Open Call


Community organisations (including schools), are invited to work together and take part in AstleyFest 2018, a new outdoor festival in Newcastle-under-Lyme to celebrate the life and legacy of Philip Astley – Father of the Modern Circus.

Staffordshire-based groups are invited to apply for up to £1,000 for materials, artist fees and volunteer expenses to design and make flags to be used in a parade and displayed at the festival.
A total of £5,000 is available.


On 4th August 2018, Newcastle-under-Lyme will gather together to celebrate Philip Astley at AstleyFest, a free festival in Lyme Valley. With performances and hands-on activities, everyone will have the chance to be inspired and get involved.
A brilliant day out for the whole family, children of all ages will love clowning around and trying their hand at circus skills. Everyone will enjoy the New Vic Theatre’s first performance of Roll Up, Roll Up, a brand- new show developed with local writers, performers and choir members.

In 2018, The Philip Astley Project has commissioned Appetite and PH Productions to deliver AstleyFest. The Philip Astley Project is managed by Staffordshire University on behalf of a steering group of arts, heritage, statutory and educational organisations. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, and sponsorship from businesses based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, local people can get involved in workshops, talks, an exhibition, and performances to celebrate Philip Astley in his home town.


Download the Open Call Document for full details. Apply by Monday 5th March. 

Any questions? Complete our contact form with any queries. 

Other News

Award Winning Animated Film

Celebrations as our award winning Philip Astley Project animated film wins Staffordshire Day Film Festival 2021 Animation Category. The popular animated film 'Philip Astley Father of Modern Circus' created by Stoke on Trent based Inspired Film and Video company for the ...

AstleyFest Virtual Entertainment for 2020

AstleyFest 2020 Virtual Entertainment Online. This year’s AstleyFest 2020 is taking place as virtual entertainment on Saturday 1st August 3030 as AstleysAtHome. With an exciting line-up of online virtual entertainment, workshops and inspiring performances for families to get stuck into. Thanks ...

6th Year of The Homecoming!

The Homecoming 2019 Roll up on Saturday 29 June as the modern circus swings back into Newcastle-under-Lyme for the sixth year of outdoor circus gala The Homecoming! 2019. Presenting some of the freshest in contemporary circus talent in the town centre, come along with your family and ...

Freedom of the Borough for Fred and Greta Van Buren

Inspirational Van Buren's Under Spotlight for Lifetime Achievement - Freedom of the Borough for Fred and Connie Greta. A husband and wife duo who entertained audiences all over the world for more than four decades with their magnificent magic and illusion ...