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 on 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.

Your event will also 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 less 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 events that would like to take part 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.
  • 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 in river foreshore and river-associated locations.
  • PRS form in place: Have it submitted or to be submitted if music of any kind features (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.

What we Offer

If you are accepted onto the programme, this does not constitute a partnership. We offer the outlined marketing support and advice on a case-by-case basis. Thames Festival Trust is unable to provide financial support for events. Applicants will be responsible for securing funding of proposed events and projects to cover the production of the event.

Check out the below video to find out more about what you will receive.

Woman speaking to camera next to a river

Participate in our Festival


Totally Thames is one of the only open call festivals which are free to take part. As a participant of Totally Thames, you will receive valuable brand recognition as being part of an established, leading arts festival as well as in-kind marketing support such as:

  • Newsletter Inclusion (8k subscribers).
  • Inclusion in the festival PR with potential to be picked up by leading organisations such as Time Out.
  • Social Posts (34k followers).
  • Website Event Page (450k views).
  • Possibility for Video Content creation to be shared across our platforms.
  • Access to marketing workshops and 1-1 sessions with the team.
  • Support, advice, and guidance from the Thames Festival Trust team.
  • Potential to be introduced to organisations who have programming space during the festival.

We are committed to working towards a more diverse cultural sector. Our recruitment process is open to all, but we are particularly keen to hear from ethnic minorities, those who self-identify as LGBTQIA+, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and those who self-identify as disabled.

If you are interested in taking part, apply below by Friday 31st March. Please email Annabel if you have any questions.

Banner Image

Event: Climate Grief Karaoke by Katy Dye
Photo: Lewis Hayward

Apply Now

About you
About the event

If you don't have a venue secured please indicate what stage you are at in this process. 

Please indicate rough dates if these are not secured yet.

Digital Element

Please provide as much detail as possible for how your project will incorporate a digital element. Please get in contact if you would like some advice.

Image and Risk Assessment upload

Please upload any images to support your application. Please upload here.


Funding status

Please indicate here that your activity has no funding requirements. If the funding is not yet secured please indicate what stage you are at. Please note we are not able to include events that are not funded by the time we announce the full programme.

This needs to be submitted with a completed Application Form and Risk Assessment Form. Please email Annabel if you would like to schedule a call to talk through any elements of the application.