Artists Announcements and Access Information

With just over one month to go until our annual conference, we are getting very excited about welcoming you all to Shrewsbury, here’s a bit more information about what to expect from this years conference.

Artist Announcements

We have been busy putting together a brilliant line up of artists who will be performing, presenting, speaking or ballyhoo-ing at the conference. The artists announced so far are:

aKa Dance Theatre with A Real Fiction 

This 360-degree slapstick solo will serve you explosive dance, laugh out loud lip syncs and a crazy collection of characters. It’s a hyperactive mix of dance, theatre, meme and pop culture for people of all ages. You can expect the unexpected as you lose yourself in memories, laugh, sing, dance, wahoo and laugh some more.

N’famady Kouyaté

Song artwork for N’famady which is a portrait of him smiling at camera holding large drumsticks.

A young master musician from Guinea (Conakry), now based in Wales. N’famady’s primary instrument is the balafon – a traditional wooden xylophone, sacred to West African culture. N’famady plays both as a solo artist and with a full band line up – where his arrangements are a fusion of Mandingue African and western European jazz, pop, indie and funk influences provided by an ever-evolving collective of musicians.

Russell Lucas

Russell comes from a working-class background and has forged a long career in the arts without funding, an agent, or a degree.

As a champion for independent theatremakers, he will share the practical toolkit he uses to get theatre projects off the ground. Using some of the ideologies from his new book, 300 Thoughts for Theatremakers published by Nick Hern Books, he will show how he made the show and how he tours it around and how the RTN can further engage with artists, thus enriching the network.

Russell will also be performing extracts from his show ‘The Bobby Kennedy Experience’, you can see him on Wednesday at the Conference.


We want to ensure that everyone is able to attend and make the most of the event. That’s why we’re offering a range of services and support to meet your access needs.

We plan to have an open and relaxed atmosphere throughout the event, if you need to stand up, move around, or leave the room, that is welcome and okay!

We are also working to make chill out spaces available throughout the conference, and we have built in breaks and self led time where you can go at your own pace.

Once you have bought your conference ticket, you will be able to access our app where you can create a profile and meet other attendees before you even arrive. 

If you are attending the conference on your own and aren’t sure where to stay and who will be there, our Board Members will be staying at the Shrewsbury Hotel and will be happy to buddy up with you.

We understand that everyone has different requirements and we want to make sure that our conference can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns or any specific requirements that you would like to discuss with us, please contact Jess on or message us on social media if you prefer.

5 people are sitting at a round table, 1 person is making a silly face to the camera, and the others are smiling or laughing.
Photo from the 2022 NRTF Conference

Tickets and More Information

For our Eventee App and to see the Programme, follow this link.

Tickets are available on our Eventbrite page here.

Integrate – NRTF Conference 2023

This year’s conference is all about the opportunity to unite, to celebrate partnerships and collaboration, and in working together as a whole, we can ensure equal creative opportunities to the rural communities we work with.

Riverbank Kitchen, Shrewsbury.
Illustration by Emily O’Shea

Join us in the beautiful market town of Shrewsbury for this year’s 3-day Rural Touring Sector Conference Tuesday 27th to Thursday 29th June. Everyone is welcome.

More to be revealed in good time. Be sure to book your ticket and find yourself somewhere to stay.

On this page you will find more information and links for the following:

  • Where to buy tickets
  • Accommodation list
  • Programme Overview and Conference app
  • Artist Bursaries
  • Scheme Bursaries

Tickets and Accommodation

Tickets are available on our Eventbrite page here.

This year your accommodation is not included in your ticket.

Shrewsbury is a beautiful old market town, and there are lots of options available depending on your group size and budget, we thought it would be easier for everyone for you to choose what you prefer.

We have compiled a list of some great places for you to book, which you can download and look at here:

Accommodation – PDF

Accommodation – Large font PDF

Accommodation – Plain text version

Programme Overview and Conference App

Sabrina Boat Tours, Shrewsbury.
Illustration by Emily O’Shea

This year we have an exciting new event app by Eventee where you can connect with everyone else attending the conference, as well as check the programme and event locations throughout your stay.

When you buy your tickets we will send you a confirmation email and a separate invitation to join the app, so look out for an email from Eventee. We encourage you to sign up, create a profile and start to enjoy the conference before it even begins.

For a preview of Eventee, and to see the Programme, follow this link.

Accessing the Conference

We want to ensure that everyone is able to attend and make the most of the event. That’s why we’re offering a range of services and support to meet your access needs.

We plan to have an open and relaxed atmosphere, and chill out spaces will be available. We understand that everyone has different requirements and we want to make sure that our conference can be enjoyed by all. 

If you have any concerns or any specific requirements that you would like to discuss with us, please contact Jess on or message us on social media if you prefer.

Artist Conference Bursaries

The Butter Market, Shrewsbury.
Illustration by Emily O’Shea

The artist conference bursaries are about supporting NRTF member artists to attend all 3 days of the conference. Those who qualify will receive a free conference ticket worth £260 and £50 towards their travel or accommodation.

To find out more and how to apply for an Artist Conference Bursary, please take a look at the full callout by choosing one of the options below, if you would like the callout in a different format, please contact Hattie on

Artists Conference Bursary – PDF

Artists Conference Bursary – 16pt

Artists Conference Bursary – Plain Text Document

Scheme Conference Bursaries

We are delighted to announce this year’s conference bursaries for schemes. Schemes are invited to apply to qualify for a 50% discount on the cost of one conference ticket and £50 towards travel and accommodation costs.

We encourage schemes to think about using the bursary to invite new members of their teams, or perhaps a venue promoter, a representative from a partner organisation or an associate artist or performer. Preference will be given to those bringing more than one person.

