SIRF 2022: Professional Programme

Part of SIRF 2022
  • Dates: Wednesday 3 – Sunday 7 August 2022, in Stockton and online

The Showcase has now ended, but you can check the programme below and re-watch the online Networking session and Panel Discussion.

Read about the XTRAX Shorts pitching artists and re-watch the session here.


Wednesday 3 August – online on Swapcard**

  • 9.30–10.30 amMeet and greet networking session – watch the recording here
  • 11 am12 pm/12.30 pm – 1.45 pm – XTRAX Shorts, an artist pitching session with live Q&A where 12 selected companies presented their upcoming work
  • 34.30 pm Panel Discussion: “Using outdoor arts to revive town centres”. Watch the Panel Discussion recording here
    The role of the high street has changed immeasurably in recent years. Once a destination in itself and the commercial heart of any town or city – but the steady move to online shopping, further escalated by the impact of the pandemic, has meant that many high streets have suffered huge loss of footfall. Outdoor arts specialists know that festivals and artists have played a vital role in transforming high streets for many years – but how can our sector demonstrate its value, and contribute to this important social and political discussion about how to revive our town centres? We are pleased to host this topical online discussion in the context of Stockton international Riverside Festival (SIRF) which has played such a significant role in Stockton-on-Tees since 1988, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the high street every year. We welcome a selection of experts including: 

    • Reuben Kench, Stockton Borough Council’s Director of Community Services, Environment and Culture, shared his experience from a Local Authority perspective about the impact of SIRF. See Reuben’s presentation here.
    • Ellen Harrison, Head of Creative Programmes and Campaigns, Historic England, shared her work on High Street Heritage Actions Zones, a scheme transforming 60 high streets across England. See Ellen’s presentation here.
    • Charlotte Bowen, founding Director of and creative producer for The Culture House, Grimsby, shared her experience of the impact of arts events and festivals in Grimsby. See Charlotte’s presentation here.
    • The discussion was chaired by Tracey Sage, Independent Cultural Consultant with many years of public sector experience in supporting arts and cultural events. 


Thursday 4 August – travel day


Friday 5 August – in person, Stockton-on-Tees

  • 9.30 am – Info desk opened at The Point, The ARC.
  • 1011 am – Welcome coffee & networking at The Point, The ARC 
  • 11 am12.30 pm – Panel Discussion: “Building international networks”.  We were joined by:
    • Camille Beaumier, Creative Director, Gratte Ciel. Camille brought her international experience as a creative director and producer of outdoor arts and circus to the panel.
    • Ian Scobie, Director of Arts Projects Australia. Having worked for over twenty years in festival management, on major international and collaborative projects and in theatrical pre-production, Ian has a wealth of practical creative experience and contacts within the diversity of the arts industry. As an event and theatre producer, he has developed a keen and reliable eye for those things that will work well in today’s complex market & travels the world regularly to keep in touch with the best of the world’s performing arts.
    • Victoria Amedume, Artistic Director of Upswing.
    • The discussion was chaired by Irene Segura, International Relations and Talent Development Manager at XTRAX.
  • 1.15 pm onwards –SIRF Artistic Programme 


Saturday 6 August – in person, Stockton-on-Tees

  • 1011 am – Networking coffee at The Point, The ARC
  • 1112 pm – Informal artist sharing event at The Point, The ARC . We were joined by:
    • Joanna Dong, founder and producer of Performance Infinity, a London-based performing arts management agency. Joanna presented FeastFest, a festival dedicated to those who love theatre, food and life! Presenting works from different cultural backgrounds, the festival encourages people to not only respect the differences between each other but also celebrate the similarities we share.
    • Balbir Singh, Artistic Director at Balbir Singh Dance Company
    • Parvez Qadir, Creative Director at Breaking Barriers
    • Tala Lee-Turton, Creative Producer and Founder of Tala Lee-Turton Productions and freelance professional dancer
    • Kevin Edward Turner, Co-Artistic Director at Company Chameleon
    • Lorna Rees, Artistic Director at Gobbledegook
  • 1.15 pm onwards – SIRF Artistic Programme


Sunday 7 August – in person, Stockton-on-Tees


**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.


Image credit:  ODS Showcase 2022 © Kieran Hanson


Stockton International Riverside Festival logoXTRAX Platform 4:UK logo

Back to XTRAX/SIRF 2022 Outdoor Arts Showcase


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).

If you would like further advice on travelling to Stockton-on-Tees, please do not hesitate to contact or go to for advice on your itinerary.
If you would like to enquire about accommodation for international delegates please contact

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.