Professional Programme

A two-day online programme for international outdoor arts professionals.

Please note: all times are in BST (British Summer Time).
  • Dates: Wednesday 28 July - Thursday 29 July 2021

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Our online programme is available with captions and BSL interpretation – please check each individual session for details and if you have any additional access requirements, let us know by contacting

Wednesday 28th July

Meet and greet – Networking session
09:30 – 10:30am (BST)
Re-connect, relax and meet the delegates attending the showcase before the programme starts. This first session will include welcome words by the Artistic Director of Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF), Jeremy Shine

Live Captions and BSL spotlit for the welcome by speakers
BSL and auto captions in the break out rooms


XTRAX Shorts – Part 1
Available to watch on Youtube here

11:00am – 12:45 pm (BST)
Our signature brand of artists pitching sessions, where artists and companies give imaginative presentations about outdoor projects in development to UK and international festival and event representatives, producers, and others working in the sector.

This first session will present UK and Portuguese shows and will be moderated by Bruno Costa, Co-director of Bussola and Outdoor Arts Portugal. As well as running several other projects, Bruno is the Artistic Director of Leme, a festival that presents contemporary circus and artistic creation for unconventional places.

We will present the projects via pre-recorded videos, followed by a conversation and Q&A with the artists.

Artists pitching shows in this session:
Vanessa Grasse (UK) – The Land We are
Avant Garde (UK) – Scum – Illegal Dance
Francesca Baglione / Miss High Leg Kick (UK) – Bird Rave
Whispered Tales (UK) – Distant Drums
Crying Out Loud (UK) – Blame Game
Rinkoo Barpaga (UK) – Chocolat
Air Giants (UK) – Unfurl
Nikki Charlesworth (UK) – What Happened to You?
Rui Paixão & Cristovão Neto (PT) – Holy Clowns
Coração nas Mãos (PT) – Rizoma

Subtitles for pre-recorded video
BSL for hosts and other Artists Q&A


Sustainable touring – Who pays for it?
2:00 – 3:30pm (BST)
The climate emergency and the pandemic have highlighted a need to accelerate change in the Outdoor Arts sector and to understand our carbon footprint and develop environmentally sustainable practices. While a lot of thought has gone into examining and questioning existing models, it is crucial to understand the financial implications that come with these key commitments.

Who pays for what when it comes to making touring more sustainable? Where do the financial responsibilities sit when looking at becoming greener? What choices do we have? And what are the implications?

This panel discussion will bring together presenters and artists to discuss these questions and share examples, practices and potential ways forward.


  • Chair: Feimatta Conteh, Environmental Sustainability Manager at Manchester International Festival (MIF) – Manchester, UK
  • Reuben Kench, Director of the Environment, Culture, Leisure & Events – Stockton Borough Council, UK
  • Markus Wörl, organiser and promoter of international festivals across Europe and expert on sustainability in culture – Munich, Germany
  • P Burton-Morgan & William Reynolds, Co-Artistic Directors of Metta Theatre


Thursday 29th July

Meet the festivals
09:30 – 10:30am (BST)

An opportunity for artists, producers and other industry professionals to catch several festival programmers in one (virtual) room and hear from representatives of some of the leading outdoor arts festivals in the UK and further afield about their events and programmes.

Speakers confirmed so far :

  • Andrew Loretto, Hat Fair, UK
  • Bill Gee, International Festival Milton Keynes, UK
  • Bruno Costa, Bussola, Portugal
  • Eddy Zee, Tai Kwun, Hong Kong
  • Gemma Thomas, Appetite, UK
  • Gert Nulens, Theater op de Markt, Belgium
  • Jan Victoor, City of Wings, Belgium
  • Jeremy Shine, Manchester International Arts/Stockton International Riverside Festival
  • Joe Mackintosh, Out There Festival, UK
  • Kate Wood, Activate/Inside Out Dorset, UK
  • Sarah Bird, Wild Rumpus, UK

The session will be facilitated by Anais Biaux, Creative Development & Partnerships Manager at XTRAX (UK).

Live captioning and BSL


XTRAX Shorts – Part 2
Available to watch on Youtube here

11:00am – 12:45 pm (BST)
XTRAX Shorts is our signature brand of artists pitch sessions where artists and companies give imaginative presentations about outdoor projects in development to UK and international festival and event representatives, producers, and others working in the sector.

This second session will present another round of UK shows, this time alongside some selected German shows. It will be moderated by Julia von Wild, Co-Artistic Director of Tete a Tete international street arts festival in Rastatt, Germany.

We will present the projects via pre-recorded videos, followed by a facilitated conversation and Q&A with the artists.

Artists pitching in this session:
The Gramophones Theatre Company (UK) – Tarzanna
National Dance Company Wales & Fay Tan (UK) – Why Are People Clapping? / Moving is everywhere  
Bash Street Theatre (UK) – The Cameraman
Company Oliveira & Bachtler (UK) – OTUS
Etta Ermini Dance Theatre (UK) – Oqda
Autin Dance Theatre (UK) – Out of the Deep Blue
Eric MacLennan (UK) – The Open Air Drawing Room
Movema (UK) – Taking Flight
Theater Fragile (DE) – Are You Ready?
Theater Titanick (DE) – TRIP OVER

Prerecorded video subtitled
Q&A – Live captions and BSL


Exhibitor Hall
1:00 – 2:00 pm (BST)

After a short introduction by the XTRAX team, delegates have free time to explore Swapcard’s exhibitor hall and speak to artists following their presentations.

Explore on your own and communicate through instant messaging.


Keeping our programmes international – why and how?
2:00 – 3:30 pm (BST)
This year, a debilitated post-pandemic arts scene, as well as limitations imposed by Brexit Britain, have had a considerable impact on UK festival programmes, which are, inevitably, not able to present the same number of international artists.

With the challenges of presenting international programmes becoming apparent, now is a time to reflect on the reasons for continuing to do so, as well as to look at strategies for the near future.

This panel discussion was chaired by Irene Segura, International Relations and Talent Development Manager at XTRAX and brought together experienced speakers to discuss the value that internationalisation brings to the outdoor arts sector, as well as to find tools for navigating the current challenges.


  • Kate Wood, Executive and Artistic Director, Activate – Dorset, UK
  • Dom Kippin, Outdoor Arts producer, Activate – Dorset, UK
  • Marie Fol, President of On the Move – France
  • Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director of Upswing – London, UK

Live Captioning and BSL

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