About Us

We are a consortium of festivals and organisations committed to excellence in outdoor arts in England through the creation and touring of innovative new work

Without Walls is a consortium of over 30 partners working together to create, develop and tour innovative new work and invest in the growth of the outdoor arts sector.

We commission outdoor shows of the highest quality that push the boundaries of what outdoor arts can be. Each year, we present a programme of new work that premieres at our leading festival partners. These shows go on to tour across our wider network.

Without Walls supports artists that have been working at the heart of the outdoor arts sector for many years, as well artists experimenting with work in public space for the first time. We provide financial support for the research and development of new work, as well as professional and creative development opportunities.

The consortium is instrumental in developing and maintaining an active touring network for outdoor arts. Many of the shows we have premiered continue to tour nationally and internationally for many years, contributing to England’s position as a global leader in outdoor arts.

Our network of partners reaches across England from city to country to coastline. Many work in areas of low arts engagement and pioneer new forms of creative engagement with and for their communities. From the East End of London, to the banks of the River Tees in Stockton, the countryside of rural Cheshire, and on to town centres across the country – Without Walls’ work finds audiences far and wide.

Without Walls is funded by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation. 

How the Consortium Works

We are a network of 36 festivals and organisations working together to create excellence in outdoor arts in England through the creation and touring of innovative new work.

Our partners fall into three categories: Artistic Directorate; Touring Network Partnership; and Creative Development Network.

The Artistic Directorate comprises some of the largest outdoor arts festivals in England. The network is responsible for the artistic policy of the Consortium, and selects and presents our annual programme of new shows.

The Touring Network Partnership sits alongside the Artistic Directorate. Through membership of the Consortium, these partners are able to present exceptional outdoor work each year from the full catalogue of Without Walls supported shows.

The Creative Development Network supports partner organisations that are new to outdoor arts or looking to present outdoor work for the first time.

Some of the UK’s most regarded outdoor arts and performance specialists. The Artistic Directorate annually invests commissioning funds into a programme of new outdoor shows that go on and tour across the UK and internationally. This process ensures an influx of new shows for the outdoor arts sector and helps nurture the talent and skills of those working in the sector.

Find out more about the Artistic Directorate

A network of festivals of all shapes and sizes across the UK in areas without regular arts activity. Without Walls works with these partners to create an appetite for outdoor arts across the country. The project builds off the impact of Without Walls’ highly influential Associate Touring Network.

  • Arts by the Sea
  • Barnsley Council
  • Basingstoke Festival
  • Birmingham Hippodrome
  • Creative Basildon
  • Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts (DOCA)
  • Festival of Thrift, Redcar
  • First Art, Mansfield
  • Hampshire Cultural Trust
  • Lancashire Encounter, Preston
  • Now Northwich, Cheshire Dance
  • Oldham Council
  • Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
  • Rochdale Borough Council
  • The Culture House, Grimsby
  • Theatre Orchard, Somerset
  • Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure
  • Flux Rotherham

Find out more about the Touring Network Partnership

The Creative Development Network (CDN) acts as a ‘festival incubator’ by supporting emerging festivals, arts organisations and independent producers taking the first steps into presenting outdoor arts events. The network offers opportunities for peer learning, masterclasses, training, mentorship, networking and development support.

2023 CDN Partners include:

  • Company Chameleon
  • Creative Playground CPP
  • Culture Warrington in partnership with Warrington Borough Council
  • Dartington Trust
  • Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Feast Fest
  • Inspirate
  • Marketplace CPP
  • Mira Kaushik, Independent Producer

Find out more about the Creative Development Network