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New Directions 2014 – Participant Feedback

The bi-annual rural touring showcase festival, New Directions, took place in York from 15th – 17th July this year. Featuring showcase performances by 38 performers and companies, the event was attended by over 100 delegates including touring scheme representatives, voluntary promoters, artistic companies, small venues and funders.

The opportunity to meet Promoters, venues, agencies, artists and funders was immensely useful. And to actually see and experience quality work fit for rural touring was important in understanding the product and the relationship between Artist/company and Promoter.”

The showcase took place at York Theatre Royal and at The Fauconberg Arms in Coxwold, where The Little Festival Of Everything saw performances in a range of non-traditional spaces, from the pub itself to the surrounding fields, a car, a caravan and a minibus. A new departure for 2014 was a focus on dance for rural touring, with four dance companies invited to showcase their work and talk to promoters and touring schemes.

“Fantastically organised, felt like going to a mini Edinburgh festival but without all the dashing between shows and all the hard work done for us!”

Delegates were asked to feedback on the event and the results have been summarized in a report that can be downloaded from the Resources section of the NRTF website.

“I thought the whole conference was fantastic. I returned home with a real buzz and lots of ideas of how to promote new events in our community.”

The report contains feedback on all elements of New Directions and closes with recommendations for future events.

Next year’s NRTF conference, taking place at Wymondham College in Norfolk from 14-16 July, will focus on networking, discussion and debate, with some showcase sessions. Applications are now open to performers and companies wishing to showcase at the event.

The next New Directions showcase will take place in Falmouth, Cornwall in July 2016.