Scheme Conference Bursary Information Here

Scheme Conference Bursary Application Form Here

What Next? Rural – 28 March 2pm

Join us on 28th March at 2pm on Zoom for What Next? Rural, focusing on:

Equity & Equality in the Rural Touring Sector

An opportunity to discuss how access and diversity help us to create a more equal rural touring sector. 

What do we understand ‘equity’ & ‘equality’ to mean? How does it relate to the work we do in the rural touring sector.

Hannah Prior theatre maker, arts leader and co-founder of participatory theatre organisation Ignition CIC is an advocate and champion for equity of access, enabling better creative opportunities for disabled people.  Hannah will be introducing us to the Open Access Training she runs, focusing on the key areas of the Social Model of Disability and facilitating a discussion that will include practical tools and tangible examples.

Following this is an introduction to the team at Black Country Touring who will share what they set out to do in diversifying their team, what they achieved, what they learnt and what it has inspired them to do going forward.

This session is open to members and non members of NRTF, so if you would like to join us but you aren’t a member and you aren’t signed up to our mailing list, please register your interest by completing this google form.

A Zoom link will be sent out on 27th March, to everyone on our mailing list, and those who have completed the sign up form.

If you would like to become a Member of NRTF, you can do this at anytime here.

NRTF Member Meetings

This year, NRTF will be holding 3 different kinds of online sessions to share expertise, answer questions and open up conversations. 

What Next? Rural

Quarterly meetings open to members and non members, with guest speakers focusing on a different topic each time. These will take place on the last Tuesday of the month at 2pm on:

28th March – Focusing on Equality

26th September – Focusing on Sustainability

28th November – Focusing on Inspiration

Date to be announced – Focusing on Research

Member Drop-Ins

Starting from April, the first Tuesday of every month at 9:30am, NRTF Members will be able to Drop-In on Zoom and ask any questions face to (virtual) face. 

NRTF Open Spaces

These will be more informal sessions for artists, promoters and schemes, we will have specific meetings for each group to bring their questions for discussion. These ones will also take place on a Tuesday at 2pm on:

28th February – Schemes with Holly

8th June – Schemes with Holly

25th July – Artists with Hattie

24th October – Schemes with Holly

31st October – Promoters and Venues with Jess

Where are they taking place?

NRTF members will be emailed directly with a Zoom link for NRTF Open Spaces and Member Drop-Ins.
Our What’s Next? Rural sessions are open to non-members too, if you are not a member and wish to join those sessions you just need to email to let us know, all members will receive the link too.

If you are not a member but would like to be, you can join NRTF here.

MonthWhatWhenWho can attend
FebruaryNRTF Open SpaceTues 28 Feb at 2pmMembers – Schemes
MarchWhat Next? RuralTues 28 Mar at 2pmEveryone
AprilMember Drop-InTues 4 April at 9:30amAll Members
MayMember Drop-InTues 2 May at 9:30amAll Members
JuneMember Drop-In
NRTF Open Space
Tues 6 June at 9:30am
Thurs 8 June at 11am
All Members
Members – Schemes
JulyMember Drop-InTues 4 July at 9:30amAll Members
JulyNRTF Open SpaceTues 25 July at 2pmMembers – Artists
SeptemberMember Drop-InTues 5 Sept at 9:30amAll Members
SeptemberWhat Next? RuralTues 26 Sept at 2pmEveryone
OctoberMember Drop-InTues 3 Oct at 9:30amAll Members
OctoberNRTF Open SpaceTues 24 Oct at 2pmMembers – Schemes
OctoberNRTF Open SpaceTues 31 Oct at 2pmMembers – Venues/Promoters
NovemberMember Drop InTues 7 Nov at 9:30amAll Members
NovemberWhat Next? RuralTues 28 Nov at 2pmEveryone

FREE workshop on The Civic Role of Art Organisations: What Happens Next?

Infographic: Rural Touring believes all communities deserve access to culture

What Next? In partnership with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK branch) are delighted to invite you to a FREE workshop on The Civic Role of the Art Organisations: What Happens Next?  13 July 1.30 -3.30pmThis session is tailored specifically for Rural touring and NRTF members.
The workshop is a chance for you to reflect on the changes and learning that has taken place, craft your organisation inspiring Civic Role vision for the future and outline a commit to action.       

Who is it for?

It is open to all NRTF members, including Scheme staff, promoters, artists and freelancers.
We hope you will come away with:
– A refreshed sense of connection to your works or organisation’s Civic Role.- A clear vision of what your priorities are and where you are on the journey.- Plenty of insight, inspiration, and ideas from your peers.

In 2016, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) launched The Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations in order to promote the valuable role that arts organisations do and could play in their communities. Since then, the relationship between the public and arts organisations has continued to change. More than ever, those receiving public investment need to articulate the value they bring, including to their local communities. The Inquiry has been aiming to connect those that believe that the arts are central to society and want their organisation to play a civic role.
Over the last five years, a lot has changed in the Civic Role narrative. The COVID-19 crisis and its devastating impact on our sector, and across society as a whole has reignited the debate on what it means to be relevant to our communities. Now more than ever, we need a strategic vision for the future which has communities at the centre of artistic practice and the arts at the centre of civic life. Over the last year we have seen how many art organisations were able to mobilise their relationships both within the local arts ecosystem and with wider civil society. There are opportunities to embed the lessons learned and take further action as we move towards recovery. 

The workshop will be experiential and interactive.  

Date:  13 July, 1.30 – 3.30 pm
Via Zoom

Workshops will be captioned. If you have other access requirements, please get in touch to discuss how we can best support you.