For more than 10 years Applause has commissioned new outdoor live art to tour to rural fetes and festivals across the South East. In 2019 we toured seven shows to more than 70 unique dates across the region, providing companies with the opportunity to create new work and reach new audiences. In summer 2020, Applause Rural Touring will be programming outdoor performances into existing, locally organised village fetes, community events and Festivals in Kent and East and West Sussex. These events take place almost exclusively at weekends from May to September.

We are looking to commission companies / artists with an established interest and track record of working outdoors and interactively who would like to be part of this programme.

We are looking for work that entertains and engages a diverse audience and be self-sufficient (i.e. not require technical or other support / involvement by the host organisation) and be able to be accessed by diverse, non-age specific audiences. They can be walk about, static productions (of no more than 25’ in length), installations or interactive events and are intended to suit a range of time frames and to slot into existing activities. You will be expected to perform up to three times in a day.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals or companies, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, social background, religion and/or belief. Applications are particularly welcome from artists or artist led organisations with disabilities, from Black and Ethnic Minorities (BAME) applicants and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) applicants as they are under-represented in our work.

For 2020 we are offering the following opportunities and expect to take out between 6-8 shows this season:

Commissions and Reshape/Development Awards

  • New outdoor works: commission fees up to £4000
  • Existing outdoor works that requires some reshaping/development to tour rurally: development fees between £500 – £2500

Performance dates will be booked only on satisfactory development of the piece and an agreed show fee (please see show fee guide below).

Application Process

Please read the notes for artist below and fill in the online application form:

Commission – Application Form

Reshape/Development – Application Form

Deadlines for Applications are  9am Monday 23 September  2019. If you have been shortlisted, you will be notified by email by Friday 27 September.  We will acknowledge receipt of your proposal, however, we regret we are unable to provide feedback to non-shortlisted applicants. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview in w/c 30 September.

Information for companies applying to be part of the Applause Rural Touring Outdoors programme  in 2020:

Technical Challenges

We will be placing work in a variety of community settings including events that can provide very little technical or other support – the more technical requirements you have, the fewer the possible bookings.


Your piece will have to fit around other events in the host event programmes so please consider whether you require the audience to arrive at a certain time and remain for a set amount of time. Shows should run for no longer than 25 minutes. We aim to offer each artist/company between 6-12 bookings between May – September 2019 within the Applause Outdoors region.

Show Fee Guide

Touring Fees must be fully inclusive of all VAT, accommodation and travel. We expect to pay within the range of £350 – £650 per show depending on size of company. (For any enquiries/bookings Applause receives outside of the Applause Outdoors region (Kent, Sussex) we will discuss appropriate rates with you).

Artist / Company Administration

Artist / company administration needs to be very strong. Applause will be responsible for booking a place and date for your show but the company will then be responsible for making specific arrangements and finalising details with host venues and promoters. Many of these hosts are volunteers and have no specialist theatre knowledge – you will need to be flexible, understanding and informative.


Your show must be ready and available for touring from the end of April. You need to have very good availability for weekends throughout May to September 2020 and prioritise dates for Applause within an agreed time frame for shows in Kent and Sussex. We will expect most of the development work to take place between November 2019 and March/April 2020. Applause will require evidence (photos and / or video) of the work undertaken and to see work in progress. Companies will be required to submit regular updates both during development and while on tour. Applause will provide support and practical advice during the development process.