Festivals Programmer and Producer

Salary: £28,000 - £32,000

Location: London                  

Company Profile:

Underbelly is a UK based live entertainment company. Our festivals and events division produces a number of events annually, including Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Underbelly Festival on London’s Southbank, Udderbelly Festival Hong Kong, Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, Christmas in Leicester Square, Pride in London and, West End Live in Trafalgar Square on behalf of the Society of London Theatre and Westminster City Council. 

Through Underbelly Productions we also produce and promote live shows for UK and international touring.

In 2017, Underbelly has programmed over 250 different productions across multiple genres and sold 1.4 million tickets to its festival events and shows. 

Job Summary:

Underbelly are looking to recruit a highly motivated and experienced programmer and producer who will play a senior role in curating and delivering a world-class programme across all of Underbelly’s festivals both in the UK and internationally.

Working closely with the Head of Programming and as part of a small core programming team, the Festival Programmer and Producer will be responsible for delivering a diverse programme of work across a wide range of spaces that is both artistically and financially viable.

The role will also require the successful candidate to take a lead role in supporting the long running shows that Underbelly co-produce each year into their London and Edinburgh festivals.

The right candidate will have a keen passion for the arts across all platforms, excellent communication skills, a thorough working knowledge of negotiating, budgeting, booking acts, marketing and PR strategies and will have an established network of contacts to bring to the role. They will furthermore understand the importance of creating and maintaining relationships in order to discover new work that might present artistic and financial opportunities and long-term development potential. They will be confortable working in a fast paced environment and be able to work across multiple projects whilst maintaining an acute eye for detail at all times.

This is a fantastic opportunity for an ambitious person who is looking to further their career in live entertainment and the performing arts.

Responsibilities include:


  • Programming shows into Underbelly’s festivals worldwide
  • Negotiating deals with acts/artists
  • Maintaining a good knowledge of a wide range of performing arts, including comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and family shows
  • Having a basic understanding of technical requirements, and what shows work well in what spaces
  • Thinking creatively about ways to attract new talent and curating festivals to ensure the best and most diverse programmes
  • Travelling nationally and internationally to see shows and meet potential collaborators
  • Drawing up contracts
  • Compiling box office reconciliations at the end of a show’s run and processing invoices
  • Acting as a point of contact for artists and external producers and promoters, including attending shows at Underbelly’s festivals
  • Troubleshooting external companies’ problems during Underbelly’s festivals, and acting as a liaison between external companies and different departments within Underbelly
  • Managing venue diaries
  • Booking line-ups for gigs and events if required
  • Running events in person on the day
  • Building strong and lasting relationships with companies, promoters and producers, building Underbelly’s brand internationally
  • Working with databases including Edfringeware and Eventotron to register shows for festivals


  • Devising and agreeing budgets for headline shows at Underbelly’s festivals, and ensuring that these are adhered to
  • Acting as the point of contact on the ground and General Manager for companies performing long-running shows within Underbelly’s festivals
  • Liaising with the Marketing and Press departments to monitor sales and ensure an effective and impactful campaign
  • Arranging technical hires as required for the show with the production department and attending technical rehearsals
  • Arranging accommodation and travel for international companies
  • Arranging freight for set and props
  • Supporting acts through the development of new shows, including sourcing production and creative teams and giving show notes
  • Working closely with co-producers and stakeholders to ensure everyone is up-to-date and happy with the development of a project


  • Line-managing the Programme Co-ordinator, and other temporary staff as necessary

Person specification

  • Knowledge of a wide range of contemporary performing arts with a focus on comedy, cabaret and circus.
  • Good relationships with promoters and producers
  • Experience of working within a festival environment
  • Experience of producing or programming shows into a festival or venue
  • Strong negotiation skills
  • Experience devising and managing budgets
  • Strong problem solving skills and the ability to think on your feet
  • Adaptable and able to work effectively in different situations
  • Ideas-driven, able to approach problems creatively
  • Strong team-work and communication skills
  • Strong IT skills, particularly excel
  • Willingness to work outside their specific job description and take on other tasks where necessary and at busy times
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline-focused environment
  • Exceptional time management skills and attention to detail
  • Willingness to travel and work away from home for periods of time

The job will be based in our head London office, then re-locating to our Edinburgh venues for 6 weeks over July and August. Evening and weekend work will be required.

Terms and Conditions

Salary: £28,000 -  £32,000 subject to experience
Working hours: a minimum of 40 hours per week. 
Holidays: The annual leave entitlement is 20 days, plus statutory holidays.
Permanent contract, with 6 months probationary period.

Applications close: Midday 18th December 2017

To apply, please fill in the application form by clicking here  or fill in the form below. 



For more information on Underbelly, visit www.underbelly.co.uk