In 2013 we launched Supported Touring, which offered a curated menu of high quality events to promoters, with the aim of helping both promoters and performers to reduce the financial risks of putting challenging and diverse work on our stages.

Five successful seasons of work have been programmed since Supported Touring was launched, with a host of exciting performances taking place, which otherwise would not have toured to the Highlands & Islands. You can read more about what we achieved with Supported Touring here.

With each season, we have carried out a review of Supported Touring, adapting the model to suit the needs of promoters and performers, and working to ensure that it is sustainable.

Following the culmination and review of our 2015 Spring/Summer season, we thought we should highlight some of the other ways in which we support performers to tour, as well as sharing some of our future plans with you…


We’re aiming to help four performers each year, who have exciting and experimental new work, but which perhaps isn’t quite suitable for rural touring, to adapt their show and establish relationships with promoters. These relationships will lead to potential residency opportunities in the promoter’s community, where the performer will receive specialist mentoring to make the work more suitable for rural touring.

The focus for 2016/17 will be dance and physical theatre – a genre that we recognise as needing support in order to build audiences – and priority will be given to excellent and experimental new works, which tackle equalities and diversity issues, and which provide audience development opportunities.

If you’re a performer who fits the bill, and would be interested in this opportunity, first of all please make sure that you, and where possible, your show are listed in Tourbook, and that your profiles are up to date. Then drop us a line before Mon 30 Nov and we’ll tell you more.

Is it on Tourbook?

Tourbook is our online showcasing and community platform for all those involved in touring professional performing arts2015 has been an exciting year for Tourbook behind the scenes, as our Innovation Lab work away in their digital workshop towards the launch of a brand new version of the platform in early 2016.

The current version of Tourbook is still active, and many of the promoters within The Touring Network use it to browse, and express interest in, shows that are available to tour.

Sign up for free at and check out our Development Log for more info on the new version. As a general rule of thumb, make sure your show profile is uploaded to Tourbook at least 3 months before you are available to tour.


As well as online showcasing, our annual Spring Gathering is also an opportunity for performers to showcase their work, pitch ideas for future shows, and to network with promoters, producers, and other creative professionals. Our 2016 Gathering will take place in Ardfern from Thu 10-Sat 12 March, and registration for the event will open shortly. Stay tuned for more info.

If you’re not able to attend the Gathering, but would like to invite Touring Network promoters to Go See your show elsewhere, you can do so here. We provide promoters with bursaries to attend a range of performances and events across Scotland and beyond each year, with many shows touring the region as a result.

Curated Lists

One of the exciting new features for Tourbook will be the ability to publish curated lists. These will be recommendations of shows that are suitable, and available, for rural touring, which will be curated by promoters from across The Touring Network, as well as performers, festivals and industry experts.

Advice & Guidance

Once the new Tourbook is up and running, we will publish a series of articles on how to get your show noticed by promoters, as well as hints and tips on touring the Highlands.

One of the new features in Tourbook will also be the ability to search venues as easily as shows, which will help you to work out which venues are suitable for your show.

Programming Support for Promoters

Although the financial model for Supported Touring wasn’t sustainable, we recognise that financial assistance towards programming costs is still necessary for many promoters, in particular those just starting out. We will provide Supported Programme bursaries to promoters, to help support eight different shows to tour each year. The shows that will be supported will be selected from existing shows listed on Tourbook, as well as those which are created or adapted through our residency opportunities.

Art-forms that will be supported will include dance/physical theatre, music, site-responsive work, family theatre, and contemporary theatre. As with our residency opportunities, priority will be given to excellent and experimental new works, which tackle equalities and diversity issues, and which provide audience development opportunities.

Unlike Supported Touring, we won’t be restricted to programming one 6-month season at a time. Instead, we will be working closely with promoters to identify audience development opportunities, and from there will support them to programme suitable shows.

Audience Promotion

Once your tour is confirmed, dates can be added to our What’s On guide, from which the listings are then publicised widely across the Highlands & Islands, and beyond.

Not sure how to add your tour to the listings? Get in touch and we’ll talk you through it.

The Touring Network (Highlands & Islands)

Supporting live performance across the Highlands & Islands as part of a central, celebrated and indispensable part of the cultural life of Scotland.

01463 231328

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