About SoLow Fest

SoLow Fest is a do-it-yourself festival dedicated to new, experimental work that is low-maintenance and low-stress. SoLow provides an artistic opportunity and impetus for artists of all disciplines to create work that defies conventional theater expectations. With all shows being pay-what-you-will (PWYW), we proudly present exposure to performers who are breaking new ground in the raw.

SoLow Fest is FREE for artists to enter. SoLow is run by volunteer labor, for the pure sake of supporting artists in the community.

The 2020 festival is June 11-21.


SoLow Fest was founded in 2010 by Philadelphia performance artists seeking a way to present their own solo work with minimal expense. They conceived the idea by jointly presenting their work and reaching out to other interested artists. SoLow continues to experiment with their niche of using non-traditional locations and venues, inspiring artists and audiences alike to challenge the norm of theatre and making and seeing art that may otherwise never be created.

Now on its second year in Portland, SoLow Fest PDX organizers seek to provide the same opportunity and impetus for creation that has seen such wild success in Philadelphia.

All information on this page sourced from Philadelphia SoLow Fest.


Where do artists perform?

*In 2020, SoLow is adhering to stay at home guidelines, all performances should not require in-person audiences.

Since SoLow values DIY, low-budget production, we encourage artists to perform in spaces where overhead costs will be low. This means many artists opt to perform in their own homes or in the homes of friends who would like to support their art.

Other times, artists opt for outdoors spaces. SoLow has seen performances happen on sidewalks, cemeteries, under bridges… Use your imagination! You may also partner with a local business who would like to support your work.

Of course, you are welcome to perform in a theater or studio, however make sure that your overhead costs are not creating undue stress or pressure as all shows are PWYW (Pay-what-you-will).

Are all shows PWYW?

SoLow PDX values the creation of low-budget work so that both artists and audiences can have easy access to the work being created. We ask that no one is turned away from any performance for lack of funds.

Performers may create their own suggestions for sliding scale (ex. Suggested donation of $5-25), however, again we ask that no one be turned away.

So how strict is this “Solo” requirement?

We will be LIFTING the 'solo' requirement beginning with the 2020 festival. If a group of artists has an idea that fits in with the Performance at a Distance theme, we absolutely want to see it.

How much does it cost for an artist to enter the festival?

SoLow Fest is FREE for artists to enter. SoLow is run by volunteer labor, for the pure sake of supporting artists in the community.

Artsits keep all of the money that is made from their performances (save the arrangements made with the venue, house managers, etc).

What kinds of work are accepted into the Festival?

*For 2020, SoLow will feature a Quarantine Gallery for visual arts, writing, and recorded work.

SoLow accepts all genres of performing arts, however the festival values experimental/ground breaking work. Most festival submissions fall under the categories of "experimental theater", "experimental dance", "clown", "puppetry", "immersive experience", "site specific", etc.

For a list of examples and inspiration, please visit Philly SoLow's past line-ups: http://www.solowfest.com/2018-festival.html

Great! How do I enter?!

Please visit the Festival Submission commitment form. The 2020 Festival is June 11-21.

Will SoLow Fest advertise for me?

The SoLow team will do everything in our power to spread the word about the festival and do social media posts about individual shows. However, it is the artist's responsibility to promote their own show. Since SoLow is volunteer run we simply do not have the budget and marketing power to promote your show for you.

For a more complete list of FAQs please visit Philadelphia SoLow’s FAQs: http://www.solowfest.com/resources-for-artists.html