We’re delighted to welcome new Touring Scheme member The Touring Network to the NRTF. Here’s an overview of their work:
The Touring Network supports those who enable professional performing arts events in some of the most remote and beautiful places in Scotland.
Originally called the Promoters Arts Network (PAN) and established in 1998 as a membership-led organisation, whose aim was to bring together a loose-knit group of Highland promoters, The Touring Network now supports almost 100 promoters across the whole of the Highlands & Islands. Members stretch from Shetland in the North Sea all the way down to the Kintyre Peninsula on the south-west coast, an area the same size as Belgium, but without the infrastructure.
Our vision is to see rural touring be a central, celebrated and indispensable part of the cultural life of Scotland. The Touring Network exists to:
- Enable remarkable live performances of the highest level.
- Transform people as promoters, performers and audiences.
- Create vibrant places to live, work and visit.
Through our work we support, connect, and represent:
We provide help, advice and training for promoters, in particular, those that are volunteers. Whether they are putting on their first ever show or have been running events for years, we are here to provide help and support.
We provide a forum for voluntary promoters across the Highlands and Islands to connect and network, sharing knowledge, skills and resources. We develop relationships between promoters and performers, helping the highest standard of performances to reach people in isolated communities.
We work on behalf of our members, and alongside partner organisations, to strengthen and support the rural touring ecology as a whole, ensuring that touring and promoting remain accessible and relevant to all.
Whilst the majority of our members programme their own individual seasons, our Supported Touring scheme also enables us to support performances in under-represented geographic areas and genres. At the moment, we are able to offer contemporary theatre, children’s theatre and dance shows to our promoters at a subsidised rate. Our Spring/Summer season of Supported Touring this year saw 8 shows visit 17 different promoters across the network.
With the support of AmbITion, we have also developed a custom-built online platform called Tourbook, which connects rural promoters with each other, and with professional performers of all genres. It provides a space for performers to promote their shows and for promoters to share their activities and offer mutual support. It’s a bit like the Facebook of promoting, and the Trip Advisor of touring. Although still in development, the platform is proving to be a valuable tool for our promoters, and we will be providing access to performers in the coming weeks.
We at The Touring Network are pleased to be one of the NRTF’s newest touring scheme members. The opportunity to easily network with rural promoters throughout the rest of the UK is invaluable, especially since it is often quite easy to feel isolated in the Highlands.