The first Durham Fringe Festival will run from Wednesday July 28th to Sunday August 1st 2021.

Who are we?

We started out as a group of friends, living and working in the North East, who love Fringe Festivals and thought it would be great to create our own in Durham City. This is a grassroots organisation made up of local people, working alongside local businesses, looking to grow a collective dream.

Fringe Festivals 

Fringe theatre is a unique and rewarding experience, as enjoyable to watch as to take part in. You may have heard of other festivals in Edinburgh, Brighton and even Adelaide. Fringe festivals encourage creativity, make us think, make us cry and usually make us laugh too.

Working with the city

After the impact of the past year, the Durham Fringe Festival hopes to bring vibrancy back to our beautiful city. We aim to once again celebrate the amazing talent in our communities, welcome new visitors and support our local hospitality industry.


Venues can come in many shapes and sizes, from purpose built theatrical spaces to bars and outdoor venues… anywhere that can accommodate live performance! The joy of a Fringe Festival is to see a variety of contrasting performances in a single night, across multiple different venues around the city. This way you can experience the full breadth of the festival’s programme, whilst also visiting some of the city’s best bars and restaurants.


27 great shows have been found, in a broad range of form/styles, from Magic to Music, From Dance to Drama,  many reflect the extraordinary local talent in the North East. As this is our first year, we’re keen to find, build, and keep an audience for Fringe shows in the city, with the intention to return bigger and better in future!

More information can be found on the performers’ pages.


We’re also looking for more people to volunteer and join our team. The main areas we’re looking for volunteers in are publicity, sales, guides and venue hosts.

Businesses and Organisations 

Fringe Festivals work best when individuals, organisations and businesses work together, bringing their own strengths and imagination into the mix. If you are interested in partnering with us, please contact us.

What have we done so far?

We’ve set up a Community Interest Company to run the festival. It’s a non profit organisation which sets out to benefit the people of our county and give performers the chance to find new audiences.

For our first year we’re keeping it small. Just 4 main venues each with space for 70 to 170 seats. Some venues will just have a small stage suitable for magic, live music, or stand-up comedy. Others will have larger stages suitable for plays and musicals.

Over time more venues might join in but we think it’s important for this year to be deliverable and enjoyable. There is nevertheless lots to do and so we now turn to you.