Fierce Festival was founded in 1998 by Mark Ball, who went onto be Artistic Director at LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) 2009 – 2017, and then joined Manchester International Festival as Associate Director. In 2009, Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison took over as joint artistic directors of Fierce. The duo introduced a ‘slow burn’ programming model centred around developing and commissioning new works specific to the city, alongside national and international touring works reworked for Birmingham. They produced five editions of Fierce Festival as joint artistic directors between 2009 and 2015. Laura now works as Director of the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts and Harun works with Helen Walker, as part of the collective practice THEY ARE HERE.
In December 2016 it was announced that Aaron Wright would take up the post of Artistic Director from Spring 2016.
Fierce Festival is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation with regular funding confirmed until 2022.
Fierce is a member of Live Art UK, the national network that brings promoters and facilitators together to support and facilitate Live Art infrastructure for artists and audiences. Fierce is also a member of the European WEB network. WEB is an informal, international network for creation and presentation, active since 2009.