Backroads connects communities throughout regional and remote NSW to small-scale, high quality performing arts events. The initiative aims to extend and support the reach of professional productions to regional towns that do not have performing arts centres as well as support small hall activation and the work of independent producers and artists.

Backroads is best suited to adaptable, low-budget NSW-based productions that would feel at home in a community centre, old town hall, or small, independent theatre. Tours need to be self-sufficient, able to produce, mount and market their work in regional and remote towns.

Applicants from NSW can apply for up to $10,000 to support a tour to one or more independent or community-run venues. The tour may include major performing arts centres but Backroads funds cannot go towards the delivery of those performances. 

You can read about the sorts of venues we support on our Backroads Venues page, and you can view a list of ineligible venues in the Backroads Guidelines, which you can download below.

Applications have closed for 2023.

Backroads 2023 Guidelines

Read about potential Backroads Venues


A Backroads applicant should be the person taking financial responsibility for a tour or project. The initiative is best suited to adaptable, low-budget touring productions, but there are independent and community-run venues across NSW with a wide range of capacities and capabilities. If you are unsure if you are eligible, please get in touch.

These are a few ‘case studies’ of the sort of projects funded by Backroads, though it's not an exhaustive list!

  • A regional conservatorium wants to tour their chamber ensemble of four musicians to three community halls, each a 2-3 hour drive away. They do not require amplification so select small community halls without professional sound systems. They believe they can sell 50 tickets in each town, which will not cover costs so they apply for $10,000 to cover the budget deficit.
  • A children’s theatre company has a tour booked to four regional arts centres, but wants to extend the tour to one town hall and one local cinema in a more remote region – the venues have the required tech support, but ticket sales in the smaller towns will not cover travel costs and wages, so the company applies for $8,000 to cover the budget deficit.
  • An artist has interest to present their one-person show at an independent regional theatre 5 hours from where they live and work, but their projected ticket sales show a small deficit, so they apply for $1,500 to make the show viable.
  • A local council wants to activate a recently renovated community hall, so they apply for $10,000 to bring in touring musicians and hire technical equipment for four events spread across the year; the budget is also supported by income from ticket sales and council funds.
  • A community group working with a marginalised community in their town wants to tour in a production created by artists from the same cultural background; the artists deliver workshops in the week leading up to the performance, all of which takes place in the local town hall. The project has some existing funding, but the group applies for $10,000 to cover the budget deficit.


Applications have closed for 2023, but you can sign up to our enews to be notified about Backroads 2024.

If you have any questions, email Maeve Marsden


Applications have closed for 2023, but you can sign up to our enewsletter to be notified about 2024 applications.


Venue Information


Backroads 2023 Guidelines



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 Maeve Marsden.

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