The National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) have announced the first ever Rural Touring Awards.

This is a chance for all of us involved in rural touring – whether artist, audience, promoter or touring scheme – to come together and celebrate our art form.

It’s a chance to say thank you to some of the people that make rural touring so wonderful; to raise awareness of the range and diversity of excellent art on offer; to encourage new companies, promoters and audiences to engage with rural touring; and to acknowledge the unique way in which rural touring works – how every part of the process, from audience member to volunteer promoter, from touring scheme manager to touring company, involves working together to bring brilliant art to communities across the UK. 

As NRTF’s recent research has shown, the number of performances in village halls is increasing, and an ever expanding array of work is on offer – whether music, comedy, dance, theatre, or something new entirely.

It’s thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteer promoters, of hard-working performers, of committed touring schemes and of loyal audiences that rural touring is vibrant and thriving. The Rural Touring Awards allow NRTF to publicly show gratitude to those individuals who have made a real difference to a community over the past year.

NRTF are inviting all those involved in rural touring to nominate now! 

Nominate your choices under the following categories.  

  • Most welcoming village hall or community venue
  • Most innovative and/or inspirational show seen at a village hall or community venue
  • Volunteer promoter of the year
  • Most supportive touring scheme
  • Rural touring newcomer of the year
  • The NRTF special award. The NRTF special award is open to all – from touring schemes and volunteers to artists or touring companies. They are looking for an amazing story from the world of rural touring to reward long service, dedication beyond the call of duty, reliability or an exciting contribution.

Please base your nominations on work or events that took place between January 2016 and April 2017.

To nominate for each category go to

Nominations will close at midnight on the 5th May.

Shortlisting will be done by a panel representing artists, rural touring schemes, voluntary promoters and NRTF. The final selection will be made by an independent panel including:

Lyn Gardner – Journalist

Francois Matarasso – Writer and researcher

Beccy Speight – Chief Executive of The Woodland Trust

Ed Collier – China Plate

The shortlisting panel and the judges will be looking for brilliant stories, examples of good practice, forward looking and future focussed work, and for specifically rural touring related activity (i.e it could only happen with rural touring).

The selection will be based on the reasons you give for your nomination so please give as much information as you can.  You may nominate only once in each category. 

The shortlisted nominees in each category will be notified by 26th May and invited to attend the prize giving at Nottingham University on 28th June as part of the NRTF conference where the winners will be announced.

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Supporting live performance across the Highlands & Islands as part of a central, celebrated and indispensable part of the cultural life of Scotland.
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