Musicians! Actors and actresses! Dancers and choreographers! Poets, authors, storytellers and comedians! Circus performers!

The Guilford Performing Arts Festival is about you and the magic you bring to people who experience your work. 

We’ll energize Guilford with performances, readings, classes, workshops and conversations involving virtually every genre of music, theater and dance for four days and nights.

We’re sorry, but applications to perform at the 2019 festival closed at midnight on May 31. After receiving and reviewing about 100 applications, we’ve assigned 70 performance and workshop slots in 12 venues, from a big-top tent on the Guilford Green to the high-school auditorium, churches, dance studios, the bookstore, coffee shops and markets, historic barns and museums, and other spaces.

There is still room for buskers, and some slots may open if any accepted applicants withdraw for scheduling or other reasons. If you’re interested in busking or would like to be put on a waiting list, send an email to, and we’ll contact you if something opens up. Thank you for your interest in being part of the festival.

The spirit of the Guilford Performing Arts Festival is akin to Scotland’s Edinburgh Fringe. We’re providing venues; modest staging, sound and lighting infrastructure; marketing; an audience; and an exciting festival atmosphere for four days and nights. Our audiences rely on the talent, energy, enthusiasm and community-mindedness of performing artists from throughout Connecticut to come out and light up the Shoreline. While our budget currently limits our ability to pay performers, we’ll provide a venue, a dedicated performance slot, and appropriate sound and lighting. We’ll do publicity in advance and seek post-performance reviews. We’ll put you on a bill with some of the best performers in the country and do what we can to attract presenters, venues and booking agents from around New England.

We have a very limited budget to pay a small number of national acts, which we believe will raise the festival’s visibility, appeal and stature, improve the chances of long-term sustainability and make it possible to pay more artists in future years. We’re therefore asking everyone to perform in return for free-will donations at their performances.

Help us make this not just a great festival, but one that will take place for many years to come!

If you have any questions, contact Peter Hawes, festival vice chairman and head of programming. Sign up below for our email newsletter to stay informed as we make frequent announcements about the festival, including the names of performers, venues, sponsors and partners, as well as logistics for performers and audience members.

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