Without Walls Awarded £980,794 from Arts Council England to Take Free Outdoor Performances across the Country


SufiZen (045 of 045) 5000px

 Sufi:Zen  by Akademi © Chris Pointon

  • Without Walls has received £980,794 of funding from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund to continue the work of its Associate Touring Network (ATN) from 2016-2018.
  • The ATN will work with 10 festivals in some of England’s most underprivileged areas to present exciting new outdoor shows of all scales and genres, reaching new audiences across the country
  • The Associate Touring Network will reach an estimated 1.4 Million people through arts engagement and community outreach projects over three years



Without Walls is thrilled to announce that audiences across the UK will be treated to hundreds of free outdoor performances over the next three years, thanks to investment from Arts Council England in the Without Walls Associate Touring Network. The shows – including theatre, music, dance, circus, and including large-scale night-time spectaculars, to tiny shows for families – will be presented at festivals and events in some of the most underprivileged locations in England, where there is very limited artistic and cultural provision. Working in partnership with arts organisations in each location, the project will include extensive opportunities for local people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in the events by participating in workshops or other activities.


Partners for the Associate Touring Network (2016 – 2018) are in some of the areas of lowest engagement in the country and include:

  • Appetite, Stoke-On-Trent;
  • Derby Festé
  • Freedom Festival, Hull
  • Leicester City Council
  • Preston City Council
  • Right Up Our Street, Doncaster
  • Vivacity, Peterborough
  • SO Festival, East Lindsey
  • Watermans, Hounslow
  • Yorkshire Festival

The Associate Touring Network was launched in 2013 and has proven success in reaching new audiences across the UK. Research conducted by Without Walls revealed that across our previous ATN Project (2013-2015), 1.3 Million people were reached through a nationwide project involving 9 festivals, who worked with 28 Without Walls artists to deliver 430 unique performances of 33 outdoor shows of all scale, scope, and genres. Through the support of Arts Council England, this new Associate Touring Network (2016–2018) will augment the hugely successful model set by its previous project, enabling more audiences to overcome the barriers associated with arts engagement, assisting an estimated number of 1.4 Million people to participate in, contribute to, and to witness high-quality outdoor art in their local area.

Alison ClarkDirector for Combined Arts, Arts Council England said: ‘I am delighted that we are supporting the Without Walls Associate Touring Network through our National Lottery Strategic Touring programme. It is an excellent example of how arts festival organisations working together can improve the quality of outdoor arts across the country as well as reach new audiences in areas where there are limited opportunities to experience such work.’

Josephine Burns, Chair of Without Walls, said; “We are delighted with this investment from Arts Council England. It is a significant endorsement of the quality of our work as well as a recognition of the importance of outdoor arts in reaching new audiences. Without Walls continues to demonstrate that companies from the UK can produce work that is artistically ambitious, socially engaged and entertaining – many of the projects we have supported are now touring the world. This award ensures that even more people in England will have the opportunity to enjoy these shows – mostly for free – at festivals across the country. The success of the Associate Touring Network model proves that outdoor arts is the most democratic of art forms. “

For more information about the Without Walls Associate Touring Network please visit www.withoutwalls.uk.com/atn