We are a small, “nearly new” festival in the beautiful and historic Durham City, in the North East of England. 

Following a very successful start in 2021, and a buzzing second year in 2022, the third Durham Fringe Festival will run from 26th to 30th July 2023.

We’re an open, curated festival and welcome applications from anywhere and anybody, from seasoned professionals to those just starting out. We believe that anyone with passion, talent and a good idea should be given the opportunity to put on a show. We love comedy, theatre, dance, musicals, children’s shows, spoken word, magic. music and mime!  In addition to national and international shows, we like to showcase local talent from the North East. 2023 is also the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio (Durham University has a copy) and we are hoping to attract acts with their own fringe take on Shakespeare.

We, the festival, take a central coordinating role. We both select and run the venues (6 this year) and set ticket prices…expected to be £9 for most shows in 2023. But the good news is that you get to keep 70% of the net ticket price…and we don’t charge you any fees at all. Not to apply or to be in our programme or for the use of our venues.

There’s no commitment to perform with us when you apply. If you subsequently accept an offer from us then we will ask you to sign a contract, and pay a fully refundable deposit (usually £100) against you not giving the performances you have agreed to. 

Applications for the 2023 festival have now closed, and we’re in the process of allocating our performance schedule. If you have applied then we will get back to you as soon as we can!


JANUARY 14th 2023 Applications Open
MARCH 24th 2023 Applications Close
APRIL 3rd 2023 First Offers Made
5 Days After Contract Signed £100 Deposit paid to Fringe
MAY 26th 2023 Notify Fringe of any music used in your show N.B. you must notify us even if no music is used or you will be charged at top rate
MAY 26th 2023 Completed Tech Specs form to be sent to Fringe Via Eventotron
JUNE 16th, 2023 Names, roles and photos (jpg) of each member of your company sent to Fringe Via Eventotron. These are required to produce backstage passes. Please only include performers and crew.
JUNE 30th, 2023 Public Liability Insurance certificate to be sent to Fringe Via Eventotron. You will not be allowed to perform if this has not been provided
JUNE 30th, 2023 PAT testing can be contentious, depending upon the venue, life is much easier if  you forward valid, i.e legitimate and in date PAT testing certificates, for all mains voltage equipment you will be using, by June 30th. 

If there is a specific issue in complying eg. equipment rented or borrowed for the shows then please discuss this with [email protected]

Without these you will not be allowed to use the relevant equipment

We would also highlight

Technical Rehearsal: We will use our best endeavours to give you up to 1 hour for a technical rehearsal at a time to be notified to you separately by us or the Venue.

Get in / Get out Time: You will be allowed 10 minutes prior to each show for get in and 5 minutes after each show for get out.