You can download a PDF of frequently asked questions here
What is Night Out?
Night Out is the community and rural touring scheme for Wales.
Run by a small professional team based in Cardiff we help groups of
volunteers across the country bring arts to the heart of their
communities by providing a financial guarantee against loss.
We promote nearly 600 shows a year in communities across the whole
Many different groups host events through Night Out, typically
its village halls or community centre committees but any kind of
constituted group or organisation with access to a suitable
performance venue can be a Night Out promoter. The vast
majority of organisers are community volunteers, giving their own
time and energy and sharing the same passion of trying to give
their communities the chance for a great night out on their
- Sounds unusual. Is it unique?
Night Out is one of 40 similar projects across the UK. Each one
is slightly different in style, but they all work by allowing
communities to select and host live performances. Night Out is
a member of, the National Rural Touring Forum ( www.ruraltouring.org )
a national organisation which advocates for and supports rural
touring. It's funded by the Arts Council England.
Night Out doesn't normally book shows directly like an arts
venue might. We offer a curated list of recommended companies
to community promoters, volunteers who take charge of the venues
themselves. They have to make sure it's legal and suitable for a
public event and as accessible as possible. They choose a show they
like from our listings or sometimes they will book an artist
We will only recommend a company if we know their work, feel it is
of a good quality and suitable for small scale
As any venue we get hundreds of requests a year from performers
and it is not possible to respond to all requests, see every
company or list everyone on our web site.
Everything is negotiable. We always negotiate a fair fee and you
get a contract. We can be flexible if we think you'll sell and our
venues will book you. Our final tour commitments always come down
to venue demand and if our budget can make it work.
Fees vary considerably, we are limited in how much we can afford
and many venues have a small capacity so the ability for
communities to make back large sums is difficult. On average we pay
about £500 while the normal top fee is £850- fees in excess of this
will force promoters to pay more and lose additional underwriting
and so often will not get booked. Shows costing more than £1500 are
not eligible through the scheme.
If you get a booking we will pay your fee and then settle up
afterwards with the promoter, recouping some of the ticket
income. Payment can only be made after the event by BACs
transfer and you must provide an invoice which should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Payment for fees over £850 is split between Night Out and the
- How do the community promoters book the shows and what
Normally the community volunteer will contact the performer
directly, check the show is suitable, the cost is affordable and
that they can meet all technical requirements (including
appropriate performance space). They then pencil
in a suitable date and apply to Night Out.
We are normally able to agree if the booking can go ahead within
three weeks of receiving the application, once confirmed we will
write to the promoter and performer.
Night Out guarantees to pay the fee but the performer needs to
liaise directly with the community promoter to ensure everything
else is fine including get in, arrival time, posters etc.
Hospitality arrangements including food and accommodation
requirements should be arranged well in advance, however Night Out
promoters are generally not able to provide overnight
accommodation. Please be aware that Night Out works in many areas
of social deprivation and these promoters may not be financially
able to provide large meals etc.
The promoter takes responsibility for marketing and hosting the
show on the night. They buy into the experiences. No promoter wants
a flop on their hands. They have to live in the village! This can
mean people play safe with choices, but good marketing, and great
artists help overcome this.
After the show you will need to fill in a short report form on
the event and send an invoice, addressed to Night Out/ Arts Council
of Wales, quoting your order number to email@example.com
We pay by BACs transfer and try to do so as
quickly as possible.
- I'm not a professional performer, will you book my
No. Night Out supports professional artists who earn the
majority of their income from performing and touring. We are part
of the Arts Council of Wales and see our role as helping
communities book high quality work that they wouldn't normally be
able to see without driving to a major arts venue.
It is not our role to support pub bands, tribute artists or
- I'm new to touring and have a show I want to try out.
Will you book it?
No. We want a tour-ready piece of work. You can sell us a show
in development knowing it will be ready when you actually tour, but
we need evidence that you know what you are doing.
