The show must go on: The curtain lifts on the first ever Durham Fringe Festival

It's been a long time since we were last able to enjoy a live performance at the theatre.

The curtain dropped on performances across the country in March 2020, but with all Covid restrictions now lifted, performers in Durham are gearing up for a return to centre stage.

The first ever Durham Fringe Festival is set to take place on Wednesday 28 July with more than 100 performances for festival-goers to enjoy.

The events brings together local musicians, theatre groups, comedians and acts.

Organisers say the inaugural festival aims to:

  • Bring back vibrancy to the city

  • Help local businesses and communities bounce back

  • Provide a platform for the Arts world, who have been greatly affected by the pandemic

  • Bring joy and laughter to and visitors to the city and raise spirits through the magic of performance

The event is supported by Durham County Council, Durham Bid, Durham University and Durham Markets, as well as local businesses.

Uncertainties surrounding Covid-19 mean organisers have limited the size of the event to ensure the festival can run safely, but it is hoped it will be a success and grow year on year.

Where will the festival be held?

Performances will take place at 4 venues across Durham City;

  • The University Assembly Rooms Theatre

    • 175 seat capacity

  • St Chad's College Garden

    • 125 seat capacity open air theatre

  • Fabio’s bar

    • 80 seats - mostly for stand-up

  • The City Theatre

    • 71 seat capacity

It's hoped the cultural and arts festival will provide much needed income for the venues and performers in Durham that have taken a huge financial hit over the past 18 months

Next year organisers hope to apply to the Arts Council for funding to support the event.

To remain covid-secure festival-goers must buy tickets to attend. Tickets for the the 5 day event can be bought on the Durham Fringe Festival website.