The Touring Network and Ticketmaster have teamed up to help promote the major new Crowdfunder campaign to help Keep Rural Arts Live in the Highlands & Islands.

The campaign – which has so far raised over £6600 in under a week – is asking loyal audiences across rural Scotland to donate anything from the price of an interval drink or a Friday night gig ticket to ensure that a thriving live arts scene can return to rural Scotland when safe to do so. 

The Keep Rural Arts Live fundraising drive will ensure that it will be affordable, safe and sustainable for professional artists to perform across the Highlands & Islands, and for audiences to come out to watch them.

The fund will:

  • directly help subsidise any potential lost ticket income due to socially distanced reduced capacity, meaning performers and their crews won’t be out of pockett
  • ensure tickets remain affordable for the whole community without substantial pricing increases;
  • help a vital part of the Highlands & Islands economy to stay buoyant by continuing to welcome the travelling companies and the money they spend in the local area in terms of venue hire, accommodation, hospitality and more
  • offer invaluable opportunities for up-and-coming local talent to share the stage with some of the biggest names in the Scottish and UK arts scenes.

Ticketmaster’s promotional partnership will offer the campaign a wider reach to loyal fans across the cultural sector nationwide.

Rhiannon McIntyre, Co-Director at The Touring Network said:

“This Keep Rural Arts Live Crowdfund Campaign is really about ensuring venues in the Highlands & Islands are able to book performers to tour to the region when they’re ready and able.  For rural areas – social isolation is a real thing and a lot of venues have become the social infrastructure during this pandemic.  We want to make it viable for them to open for their audiences – bring some joy to their lives after what has been a pretty grim few months!  100% of the monies received will be going to venues and performers across the region to pay performers fairly and subsidise ticket prices for those who might not be able to afford it!  Ticketmaster’s involvement is crucial to help us spread the word far and wide, and we are grateful for their support.  Please donate what you can now, to Keep Rural Arts Live!”

Andrew Parsons, MD of Ticketmaster UK, said:

“Venues and artists across rural Scotland need the support of the industry and fans now more than ever so that when the time comes, they can get back to what they do best. We’re really proud to partner with the Keep Rural Arts Live campaign and endeavour to do all we can to assist with the return to live. The Highlands and Islands is home to some of the finest independent venues you can find such as Inverness’s Ironworks. They’ve also produced some particular gems like Tide Lines and Peat and Diesel to name just a couple – and long may this continue.”

About the Touring Network

The Touring Network’s Members (who range from village hall committees and pub landlords to professional programmers and performers) are found all across a region which covers half the land mass of Scotland, stretching from Shetland to Campbeltown.

They believe passionately that everyone has the right to experience high-quality performance without having to travel long distances and in 2019 staged nearly 900 events. For over 40 years they have worked year-round to stage a diverse, world-class programme of live music, theatre, dance, comedy and arts right on the doorstep of Highlands & Islands communities and are dedicated to getting live performance back up and running once it can safely return.  

The Keep Rural Arts Live campaign is part of Creative Scotland and Crowdfunder’s Crowdfund Creative Scotland scheme, which has provided cash match funding of £2500 to the project.