Help Breaking Tradition create a new outdoor show

by Breaking Tradition & The Demon Barbers in Bradford, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 2nd December 2020 we successfully raised £8,014 with 232 supporters in 22 days

We need your help to create a new, small but spectacular outdoor show so we can get back to doing what we do best - performing live for you.

by Breaking Tradition & The Demon Barbers in Bradford, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Thanks to everyone for helping us get to our original target of £4500!

This is the bare minimum we needed to create the new show and we're so happy we've achieved this. We're not resting on our laurels though as we have so much more to offer this project!

With your support, all extra money beyond that figure will go towards:

1) making the new Locked Out show even better, with higher production values and more new material.

2) new promotion to secure bookings of this new show for spring/summer 2021

3) non-glamorous but essential organisational overheads, helping keep us afloat through challenging and turbulent times

"Our clogs are gathering dust, the band’s instruments remain in their cases and our dancers are starting to seize up..."


At Breaking Tradition, we live to perform live. It's in our roots.

The impact of COVID19 on Breaking Tradition

COVID19 completely stopped us in our tracks. During the summer, when we’d normally have been out and about at festivals and gigging all over the country with our new (sadly postponed) show Rise Up, we were - like you - stuck at home. We’d now be getting ready to hit the road with our Christmas show, and taking bookings for next year’s spring and summer folk festivals. Not this year. We miss you, our audience and community - and we expect you’re missing us too.

The pandemic has destroyed our business model. With no live shows, we have no money coming in - Damien has even been working as a gardener! - and we’ve lost many thousands of pounds in gig fees. But this hasn’t stopped our creativity and determination to entertain you.

An Arts Council England Emergency Grant saved us from disaster and helped us stay afloat during these difficult times but from December onwards we'll have no money to make new work - or pay our outstanding dancers and musicians to put their talents to use.

This is where you - fans of Breaking Tradition, The Demon Barbers, The Lock In and our amazing folk community - can get involved.

What we want to do

The folk tradition is resilient so we’re not going to take this lying down: if COVID means we can’t do what we normally do then we’ll be creative and adapt.

We want to make a new OUTDOOR show created for current restrictions, that keeps our folk traditions alive and our audiences safe.

You’ve seen the LOCK IN… now you can help us create LOCKED OUT!

What will the new show be like, we hear you ask?

Locked Out will be an entirely new show to suit our times. It will:

  • Be smaller scale, flexible and mobile
  • Designed for city centres, market squares, pub beer gardens and other outdoor locations
  • For smaller audiences: intimate and exhilarating
  • Contain all our Breaking Traditions hallmarks: bags of energy, live music, and of course...Folk & Hip Hop dance!
  • Be COVID-safe for performers, host venues and audiences

We've got some great material lined up but your help is needed now if we're going to get Locked Out ready to launch in spring 2021 - and start earning again.

How you can be part of this

The great news is that Locked Out won’t cost loads to develop - but even that's more than we’ve got right now. That’s where you, our fans and the wider folk community, come in. All over the country, 1000s of people are supporting the artists, companies and venues they love. We know that the folk community is incredibly generous: this summer, Folk on Foot raised an incredible £246,000 to create 3 online festivals and support folk artists through Help Musicians UK.

We now need your help to raise £4,500 to create LOCKED OUT and make sure we can get back on our (clogged) feet.

Your donations won’t only help us produce this new show but will give us a way to start earning again, and help safeguard the future of Breaking Tradition. And we've got some fantastic rewards lined up to show our gratitude.

How we will spend your donations

Your generous financial support will make it possible for us to create a whole new ‘COVID-safe’ Breaking Tradition show for spring/summer 2021.

All money pledged will go directly towards:

  • producing stunning new choreography and live music
  • artistic development, script writing and rehearsals
  • paying our amazing dancers and musicians proper wages for their work
  • enlisting the sector-leading artistic talents of outdoor performance guru Mark Tillotson

Like all of the folk world, we’re used to doing things on a shoestring. We promise we’ll make your donations go a long way - and that the results, thanks to you, will be of the usual high Breaking Traditions quality that you've come to expect from us.

About Breaking Tradition

A clash of folk and urban dance cultures that leaves you high on life!

‘A full-on show of such blazing energy and joyous ingenuity you scarcely ponder on the apparent madness of trying to marry folk dance and hip hop’
The Independent


Breaking Tradition is the UK’s leading folk and hip hop dance company. Founded by Artistic Director Damien Barber in 2005, we've developed our own unique repertoire of folk and hip hop dance fusion. It is this originality that has led to the company’s critical acclaim, gaining 4 and 5 star national reviews for their high quality productions.

