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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 of Wales. 

Tickets

 

  • Who puts on events? 

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 doorstep. 
 

  • 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. 

NRTFlogo

  • Will you book my show?

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 directly. 


We will only recommend a company if we know their work, feel it is of a good quality and suitable for small scale touring.  

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. 

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  • How much do you pay?

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 invoices@nightout.org.uk.  Payment for fees over £850 is split between Night Out and the promoter.

 

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  • How do the community promoters book the shows and what happens then?

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 invoice@nightout.org.uk     We pay by BACs transfer and try to do so as quickly as possible. 

opera music theatre

  • I'm not a professional performer, will you book my show?

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 pantomimes.  
 

  • 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 gone. 

quiet please photo by Kapow photography

  • Should I translate my show information into Welsh?

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. 

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  • I'm touring a dance piece. Are you interested?

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 community halls

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 consider?

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 night out.

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 appeal.

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? 

Solva mixing desk photo Pembrokeshire Photography

  • We are quite technical in our needs. Is this a problem?

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 gear.

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. 

Cynwyd
 

  • 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 itself.

If you can provide additional publicity and video clips, press information, images etc  these can be very useful. 

Itton Village Hall

  • What work is suitable for rural / community audiences?

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 enquiry@nightout.org.uk 

Twm O'r nant bar photo Gerallt llewelyn