Durham City Arts Festival

For the first time this summer, a number of organisations are coming together to celebrate Durham City’s art scene, in a collaborative new festival debuting on Friday 1st June, and we’re delighted to be part of it!


Durham City Arts Festival sees three independent festivals featuring music, theatre and visual arts, join forces to bring to the City one super-festival throughout the course of June. The three festivals joining under the Durham City Arts Festival banner are Durham Festival of the Arts, DJazz, and Art Durham.


Now in its fifth year, Durham Festival of the Arts is a largely theatre, performance and music-led festival produced and procured by students of Durham University. Running throughout the City from Friday 1st June to Monday 25th June, this year’s festival also includes a range of masterclasses in subjects such as brass, voice, organ and gamelan.


Durham Festival of Arts 2018 opens with a spectacular ‘Beyond The Realms’ concert in the majestic Durham Cathedral on Friday 1st June at 7.30pm. The 250-strong ensemble includes performers from Durham University’s Orchestral Society, its Chamber Choir, and the celebrated acapella group ‘Northern Lights’, as well as the University’s Big Band, Choral Society, and Concert Band.


You can download the Durham Festival of the Arts programme here.


Adding to the line-up within Durham Festival of the Arts is DJazz. After launching in 2017, the Durham City Jazz Festival is back for a second year and offers visitors an eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional jazz music set against the backdrop of some of Durham’s most intriguing and exciting venues such as Fowlers Yard, Redhills, Durham Miners Hall and Empty Shop HQ. Organised by AT THE ROOT and Empty Shop in partnership with Durham University Jazz Society, headline artists appearing at the festival between Friday 1st and Sunday 3rd June include Soweto Kinch, Skeltr, Paul Edis, Zoe Gilby Duo and Break Out Brass Band.


You can download the DJazz programme here.


Finally, completing the line-up for Durham City Arts Festival is a brand-new visual arts-based exhibition debuting for the first time across the City this year. Known as Art Durham, it will feature workshops, talks and events in venues including the Gala Gallery, The Riverwalk, Prince Bishops Shopping Centre, the Town Hall and Alington House to name but a few. A collaboration between Durham University and Durham County Council, the new mini festival celebrating visual arts will run between Monday 4th June and Sunday 17th June. Headliners include Betty Barnet Brown, Nasty Women North East and The Bailey Gallery Art Tours.


You can download the Art Durham programme here.


Don’t forget, throughout June and over the course of Durham City Arts Festival, Live InDurham will also be back in the City. Connor Thomas and friends will be performing live music sets on Thursday 14th June at the Radisson Blu Hotel Durham, The Market Tavern and Whisky River, in a celebration of local up-coming musical talent from across the region at a grass-roots level. A selection of the Live InDurham artists will then also be performing the following evening in collaboration with Durham Markets at the Full Moon Street Food Market on Friday 15th June.


Some elements of Durham City Arts Festival are free to attend while other performances and exhibitions may require an entry free. Please download the different exhibition programmes and visit the relevant festival’s website for more information.

BREAKING NEWS: More events, exhibitions and workshops added to the Durham City Arts Festival line-up. Click here for more information.