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Durham Brass Festival 2024 ready to go!

Published July 02, 2024 12.02pm

Final touches are being put to preparations for one of the region's most popular music events with its return just days away.

Party in the Park

Durham Brass Festival 2022

Durham Brass Festival - a week of spectacular performances, new commissions, free concerts, community activities, and a full programme of lively street bands - kicks off its 2024 edition this Friday 5 July.

Our event runs until Saturday 13 July and will feature critically acclaimed Public Service Broadcasting as well as returning favourites Spain's Artistas del Gremio and a host of exciting acts making their Brass debuts.

Here's everything you need to know about the festival:

The full line-up of acts performing across the festival is as follows: Artistas del Gremio, Badcore Horns, Das Brass, Easington Colliery Band, Felling Brass Band, Heavy Beat Brass Band, Hector Gannet, Loud Noises, Nadedja, NASUWT Riverside Band, NuSound Brass, Oompah Brass, Public Service Broadcasting, Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, Redhills Youth Brass Band and Dilutey Juice, Shakk, She's Got Brass, Smoove & Turrell, Tenth Avenue Band, The Cory Band and Durham Miners' Association Brass Band, and Young Pilgrims.

Public Service Broadcasting get Brass Festival underwayon Friday 5 July performing a set which explores how the collapse of mining impacted local communities, in this the 40th anniversary year of the strikes. PSB are performing their UK top 5 album Every Valley at Durham Cathedral within the World Heritage Site. They will be accompanied by another band with a mining connection, NASUWT Riverside Band from the former colliery village of Pelton Fell. Tickets for this event are sold out.

The streets of Durham City will resonate with the sound of live music on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July as the ever popular Streets of Brass makes its return. This will see eclectic and exciting street bands from the UK and beyond perform free of charge at locations across the city from 11am both days, ending at 4pm on the Saturday and 5pm on the Sunday. The Sunday will include traditional festival favourite, the Streets of Brass finale in the Market Place from 4.30pm.

Brass' street bands will get everyone dancing on the evening of Saturday 6 July as Party in the Park returns to Wharton Park in Durham from 5pm.

A special concert kicks off proceedings on Sunday 7 July with The Cory Band performing their own musical telling of the Hollywood classic 1933 monster film, King Kong. Performing alongside The Cory Band will be guests, the Durham Miners' Association Brass Band. This takes place at Durham's Gala Theatre from 2pm.

Brass' showcase of the region's most exciting up and coming artists performing with brass acts, Brassed On returns on Sunday 7 July from 7.30pm, at Durham Town Hall. Compered by the BBC's Shakk, Brassed On will see North Shields' masters of a new kind of modernist folk, Hector Gannet, perform with NuSound Brass, and Sunderland based, Brazilian-born alt-pop artist Nadedja perform with Loud Noises.

The festival then takes to the road for the returning Big and Little Brass Bashes at ten different outdoor locations across County Durham. These are free of charge and promise energetic performances from Brass' street bands to get audiences moving.

The dates, locations and times of the bashes are as follows:

  • Monday 8 July: Little Brass Bashes, Haswell pit site and Spennymoor market place, both 6pm to 8pm.
  • Tuesday 9 July: Big Brass Bash, Glenholme Park, Crook; Little Brass Bash, Chester-le-Street Market Place, both 6pm to 9pm.
  • Wednesday 10 July: Big Brass Bash, Hackworth Park, Shildon, 6pm to 9pm; Little Brass Bash, Willington Town Green, 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
  • Thursday 11 July: Big Brass Bash, Town Park, Newton Aycliffe, 6pm to 9pm; Little Brass Bash, The Witham, Barnard Castle, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
  • Friday 12 July: Big Brass Bash, Trimdon Community College; Little Brass Bash, Middle Street, Consett; both 6pm to 9pm.

A DJ club event gets the party going on Friday 12 July with Smoove & Turrell's Northern Coal Experience at Durham Town Hall from 9pm. This will feature the best in hip hop, breaks, disco, house, funk and soul, and everything in between - as well as live vocal and brass accompaniment.

Brass draws to a close on Saturday 13 July with Loud Noises representing the festival at the Durham Miners' Gala. They'll be playing with other brass bands during the event's traditional parade through the streets of Durham, before performing at the Big Meeting at the Old Racecourse, which starts at 1pm.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, our Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: "We are now just a matter of days away from this year's Durham Brass Festival and we are so excited to be doing it all again.

"We've got an amazing line-up with Public Service Broadcasting teaming up with County Durham's own NASUWT Riverside Band for a performance inspired by coal mining, 40 years on from the strikes, within our World Heritage Site at Durham Cathedral.

Further information including details of all artists taking part at this year's event can be found online at the Durham Brass Festival website.

"We've also got the return of Brass favourites Streets of Brass, Party in the Park and our Big and Little Brass Bashes; bringing live music from acts old and new to the streets of Durham City and ten of our towns and villages - all free of charge.

"Durham Brass Festival offers something for folk of all ages, and we really hope everyone who visits has the best time. We also hope businesses and our economy will benefit from the numbers of people Brass brings into our city, and towns and villages over the course of the week."

Durham Brass Festival is a key part of our festivals and events programme, which also includes the UK's light art biennial Lumiere, and yearly food festivals at Seaham and Bishop Auckland.

This programme cements Durham's position as the 'Culture County' and reflects our commitment to culture-led regeneration. This commitment includes delivering key projects within the bid that saw Durham become the first county ever to be shortlisted for UK City of Culture; progressing major capital projects; and raising the county's profile as a fantastic place to live, work, visit and invest.

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