Mike Pony is a Manchester based curator, producer and coach. He is known nationally for his cultural work developing brands, festivals and events which collide live music, digital arts, performance, installation, queer culture and clubbing. Mike is artistic and executive director of Submerge, Horseplay and Eat Sleep Drag Repeat.

Mike takes a unique curatorial approach, creating opportunities for audiences to engage with cutting edge and experimental arts by presenting artists and artworks in accessible formats, immersive environments, and unusual locations. He is interested in working with artists to develop challenging artistic cross-disciplinary work at the boundaries of contemporary arts and performance.

Mike is an accredited personal and professional development coach trained by RD1st. He holds a Master of Philosophy (2010) in one-to-one performance from University of Bristol.


Mike is an accredited coach, trained by Relational Dynamics 1st, who provide coaching and leadership training for individuals and organisations working in the creative, cultural and non-profit sectors in the UK and with NGO’s internationally. The Relational Dynamics approach draws on theories and tools from a wide range of sources including coaching, emotional intelligence and contemporary research into leadership.

Mike is the director of Submerge Festival, which has held editions in November 2016 and March 2019. Submerge is a UK based arts organisation who produce a biennial festival of immersive arts from the edges. Submerge focus on presenting radical artworks which are difficult to define by single genre; a mix of liveart and body-based performance, immersive theatre, sound, club performance, electronic music, audiovisual and digital arts.

Submerge present visceral, challenging arts, made by diverse artists from all walks of life, with specific focus on queer, trans*, non-binary and genderfluid artists. Submerge is a resident of Pervasive Media Studio, Watershed Bristol.

Eat Sleep Drag Repeat
Mike is artistic and executive director of Eat Sleep Drag Repeat, presenting live performances from the artists of RuPaul’s Drag Race since 2015. Eat Sleep Drag Repeat champions equality and diversity in the arts, presenting high quality, conceptual guest artists alongside drag race stars. ESDR platforms forward-thinking political, and challenging drag; our performers are chosen for bringing something new to the artform.

Mike is creative director and DJ at LGBT clubnight Horseplay, a queer-art-disco-club with a positive vibe and a fine dusting of glitter and sleaze. Described by The Guardian as “Bristol’s best gay dance party”, Horseplay have presented experimental performance in a club format since 2011.

Get In Touch
Mike often works in collaboration with producers, designers, artists, performers festivals and venues to realise events. He has worked as associate producer for organisations such as Bristol Pride, In Between Time, Christmas Spiegeltent and the Bristol Harbour Festival. Please get in touch to discuss collaboration.


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