Cryptic is looking for creatively ambitious artists with innovative ideas for our 2021/22 Cryptic Nights Programme.

Cryptic Nights is an annual open call for emerging, Scottish-based artists to develop existing music, sound and digital works within a visual context, with support and mentoring from Cryptic. Please see:

Presented in partnership with the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow, we support talented artists with fresh ideas, crossing creative boundaries with live music, visual and sonic art. Since 2009, Cryptic Nights has presented over 280 artists

Many Cryptic Nights’ artists have gone on to have highly successful careers, most notably Anna Meredith, Rachel Maclean, Raydale Dower, Oliver Coates, James Houston, Yann Seznec, Josh Armstrong and Robbie Thomson.

The next deadline for applications to Cryptic Nights is 12noon (GMT) on Thursday 11 June 2020.

We are looking for ambitious, emerging artists who create high quality, innovative visual work with original music or sound-based elements at its core. We are particularly interested in submissions that use technology in new and creative ways. With Cryptic’s support, artists will be guided in the development of an existing piece of work. Please note we do not support commissions or new work, the focus is on developing existing work.

In light of Covid-19, we ask all applicants to be mindful of social distancing measures when considering the project they are submitting. Projects should not be intended for large audiences and should not include audience interaction that would involve close contact. Outdoor events are especially welcome as are screen based works and digital performances such as AR.

Selected projects will receive:

A guaranteed fee of £500 per performance/installation (for a maximum of two performances);
Travel within Scotland and accommodation expenses for artists based out with Glasgow where applicable;
Venue, technical, PR and marketing support;
A platform for your work supported by an experienced, international arts company;
An opportunity to build a new audience for your work;
Documentation of your work;
Free entry to other Cryptic Nights events throughout the year;
Valuable opportunities to develop your networks.

If the selected performance/installations take place in the CCA, we offer a three to four day residency with support, advice and space to take risks. Whilst Cryptic Nights is mainly based in CCA, we are also interested in innovative, site-specific works. We do not support traditional theatre, literature, comedy, circus or dance.

Please note undergraduate students are not eligible for this opportunity.

We understand that an artist’s creative career can emerge at any stage in life and our selection process reflects this. The Cryptic Nights programme is selected by a panel of arts professionals based on the application criteria, the quality of work and its potential for development. The 2021/22 programme will be selected by: Cathie Boyd, Artistic Director & Founder of Cryptic; Claire Moran, Producer at Cryptic; Matt Baker, Orchestrator at The Stove Network, Dumfries.

If you would like to apply, please download the submission guidelines at the bottom of this page. Please consider the eligibility criteria and application content carefully before applying, ensuring you follow the guidelines. If you require additional support in completing the application please contact Rachel Hendry at or phone 07933 571117.

We welcome applications in alternative formats. Applications can be sent as a single PDF file, video or audio application (ensuring all questions outlined in the submission guidelines are answered) to Rachel at The application title and email subject line should read YOURNAME Cryptic Nights 2021/22 Application.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 12noon (GMT) Thursday 11 June 2020

Please note, late applications cannot be accepted

Cryptic is an equal opportunities organisation and welcomes all submissions.

If you have any access requirements that you would like us to know about, please include these in your application. We will work with all applicants to ensure their access needs are met during the selection process and will ensure that access requirements are not a factor in our decision making.


For further information and to apply, please see the Cryptic website.

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