Pivoting: when a dance festival moves online

image of a pair of hands taking a photo on a mobile phone of a dancer in mid air - the phone has the U.Dance 2020 logo in the foreground
13 Jul 2020

Dance thrives on physical contact and live audiences, so how can the country’s largest youth dance festival move to an online format? Cameron Ball explains.

Outdoor performances given green light for July 11

10 Jul 2020

Indoor performance pilots with the London Symphony Orchestra will shape further reopening plans amid concerns about the safety of singing, brass and wind instruments.

2020 festivals: there’s no going back

silhouette of a person looking up at a coloured starry sky
09 Jul 2020

Having flexed our innovation muscles in response to the pandemic, now’s the time to assess what we’ve done and use this knowledge to develop new ways of working on a larger, longer-term scale. The Audience Agency team looks to the future of festivals online.

Coventry City of Culture delayed until May 2021

Paper Peace, part of Coventry 2021's first campaign, Humans of Coventry
03 Jul 2020

Partners say the new date means the cultural showcase “can be reimagined in response to challenges facing the country”.

Artists on the front line

Stopgap Dance Company performing outside at the Watch This Space Festival, National Theatre
17 Jun 2020

Outdoor Arts producers and artists are experienced at turning the most unpromising setting into a performance space, and their back-catalogue of shows is tailored for the outdoor. Could they be the first to woo back audiences in a socially distanced world? Angus MacKechnie looks ahead.

When the festivals fell silent

screenprinting a poster which says "There is power in the unity of humanity"
17 Jun 2020

Familiar voices may be muted this year, but some have found new ways to communicate with their audiences, and to reach new ones. Michael Eades asks some fundamental questions about the future for festivals.

Why student theatre will lead the way forward for the rest of us

a girl standing on stage in a spotlight
20 May 2020

The energy, invention and will to survive shown by young companies will replenish and rekindle our industry says James Phillips, but unless the industry finds a way of nurturing them, a career in theatre will only be available to the children of the wealthy.

Co-creation and community contact

Woman wearing a hat
19 May 2020

How can an organisation that depends on face-to-face interaction with its audience sustain its work during the Covid-19 lockdown? Pat Moores asked Adel Al-Salloum how the The Spark Arts for Children is planning to face the future.

Learning the art of ‘un-producing’

a group of people sitting and standing whilst singing in a hall
29 Apr 2020

How are small theatre companies living through the current crisis – and what does the future hold for them? Matthew Austin's experiences will be all too familiar to many.

When the Games can’t go on

Bustling city centre scene in Shinjuku, Tokyo
22 Apr 2020

The stories behind the Olympic Games and other cultural mega-events are important, says Beatriz Garcia. Now is the time to look beyond their role as catalysts for real estate growth and commercial profit and rethink why we need them.

Coventry 2021: a lot more than a party

A photo of a brightly-lit sculpture on an outside wall
13 Feb 2020

The city has no intention of shirking difficult challenges in its year as UK City of Culture, writes Chenine Bhathena.

Birmingham must embrace its Heavy Metal heritage

A photo of rows of T shirts with Heavy Metal logos
13 Feb 2020

Regeneration is all very well – but it is only through celebrating its authentic working class culture that the city can discover a beating heart and soul, says Lisa Meyer.

Quotas alone won't achieve gender equality

A photo of three women singing
09 Jan 2020

Setting targets helps, but wider strategies are needed to dispel the sense of novelty value that still surrounds female musicians. We need to normalise their presence on stage and behind the scenes, writes Kate Lowes.

How the Fringe is forcing out working class voices

12 Dec 2019

Edinburgh Fringe is full of people making obscene amounts of money on the backs of artists who are bringing everyone to the city in the first place, says Kevin P. Gilday. It’s an inequality that is undermining the lofty ideals on which the fringe was formed.

How can we make festivals greener?

Protesters stopping traffic holding a 'Rebel for life' banner
19 Sep 2019

Festivals can have all the recycling schemes and sustainable policies in the world, but it’s getting workforce and attendees on board that will really make a difference, writes Damon Culbert.

ACE to fund Edinburgh Fringe showcase

Photo of Edinburgh Fringe
19 Aug 2019

The funder plans to invest up to £2.25 million in England-based performance artists “to build and strengthen international partnerships”.

A world with walls: how Brexit could stifle the success of outdoor arts

Photo of two actors holding back a third who, while lying on the ground, is reaching out into the distance in apparent pain.
11 Jul 2019

The outdoor arts sector has experienced growth over the last decade, but could a no-deal Brexit put the brakes on this? Maggie Clarke and Irene Segura share their concerns.

Shining a light on local culture

Photo of a transgender person getting ready at a vanity table as a audience watches on.
27 Jun 2019

The LightNight festival initially aimed to showcase Liverpool's artists to outsiders - but it is now more concerned with galvanising the local cultural scene, writes Laura Marie Brown.

From crisis to creativity

Photo of four women throwing scarfs into the air
20 Jun 2019

Nottingham Refugee Week shows how opportunity can come out of a crisis when communities work together, writes Anna Ball.

Weaving a rich tapestry

A graphic of Asian dancers, a woman playing a guitar and two people using a switchboard
12 Jun 2019

Kirklees in West Yorkshire has a vision for local development rooted firmly in its historic links to the textile and music industries, says Kath Davies.

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