XTRAX/SIRF 2022 Outdoor Arts Showcase

A unique programme of professional events for the international outdoor arts sector


Summary  |  Artistic Programme  |   Professional Programme  | LocationsTravel | Registration


XTRAX partners with Stockton International Riverside Festival for a fourth year to deliver a unique free programme of professional events for the international outdoor arts sector.

The hybrid programme of free online and in-person professional events will include panel discussions, pitching sessions, networking and over 35 shows from UK and international companies, including high quality circus, dance, music and outdoor arts for all audiences.

The festival itself launches in dramatic fashion on Thursday 4 August with the joy and thrill of Gratte Ciel’s large – scale spectacle, Tawa. As live music fills the air, aerialists and acrobats will spin in a spectacular explosion of colour on Stockton’s Riverside with incredible acts of human strength and resilience.

If you’re joining us in person in Stockton, please check the important Location and Accommodation info further down this page.

You can also download our Welcome Pack which contains useful info on travelling, practicalities and key contacts.



  • The festival’s artistic programme includes large-scale opening and closing spectacles, and over 35 shows from UK and international companies including 12 shows from the Without Walls programme of 2021 and 2022.  A special show will also take place at Tees Barrage as part of the charity’s 10th anniversary – Harmonic Fields by Lieux Publics – an ambitious installation of 500 wind instruments that creates a fantastic and unique musical experience.
  • A hybrid professional programme including a selection of exciting outdoor work in our online pitching event XTRAX Shorts on Wednesday 3 August, panel discussions and networking opportunities, both in-person and online using the interactive Swapcard** platform.
  • An opportunity to reconnect face-to-face and meet international presenters, industry professionals and exciting artists in Stockton-on-Tees, as well as the chance to hear about selected artists’ journey at our in-person informal artist sharing event on Saturday 6 August.


Showcase and Festival locations

The programme is spread over various sites across Stockton-on-Tees.

The closest train station for both Professional and Artistic Programme is Thornaby.

The Professional programme site is in the centre of Stockton-on-Tees at the ARC (Stockton Arts Centre).

The Artistic Programme takes place both in the city centre, on the High Street and the Riverside which are all within 5-minute walking distance to each other, and at Trinity Green, which is a 10-minute walk from the town centre towards Thornaby Station, and Tees Barrage which is a 25-minute walk from the town centre down the riverside.



Please note that hotels in Stockton-on-Tees are booked up. If you’re looking for accommodation, we advise to check hotels in Middlesbrough which is only a 7-minutes train ride to Thornaby station, or a short taxi ride. The XTRAX team and some of the delegates will be staying at the Premier Inn in Middlesbrough, which is 5-minutes walk to the train station.



Registration is now open online.


Find out more information on travel to Stockton-on-Tees, and accommodation for international delegates.


**Swapcard is an enhanced online event platform that offers a wealth of opportunities for attendees and presenters to connect with each other and access useful resources.


About SIRF

Stockton International Riverside Festival is a free annual outdoor arts and street theatre festival in Stockton-on-Tees, and one of the world’s oldest and best international outdoor arts festivals. Taking place over four days, the event attracts thousands of spectators and showcases the best in street theatre, dance, circus and music acts in a packed programme of shows for all the family.


XTRAX is recognised as one of the UK’s leading specialists in international outdoor arts development. With a multilingual team and a vast network of industry contacts across the UK and internationally (including festival directors, event promoters, professional institutes and artists), XTRAX has vast experience in the strategic development and distribution of outdoor arts internationally. Over the past 20 years, we have delivered over 35 international showcase events, in partnership with UK and international outdoor festivals, as well as extensive experience of consultancy, festival and event management, programming, producer support to artists, international tour management and strategic support to arts organisations.

XTRAX is also the manager of Without Walls, a network of 35 festivals dedicated to raising the profile of the UK outdoors sector.

The XTRAX & SIRF 2022 Showcase is supported by Platform 4:UK, XTRAX’s Arts Council of England funded project for International collaboration in outdoor arts.

Featured image: Tawa by Gratte Ciel © Declan Colohan

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For more information about XTRAX/SIRF 2022 Outdoor Arts Showcase, contact: Emily Oldroyd at emily@xtrax.org.uk


Travelling to the UK and Stockton-on-Tees

By Air
The nearest airport is Teesside International Airport in Durham, with flights connecting to Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands. The airport is only a 10-minutes train ride away from Stockton-on-Tees city centre.

Manchester airport is also well connected to Stockton-on-Tees, with frequent direct trains running from the airport to Thornaby station in just under 3h. The airport is linked to all main European and international destinations.

Newcastle Airport is 1.5 hours from Thornaby or Middlesbrough stations by train.

By Train
From London trains run regularly to Thornaby, Stockton or Middlesbrough stations, departing from Kings Cross Station (which is adjacent to St Pancras for Eurostar trains). The nearest station to get to the ARC and Festival events is Thornaby.

If you would like further advice on travelling to Stockton-on-Tees, please do not hesitate to contact emily@xtrax.org.uk or go to www.rome2rio.com for advice on your itinerary.

If you would like to enquire about accommodation for international delegates please contact daniel@xtrax.org.uk

All COVID-19 travel restrictions have ended in the UK, which means you will not need any COVID test or COVID paperwork to come to the UK. However, please check if travel restrictions apply in your own country on your return.