Creating Environmentally Sustainable Outdoor Work: Virtual Symposium

21 September, 9.45am - 5.50pm (BST)

We are partnering with Wild Rumpus, the team behind Artistic Directorate partner Just So Festival, to hold the second event in the Without Walls’ Creative Lab programme, a series of creative laboratories designed to allow for in depth examination of identified sector topics. The outcomes and learning from each laboratory will be documented and shared with all Without Walls partners and the wider sector. 

For this Creative Lab, Without Walls is working with network member Wild Rumpus to deliver an event which will focus on the special challenges and opportunities around reducing carbon impacts in outdoor contexts, supporting outdoor practitioners to explore creative approaches to embedding Environmental Sustainability into their practice. The format of the Creative Lab is a 1-day virtual symposium, open to all, followed by a 3-day artist residential taking place on site at Wild Rumpus’ woodland space The Forge, Cheshire, giving participants access to the unique range of facilities including creation, fabrication and living facilities.

The online symposium will take place on 21 September, 9.45am – 5.50pm (BST) and is open to all.

This one-day online event will bring together speakers from both in and out of the sector to share radical and reflective advice, case studies and approaches to embedding sustainability across three panel discussions. The programme is aimed at artists, makers, producers and festivals working in and interested in outdoor arts practice in its widest forms, that wish to explore a multi-faceted view of sustainability in relation to producing or touring work.

Click here to view the full programme

Overview of the day:

Introduction: 9.45am – 10am

Speaker session one: 10.00am – 10.45am

Imagining New Collective Futures

This session makes the case for championing sustainability as a collective endeavour, and the importance of nurturing a caring, collaborative community within the sector.

  • Alison Tickell (Founder and CEO Julie’s Bicycle)
  • Chris Johnson  (Co-founder Shambala Festival, Activist, Consultant)
  • Yasmine Ostendorf (Founder Green Art Lab Alliance, Head of Nature Research Jan Van Eyck Academie)

Follow up discussion: 11am – 11.45am

Collective Imagination and Sustainable Legacy: Audience Q&A with panellists

Thoughtful and collaborative reflection on how we can unify for common sustainable goals and what the parameters or constraints of this may be.

Speaker session two: 1pm – 1.45pm

The Physical Practicalities of Committing to Sustainable Productions

This session offers up tangible case histories, showcasing inspiring examples of how to make more sustainable choices from a logistical and material perspective.

  • Pip Rush Jansen (Co-Founder & Creative Director at Arcadia)
  • Pete Gunson (Artistic Director, Pif-Paf Theatre Ltd)

Follow up discussion: 2pm – 2.45pm

F*ck-ups and F*ck-its!!: Audience Q&A with panellists and Claire O’Neill (Sustainability Manager Arcadia, A Greener Festival)

We all like to talk about what we’ve done well, but none of us have the perfect solution! This session aims to provide an honest, good-natured and non-judgemental space to share where we have gotten it wrong, why it went wrong and how if we were all just a bit more honest about our short-fallings, collectively we would probably all make a big difference.

Speaker Session three: 4.00pm – 4.45pm

Meaningfully Integrating Sustainability into Creative Outputs

This session explores where focus might be best placed in the bid to produce sustainable new work, balancing thematic and practical considerations.

  • Wendy Hesketh-Ogilvie (Artistic Director, Wired Aerial Theatre)
  • Andrew Kim (Artistic Director, Thingumajig Theatre)
  • Alison Holder (Producer, Talawa Theatre Company)
  • Barney White (Co-founder, Creative Director, Performer, Acrojou)

Follow up discussion: 5.00pm – 5.45pm

Taking Audiences on our Sustainable Journey: Audience Q&A with panellists

How do we take the audience with us on this journey, without patronising or preaching? How do we sustain the message beyond the performance space?

Closing Remarks: 5.45-5.50pm

Event End: 5.50pm



Click here to Register as a Delegate for this free event

The event will be hosted on the online events platform Hopin, you will receive an email from Wild Rumpus with further instructions for connecting to Hopin in advance of the event.



During the live broadcast, we will have a British Sign Language interpreter present on-screen any time someone is speaking. Additionally, MyClearText will be providing a live speech-to-text service on the day. This service will be active when the event goes live on Monday. To access this service, please follow this link: Live Speech-to-Text service


Further information about the Creative Lab Artist Residential (22 – 25 September 2020)

Picking up on themes from the symposium and looking in more detail at how artists can reduce their carbon impacts and encourage behavioural change through their creative outputs, this intensive residential event will be held over three days immediately following the symposium.The residential will comprise of artist surgeries and facilitated discussion alongside practical making time using the appropriate workshop/creation facilities for artists to be able to test and develop specific concepts and projects. 

The residential will host 12 artist companies on a fully residential basis. Artists were selected through an open call process with a broad remit to attract a diverse range of experience and practice, and you can read a brief description of who is participating below. 

Further documentation of the outcomes and learnings of the residency will be shared after the event so please follow Without Walls and Wild Rumpus to learn more. 


Main image: Ghost Caribou by Thingumajig Theatre at Just So 2019 © Samuel Mills