Mike Pony is a UK based creative producer known for his curatorial and producing work on events which collide live music, digital arts, performance, installation, queer culture and clubbing. He is artistic and executive director of Submerge, Horseplay and Eat Sleep Drag Repeat. Mike holds a Master of Philosophy (2010) in one-to-one performance from University of Bristol.
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.
For Submerge Festival 2019 director Mike Pony delivered 24 events in 11 venues over 10 days. The programme focused on immersive arts which have a sensory impact on audiences. The 2019 edition was produced in partnership with Watershed, We The Curious, Colston Hall, Arnolfini and Loco Klub.
Submerge present visceral, challenging arts, made by diverse artists from all walks of life. We believe in the power of arts to enrich lives, encourage people to think about the world from new perspectives and bring communities together. Wherever possible Submerge platforms queer, trans*, non-binary and genderfluid artists. Submerge is a resident of Pervasive Media Studio, Watershed Bristol.
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.
Mike is artistic and executive director of Eat Sleep Drag Repeat, presenting live performances from the stars 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. Our performers are chosen for bringing something new to the artform, from the political drag of Rodent Decay or Virgin Xtravaganzah, to the feminist drag of Victoria Sin and drag which confronts attitudes to disability, by artists such as Venus Dimilo.
Mike is promoter and DJ at LGBT clubnight Horseplay, which often presents experimental performance in a club format. Horseplay is a collaboration with Jeremy Horwood and Rob Johnstone.
Mike is known for his unique curatorial approach, creating opportunities for audiences to engage with cutting edge and experimental arts by presenting artists and artworks in accessible formats, in immersive environments, and in unusual locations.
Mike is interested in working with artists to develop challenging artistic work. He thrives upon enabling artists to create work at the boundaries of interdisciplinary performance, live art, digital media, sound, music, visual arts, installation, radical theatre and dance.