A Note from the New Director of the NRTF - Holly Lombardo

Dear NRTF Members and Associates,

It is an absolute honour to be taking on the role of Director of your organisation.

A bit about me - I have worked in creative industries at a senior level for over 16 years. I founded the Brighton Fringe in 2004, managing it to become the 3rd largest Arts Fringe Festival in the world. I was a senior manager at the Edinburgh Fringe Society and Director of an Edinburgh Fringe venue. I have worked within some of the UK’s largest international Festivals. In 2007 I pooled my knowledge of the creative sector to found World Fringe Network, which links over 230 Fringe Festivals across the globe. As well as this I have lectured Universities on event & business management. I was an Assessor for the Arts Council England, where one of my assessments was the NRTF and I have been an Executive Trustee of the British Arts Festival Association for 8 years. I was recently Project Director for Wooden O Theatres and have just left my position as the Artistic Director of Fusion Arts Oxford.

Throughout my career one tread has remained; my passion for networking and generating platforms for creative development, linking up and facilitating opportunities for artists and audiences. I am ambitious and can see the wider picture for national and international cultural tends and am comfortable liaising with cultural leaders.

I realise I have big shoes to fill and a 20-year legacy to uphold as Director of the National Rural Touring Forum, a success I plan to build on. I’m excited to get started, meeting as many of you as possible and getting to know the organisation and everyone involved.


Until then - very best wishes

Holly Lombardo


  • markjameskelly



    Hi Holly,

    Congratulations on your appointment, I’m sure you can’t wait to get stuck in and stamp your mark on the role.

    I thought I’d drop you a line to see if you can help me.

    I run a Band Management Company and I feel that some of them would benefit from working with NRT.

    The first band I have in mind are ‘Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip’ ~ a name you may have seen on both the Brighton Fringe & Edinburgh Fringe line-up’s in the past.

    The band have great NRT credentials the main being that they appeal to a huge cross section of audience.

    Their recent CV includes 10 years at Glastonbury, BBC 6Music Single of the Week, The Observer’s Fiona Banner mentioned them In her Artists Of The Year, John Cooper Clarke said Mik was “unique, a genius”,  some songs last 20 seconds some 12 minutes etc. Strong songs with amazing visual performance and audience interaction with Stella musicians playing a range of afrobeat, pop, soul, folk and avante garde.

    One thing is for sure, audiences always end up singing, dancing, and laughing… it’s stand up rock and roll.

    What I wanted to know is how best to get some Rural Touring work? I have contacted all the individual area directors, but haven’t heard much back by way of reply, and also posted a couple of posts on your discussions page, but again, not fantastically received or even read?

    Am I doing something wrong?

    Is there a better way for me to approach this?

    We’d really like to embrace NRT and start working with you and your members?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Mark Kelly
    07989 946718






Post a reply