For three decades, Next Wave Festival has shaped the Australian arts landscape through imagination, bold ideas and passion for the new. Established in 1984 to foster creativity and experimentation, Next Wave’s focus has always been on the next generation of artists in a changing world. Career development, presentation opportunity and multi-disciplinary representation have been integral since our inception.



We’re looking for ambitious proposals that speak to today’s audiences. Projects that feel necessary, engage with the politics of our generation and push artistic boundaries. We want you to set the agenda for Next Wave 2020: A Government of Artists by proposing the work that feels most necessary to you.

Next Wave is not limited to any type of artist. You could be a theatre maker, visual artist, musician or composer, dancer or choreographer, filmmaker, writer, publisher, producer, curator, philosopher, poet or web developer. This list is not exhaustive!

Next Wave values artists who are:

  • of any background and any ability
  • based anywhere in Australia
  • in the early stages of their artistic career
  • experimenting with ideas and artforms
  • ready to be part of a community


Next Wave will work with successful artists to develop the strongest possible works for presentation at Next Wave Festival 2020. Along with this presentation opportunity all artists receive:

  • Up to $5,000 towards your project
  • Participation in Next Wave’s lab intensives: two week-long intensives where artists learn skills, discuss issues, share ideas and develop artistic practice
  • Flights and accommodation for one project artist to attend each intensive
  • A dedicated Next Wave Associate Producer to support the development and delivery of your project
  • Support with negotiating partnerships and accessing resources to develop and present your project
  • Assistance with developing budgeting and project management skills
  • Co-commissioning and producing support from our state partners for Next Wave X artists
  • Publicity and promotion of your work through Next Wave channels
  • Producers who are not attached to a project will receive professional development through the Kickstart program. Financial and in-kind support will be tailored to successful applicants



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Listen to this information (mp3)


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Watch the Auslan video introduction (YouTube)


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Read a plain English version of this information (PDF)


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Download a text format of this information (Word)

National Relay Service

We’re National Relay Service friendly!
Contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or via, then ask for 03 9329 9422 during business hours.

Next Wave has a history of working with artists with disability and we are committed to providing the support needed for your inclusion in our programs and festival. There will be an information session for artists with disability at Arts Access Victoria on 5 Feb at 5:30pm. The live streamed Melbourne information session on January 21 will be Auslan interpreted.

If you would like to discuss your accessibility requirements and/or submit an application in an alternate format, please contact Next Wave.