revitalise the cultural life of the City, it has established itself as one of the UK's leading arts events.

Our history

The City of London Festival was founded in 1962 as an independent trust supported equally by the business community, the City of London Corporation, and the general public, with the aim of revitalising the cultural life of the City. Since then it has become established as one of the UK's leading arts events, widely broadcast by the BBC and written about in the press.

For three weeks each midsummer, the Festival animates the unique buildings and outdoor spaces of the City with an extensive artistic programme ranging across many kinds of music, performance arts, spoken work performances, film, tours, walks and talks: more than 50 ticketed performances and over 100 free events outdoors. In recent years its international character has been reinforced in its ongoing 'Trading Places' theme, linking the City culturally and commercially with its historic partners overseas.

The Festival also delivers a year-round programme of arts projects in schools and community groups in the City of London and its surrounding boroughs. The creative energies of the education programme's participants generate a unique element of the Festival season: projects culminate in public performances and exhibitions during the Festival each summer.

Festival performances range from large-scale orchestral concerts in St Paul's Cathedral to intimate chamber recitals in the City's beautiful but hidden livery halls, and from innovative contemporary circus to jazz bands in the Guildhall Yard. The Festival is proud of its commitment to commissioning and programming new work alongside more well-known repertoire; and of promoting new and emerging artists as well as renowned international performers.

In 2014 the City of London Festival added its own unique and iconic performance spance in the City, the Bowler Hat theatre. This giant, inflatable domed tent is the venue for a busy and eclectic programme of performance arts and spoken word events including comedy, contemporary circus, theatre and debate, as well as learning and participation events.

City of London Festival policies and procedures

City of London Festival is run by the registered charity, The City Arts Trust Limited. The City Arts Trust Limited is an honest and ethical company, with policies in place to ensure good governance. Please see the documents below:

City Arts Trust Limited ethics policy

City Arts Trust Limited environmental policy

City of London Festival child protection policy

City of London Festival guidelines for working with young people

City of London Festival

City of London Festival is run by The City Arts Trust Limited, registered charity no. 204828.

Company registered in England no. 716035.

Registered office: Fitz Eylwin House, 25 Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2BP. VAT registration no. 244181478

The City of London Corporation is the principal funder of The City Arts Trust Limited

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