Waterloo’s Brilliant, Bizarre VAULT Festival Has Been Cancelled This Year

VAULT Festival won’t take place in 2022.

Though the nights of January are dark and gloomy, it’s also a time when something stirs deep beneath the streets of Waterloo. A compelling circus of over 400 shows, VAULT Festival is the champion of innovative and risk-taking performances from the worlds of comedy, theatre, and performance art that arrives to delight Londoners – unfortunately though, we won’t be seeing it in 2022. Continued concerns over the Omicron variant of coronavirus have forced another cancellation, and even more unhappily, the news comes as VAULT Festival was preparing to celebrate its tenth anniversary.

It’s safe to say that no theatre scene in London offers quite the variety that VAULT Festival does, with niche musicals, powerful new drama, unflinching comedy, and a dazzling array of cabaret, poetry, circus, and other undefinable spectacles all dominating the programme. From fresh new arrivals to much-hyped Edinburgh Fringe transfers, it’s normally a cornucopia of delights, but 2023 will be the new date for your diaries.

2022 marks the third year that VAULT Festival has been affected by the pandemic, having lost the last week of the 2020 show and the entirety of the 2021 edition to the lockdowns. Though the team had worked hard to find a solution, they’ve eventually been forced to cancel in order “to prioritise and protect the safety, wellbeing and mental health of the festival’s staff, artists and audiences.”

This tough decision will impact the artists set to perform, and VAULT Creative Arts (who run the festival) have pledged to do all they can to minimise the financial blow to performers. All venue costs are being waived, artist deposits will be returned in full, and cancellation fees are being waived – meanwhile, audience members can refund their tickets or donate the value of their ticket to the artist they were meant to see, in order to help support them through the cancelled run. Fingers crossed we can see the return of this unforgettable, irrepressible festival in 2023!