Affiliated to the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winning The Demon Barbers (Breaking Tradition's 'house band'), live music is an essential part of our work. Breaking Tradition is based in Bradford, works with a team of talented and diverse freelance artists, and tours nationally.

1604069528_dc2521209.jpgAs a small arts company, we don't have tons of cash for lavish rewards for this Crowdfunder.

Instead, we've delved deep into the Breaking Tradition and Demon Barbers archives to find rare items that have special meaning for us and, we hope, for you too.

We've also created some unique experiences so you can get up close and personal and feel really involved in the making of this new show.

By working together, combining our creativity, passion and energy, and your love of live performance and financial support, we're sure we can do this - and that we'll see you in a park, beer garden or town square near you in 2021.

Lots of love to you all, and stay safe.

Damien & the Breaking Tradition family x


This Crowdfunder is co-presented by Breaking Tradition & The Demon Barbers.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£40 or more

15 of 25 claimed

Rare signed Captain Ward album artwork prints

We released the Adventures of Captain Ward album in 2010 (who knows where the time goes?), featuring stunning artwork by legendary folk musician and artist Tony Hall (Yes, the same one who played melodeon on Nic Jones' Penguin Eggs!). Each high quality print is numbered, has Tony’s signature and will be signed by Damien too. These are super rare and will look fantastic on your wall. There are 4 options and we'll send an email for you to choose.

£5 or more

Our eternal gratitude - and a Christmas Card!

Heartfelt thanks from Breaking Tradition family - and a special Breaking Tradition signed Christmas card mailed to your door

£25 or more

6 of 40 claimed

Demon Barbers/Breaking Tradition poster lucky dip

Over the years we’ve collected an archive of our posters, from Demon Barbers' live gigs, Breaking Tradition shows, album launches and other events. These are original, rare and collectable. Each pledger will get four posters. We'll do a lucky dip but if there's a particular show that's holds a special place in your memories, let us know. You’ll also get a Christmas card as part of your package.

£80 or more

9 of 15 claimed

Entire Demon Barbers back catalogue on CD

You’ve seen us live, and might have 1 or 2 of our CDs, but how do you fancy owning EVERYTHING we’ve ever released? This bumper 6-disc package includes our rare-as-hen’s-teeth debut and second albums Uncut (2002) & Waxed (2005) on original CD - none of that downloads nonsense. Also includes: +24db (2008), The Adventures of Captain Ward (2010), Disco at the Tavern (2015) PLUS a Breaking Tradition sampler CD & a signed Christmas card!

£120 or more

4 of 10 claimed

Your name shown as a supporter of our new show

By pledging a minimum of £120 today, you'll secure a place for your name on our website, marketing materials and programme for the new show, e.g. "Made possible with the generous support of..." To show how much we love you, you'll also get a CD-sampler and a signed Christmas card.

£250 or more

4 of 5 claimed

Exclusive sneak preview of the new show & lunch

Rehearsal sneak preview and lunch in a West Yorkshire location with the performers and members of the Breaking Tradition family, most likely in early spring 2021. Because you've been so generous, you’ll also get a CD-sampler and have your name on new show marketing materials and our website as having made this all possible.

£500 or more

2 of 3 claimed

Private performance of our new outdoor show

Imagine this: a private performance of this new Breaking Tradition show in your back garden, family barbeque, birthday party or local beer garden (when safe to do so, hopefully in spring 2021). We can only do this within 1 hour or so drive-time of Leeds but will go further by request and a bigger donation. On top of all this, you’ll also be named as a supporter, get the CD-sampler - and maybe some other surprises on the day...

£1,250 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Named as ‘Non-Executive Producer’ of the show

As the biggest supporter of our appeal, you’ll be bestowed with the one-off title of ‘Non-Executive Producer’ of our new show. Don’t worry: you won’t get roped into lugging equipment around or sticking posters up! We’ll take care of that. We’ll make your status clear on our website, programme and marketing materials. You’ll also get invited to the rehearsal preview lunch and receive additional gifts, inc. CD back catalogue and posters.

£12 or more

100 of 100 claimed

Limited edition CD-sampler of new & rare music.

Special Breaking Tradition CD-sampler containing rare tracks, demos and new material from a range of artists in our stable, including The Demon Barbers, Damien & The Omen, and songs from Breaking Traditions shows, including The Lock In & the as yet unreleased RISE UP album! All this and personally signed by Damien too!

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