about our activity


The eavesdropping festival is a riotous four-day deep-dive into new sounds and fresh thinking held at Cafe OTO in Dalston, East London.


Over the course of four evening events, each a double-bill, eight performers present their latest works or works-in-progress in an intimate and informal setting. The programming within each set is artist-led: repertoire is only announced on the night, giving the performers the control and the flexibility to present whatever serves them best and giving the public special insight into the performer's freshest work. We aim to stimulate your ears and your imagination by presenting a surprising collection of artists working at the experimental fringes of a variety of musical genres.


Woven through the festival are talks, discussions and workshops, giving an opportunity for local and visiting artists alike to reflect together on a given topic. Weighty talks given by our invited guest speakers sit alongside shorter presentations/performances/proposals gathered through a Call for Provocations, and the programme is punctuated by roundtable panels and discussions. The vibe is low-key and friendly, whilst definitely being thought-provoking. 


Explore our 2024 festival


Every season Juliet sits down with each of the featured artists and chews the fat. The 'eavesdropping conversations' podcast provides a glimpse into each artist's practice ahead of their performance and very often wanders off into unexpected territory... With 29 episodes and counting, this is a fascinating archive of intimate reflections.


Search for 'eavesdropping.london' on your podcast platform, or find us on SoundCloud.



Beyond the festival, we create platforms for our artists through partnerships with other organisations. 




eavesdropping at The Arnolfini, Bristol

4 October 2023: more info to be announced




eavesdropping at The Red House, Aldeburgh

14 April 2023: Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian

19 May 2023: Ryoko Akama 

28 July 2023: Rihab Azar


eavesdropping at The Pumphouse, Aldeburgh

19 June 2022: Lucie Treacher & Sophie Fetokaki




We also provide artist development opportunities for people engaged in the business of making, performing, writing or thinking about music.


Our current focus is on VOICEBOX, a brand-new initiative offering a bespoke curriculum for advanced singers specialising in contemporary vocal performance. It is delivered over the course of a year (2023-4), broken into four intensive residency periods that are hosted by partner organisations around the UK. 



17 August 2024: VOICEBOX: UNBOUND, Snape Maltings, Suffolk

15 September 2024: Cafe OTO, London (details to follow)


In previous years and in partnership with TONIC Theatre we have offered fully subsidised workshops on Unconscious Bias, Race and Allyship, and Making Space for Making Change. 





Inspired by Sara Ahmed's 'Killjoy Survival Kit' (in her book Living a Feminist Life) we have put together some resources to sustain and strengthen the eavesdropping community. One inspired the very creation of eavesdropping; all have inspired significant conversations or new strands to our activity, and may help you as makers of music, thinkers of bold ideas and harbingers of marvellous change. Click here to explore our survival kit. 




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