It is difficult to take risks with untested, unseen new work
with new artists who have no touring experience. This is because it
is the volunteers who are really taking the risk, and it's they who
have to deal with the audiences long after the show has
- Should I translate my show information into
Wales is a bilingual country and Night Out works in Welsh or
English, all our forms and information are available
bilingually and you may converse with us in Welsh or English.
Approximately 23% of bookings through the scheme are for Welsh
language performances. You are welcome to
translate your information into Welsh and if your show is available
in Welsh then you should definitely do so as promoters booking
Welsh language shows will be looking at the Welsh language side of
the web site.
Please state what language your production is available
in. If it is only in English that is fine - you do not need
to translate the information into Welsh.
- I'm touring a dance piece. Are you
Yes, we are happy to put on dance in village halls. But there's
some essential things you need to consider.
1. Dance is very difficult to sell to
2. Many halls do not have a sprung
floor, changing room or showers.
3. Many halls do not have raked
seating. If your choreography includes a lot of floor work
our audiences won't be able to see it
4. Intervals are essential. Sometimes dance pieces are sold to
us that don't have this. Think about how to build a break into your
work- our promoters won't book shows without intervals unless you
can convince them that they get a "full night out"
But there's plenty of creative challenges to dance in small
spaces, talk to us.
- I'm in a band/am a solo musician. What do I need to
We get lots of offers from bands/musicians, it's very
competitive and music goes down well in our venues where the
audience is excited and entertained and feel they've had a great
We are looking for a tight, professional set, good communication
skills and engagement with the audience as well as musicianship.
You need to consider a PA and lights and excellent marketing. Most
of our audiences will be generalists- so if you're a jazz band, for
example, you're more likely to get booked if you have broad
We are inundated by folk musicians and people who play in pubs
and festivals. Nothing wrong with that at all, but we seek groups
who can sustain a full length concert on their own with an engaged
audience. Your gig may be one of two a year. Can you make it the
best night out?
- We are quite technical in our needs. Is this a
Not always but there's some key things to remember. You will be
carrying your own set. Our venues don't generally have support
staff to help you so you may need to bring your own technician and
Sometimes lighting rigs need to take into consideration low
ceiling and audience safety. Some venues may only have a few plugs.
The longer you need to get-in, the harder your show will be to
sell. This is because venues are busy all the time, with toddler
groups, badminton, etc which earn them regular income. Your show is
a one-off being fitted alongside regular earners.
Be very aware of sightlines. Most venues do not have raked
seating. If key plot changes happen on the floor, you won't be
seen. This irritates audiences and they'll all stand up to try and
see what you're doing.
- We are a choir can we be booked?
Normally community choirs are not applicable to be booked
through Night Out as we work with professional performers. Ty
Cerdd (The Music Centre Wales) offers funding to help choirs
and music societies put on events, book conductors or soloists,
purchase music or instruments.
- What publicity will you need?
We expect you to provide A5 flyers and A4 posters. Check with
promoters on average we would expect around 200 flyers and 20
posters per event although venues vary.
Some promoters may only have limited space on a village notice
board for a poster and sell their shows through word of mouth -
sending too many is just a waste. Poster and flyers should
have space to overprint and be eye catching they also need to do
double the work of those designed solely for theatres since they
need to sell both the concept of going to see a show and the show
If you can provide additional publicity and video clips, press
information, images etc these can be very useful.
- What work is suitable for rural / community
Well, what's a rural audience? What is a community?
Approximately 23% of shows booked through Night Out are Welsh
Language. We work in nearly all the communities of Wales ranging
from areas of social deprivation and long term unemployment to
coastal communities and mountain villages.
Audiences vary, there will be: people who love live theatre and
go regularly; people who prefer sport; people who hate swearing;
people who are willing to take a chance with something different;
people who just want to be entertained.
Family shows with broad appeal work best in more socially
deprived areas because people with children who want to get out at
night usually can't afford a baby sitter.
Performances that have a very niche appeal are difficult to sell
to promoters. A village may only have a population of 400 people
and the small proportion of those who are modern jazz fans, for
example, limits the audience further. We can do specialist work, it
just has to be very well presented and marketed
Interested? Then send us information about your company
and show to firstname.lastname@example.org