Frequently asked questions

Q: What is the Edinburgh Student Arts Festival?

- ESAF is an annual festival that takes place in February it is open to current students and graduates up to two years after graduation. It takes place across multiple venues in the city and is open to groups as well as individuals. You can apply as part of a collective, band, company or as an individual.

The festival is supported by a wider organisation that aims to increase public access to the arts by supporting its membership and running a year-round programme of events.

Q: Who can take part in the festival?

We encourage students and graduates up to two years after graduation to apply. You do not need to be based in Edinburgh to take part. You also do not need to be a 'art student' to take part. We are open to all types of people that have a creative practice they would like to showcase.

Q: How is festival structured?

- ESAF hosts visual arts exhibitions for more traditional artists of all medium including intermedia, projection work, sculpture, animation and film. It hosts a performing arts programme that includes dance, opera, theatre, musicals and any form of performance. ESAF hosts a separate music showcase that allows for musicians to perform in an evening showcase event.

There is an opportunity for creatives to run a workshop based on their own skills like crafts, collage, painting, and other creative backgrounds.

There is an opportunity for speakers to come forward to give a talk on their ideas related to broad themes. 

We also host a stall market for creatives interested in selling their work including prints, crafts, and jewellery but if a society would like a stall to promote their creative society that is an option to

The festival this year will take place over three weeks from 09 February 2017 - 03 March 2017 in venues across the city. 

Q: Is the festival participation free or is there a fee?

- There is a registration fee to take part in the festival. The registration fee this year will act as a membership fee, which will give festival participants an opportunity to enjoy additional membership benefits including access to our year-round events, an opportunity to run a workshop as part of our school of creativity, access to job opportunities, an opportunity to have a member profile and access to our newsletter.

All of the money we make for the festival goes back into the running of the organisation and the festival.

Q: Is ESAF a company or a not-for profit organisation?

- ESAF is a social enterprise, which means all of its profits go back into the running of the organisation. As a social enterprise ESAF has no shareholders and does not pay any dividends in shares to shareholders. It is owned by no-one and the director hold a ceremonial share valued at 1 GBP in the company.

The organisation is asset locked which is a requirement of social enterprises so that it accrues no assests for profit.

ESAF is entirely volunteer run, though it provides paid internships and other opportunities for volunteers to gain skills and real experience.

Q: Where does ESAF take place?

- ESAF takes places in multiple venues across this city. In the past the festival has taken place at the
City Art Centre, Summerhall, the Biscuit Factory, Gayfield Creative Spaces, the Pleasance, the Assembly Roxy and the Scottish Storytelling Centre. The venues for this year's festival are yet to be released.