INITIATIVES

Backroads_suitcase_2022

BACKROADS VENUES


Arts on Tour launched Backroads in 2022 with the aim of activating alternative venues in across NSW. What exactly constitutes an alternative venue can be hard to define, so we've assembled some resources to help. We have prepared a spreadsheet of suggested venues, and you can peruse a few feature venues below. This is in no way a complete list of independent or community-run venues in NSW - it is intended as a sample, highlighting touring options for artists and producers to consider. 

Should you manage a venue you would like added to the spreadsheet, please get in touch.

Backroads_2023_Potential_Venues

Feature Venues


Murrah Hall

With a capacity of 140, volunteer-run Murrah Hall predominantly hosts touring musicians, but there is enthusiasm from audiences for professional theatre and other artforms. The hall has 100% lighting coverage, so shows can be staged either on the stage or on the floor, with portable rostra providing raked seating. Previous theatre seasons have all been 6 - 8 performances, averaging 85% - 90% capacity. Murrah President Howard recommends “a minimum of 3 or 4 shows, allowing for word-of-mouth to create community excitement, and including a matinee for the many who do not like to drive at night amongst the suicidally inclined wildlife.” Accommodation in the region is expensive, a funding consideration for those hoping to tour to the venue.

Malachi Gilmore Hall 

Re-opened in 2018, the Malachi Gilmore Hall is a privately owned multi-use arts space in Oberon that offers a varied programme of visual and performing arts through the artist-run initiative, Oberon Live Projects. With an audience capacity of 150, Malachi has flexible staging options with a choice of proscenium arch stage (6m x 3.5m) or performing in the round on the auditorium floor. Detailed tech specs and a venue hire application form are available on the venue’s website. The venue has fine acoustics for live performance, a beautiful timber floor for dance, and the capabilities for new media performance and multimedia exhibitions - all enhanced by a charmingly luxe interior in an extraordinary State Heritage listed building.

Bellingen Memorial Hall 

Halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, Bellingen is a small town with a busy and vibrant main street and a creative community culture. Bellingen Memorial Hall has recently had a major redevelopment and is open for bookings across two performance spaces. With new AV and lighting, seating and projectors, it looks amazing! Originally a picture theatre (circa 1929) the main hall is licensed for up to 600 people, and there are 185 fixed tiered seats and approx. 250 theatre style chairs. There are portable stages for flexible use as well as the original raised stage. A black curtain can divide the main hall in half for intimate performances or film nights. The additional multipurpose space also accommodates approx. 80 seated and up to 100 standing. 

Eastern Riverina Touring Network

Supported by Eastern Riverina Arts, this group of venues are collaborating to bring local and interstate artists on tour to their region. The venues include:

  • Community built, organised and controlled, The Arts Centre, Cootamundra boasts a lighting rig, sound system and cinema screen in its flagship venue, The Tin Shed Theatre. The stage has a performance space of approximately 8m2 and a sprung dance floor. Fixed rake-style seating can accommodate 122pax, with an adjacent gallery-style space for alternative performance configurations.
  • The Montreal Theatre in Tumut was built in 1929 and is a stunning Art Deco building listed with the NSW National Trust. The theatre seats 541, with 194 upstairs and 347 downstairs, and hosts both film screenings and live shows.
  • The beautiful Junee Athenium, restored in 2018, regularly hosts live music, comedy and other events, with a capacity of 464 split between an auditorium and dress circle. Tech is outsourced to local live events partners or supplied by productions on tour.
  • A regular stop for the Festival of Small Halls, Ganmain Hall was on the verge of being demolished before locals stepped in to save the day and restore it to its former glory. The venue seats 200 and accommodates performances with outsourced or tour-supplied tech.  
  • The smallest on the touring circuit, West Wyalong Tivoli operates as an 82-seat community cinema but could also be used for small-scale touring work. Get in touch for more information about playing the Tivoli.

For enquiries, contact Remy Chadwick at Eastern Riverina Arts: remy@easternriverinaarts.org.au

Naughty Noodle Fun Haus

Operating for four years on the NSW Central Coast, this community-led arts and entertainment incubator and production haus produces and manages conscious theatre, artists, events, festivals and venues, connecting artist, audience, ideas and possibilities. Naughty Noodle Fun Haus Ettalong Beach seats 200-400pax, and boasts state of the art lighting, sound and projection in a traditional 1900s community hall. Portable stages allow for flexible use, as well as the original raised stage. Programmed by Creative Director Glitta Supernova, the venue has hosted the likes of Electric Fields, Kasey Chambers, QueerScreen and Phunktional Dance Theatre.

The smaller Fun Haus Factory in Gosford suits 60 – 120pax intimate performances, live music, cabaret, DJ collectives, film nights and spoken word. 

KEY INFO

Applications open: Thursday 30 May 2024, 9am AEST

Applications close: Monday 19 August 2024, 5pm AEST

If you wish to discuss the initiative, email Mark Salvestro for further information. 


RESOURCES

Backroads 2023 Guidelines

Backroads_2023_Potential_Venues

Backroads_2023_Budget_Template

Backroads_2023_Application_Form_Preview


GET IN CONTACT!
If you're involved with a community-run venue or you're a producer with a work you'd love to get out to smaller towns and remote communities, we'd love to talk to you. 

Give us a call or send an email to Mark Salvestro.

Join our mailing list and Facebook page to keep up to date.