The impact of the Without Walls Consortium on the UK Outdoors Arts Sector

Without Walls has made a massive impact on outdoor arts, not just its festivals, but the wider UK and international sector.

Without Walls has shown that funders, presenters and artists working strategically as one can achieve more than any one organisation could. It has helped artists from all backgrounds and disciplines create outstanding, innovative outdoor shows, and has helped take this to audiences all over England, many of whom don’t participate in arts and culture in the traditional way.

Overseas, Without Walls has changed the way in which UK outdoor arts is seen. Where once it was seen as being inferior to its international counterparts, UK outdoor arts is now regarded as unique amongst its peers, and the UK sector is considered a leader in audience development.

Our impact on Artists

  • Without Walls has supported the creation and touring of over 140 new shows. These are considered high in quality and representative of the diverse range of art forms present in the UK sector.


  • These have been made both by artists that have been working at the heart of the outdoor arts sector for many years and by those new to the idea of working outdoors.


  • Without Walls champions diverse work throughout its history, with shows made by Black, Asian and ethnically diverse artists and those led by Deaf and Disabled artists.


  • Without Walls helps artists to form important relationships with festivals, commissioners and funders; they are able to lever co-funding from other sources.


  • Many shows continue to tour nationally and internationally, contributing to the UK’s increasing recognition as one of the leading countries for outdoor arts in Europe.

shows, of all scales, genres and art forms


companies, from all disciplines and backgrounds

clap icon 16%

of shows supported by Without Walls were made by Black, Asian and ethnically diverse artists

accessibility icon 11%

of shows supported by Without Walls were made by Deaf or Disabled artists

Impact on the festival landscape

  • By supporting artists to create and tour new work, Without Walls is instrumental in developing and maintaining an active UK touring network


  • Without Walls has encouraged collaboration and networking with external organisations and knowledge sharing amongst its partners


  • Without Walls supports its partners’ capacity to commission and present outdoor arts


  • Without Walls is helping to build understanding and confidence in audience development among festivals and artists


  • Without Walls’ work has proven instrumental in positioning the UK sector as a tour de force in the international outdoor arts world

festivals formed the partnership in 2007


partners have rapidly expanded the network in 2019

Our impact on audiences

  • Without Walls develops and maintains audiences for outdoor arts across the UK


  • The work of Without Walls has been vital for providing Black, Asian and ethnically diverse and Disabled audiences high-quality arts experiences for free


  • Without Walls has supported partners to run community outreach programmes and audience development activity


  • Without Walls partners feed audience data into the Audience Agency’s Audience Finder framework, helping to develop a sector-wide look at outdoor arts audiences
3 million

people attended our festivals over the last three years


people saw the Without Walls supported shows

Pie chart icon Many

of our audiences are from areas where arts engagement is below the national average.


of people got involved with arts and culture activity in their hometown thanks to the work of our partners