Volunteer Presentation


Durham Fringe Festival is a genuinely grassroots initiative. The festival was set up in 2021 by a group of friends, living and working in the North-East, who love Fringe Festivals and had a collective dream to grow a festival in their home city of Durham.

The Fringe is constituted as a community interest company (CIC) and we’ve had brilliant support from the business community and our local partners, who can see the potential of the festival in supporting the vibrancy of the city, and creating opportunities for artists and for the communities of County Durham and the wider North East.

The Fringe has experienced remarkable growth since its inception in 2021. The historic city of Durham provides the atmospheric backdrop for the festival, which takes place across a network of venues in the city centre in the last week of July. Over the past three years, we have developed an excellent reputation with audience members, performers and volunteers, and will be welcoming expressions of interest from artists wishing to take part in the 2024 festival from 2nd January, with a closing date of 17th February 2024. The festival aims to be a platform for a diverse range of artists from all backgrounds to present work to an enthusiastic and fast-growing audience base.

Durham Fringe Festival is dedicated to supporting independent performers and artists while creating opportunities for diverse communities to experience boundary-pushing theatre and live performances at affordable rates.

Shows are given a slot or slots, usually around an hour in length, at a suitable venue.

Audiences pay a flat fee for the performance. Artists and audiences are encouraged to attend a variety of performances throughout the festival, and the proximity of venues and low ticket prices encourage engagement with a diverse array of acts.

As well as managing the festival, we offer a unique curated festival experience for artists.  We aim to offer a range of sessions, before, during and after the Festival to help artists develop the skills they need to take their productions to the next level – including sessions on funding and finance, marketing and how to make the most of your fringe.

Our unique funding model means that it is free for your to apply to be part of the Durham Fringe Festival, and if you are accepted we ask you to pay a deposit that will be returned to you after the festival, rather than an application fee.

The festival is currently a CIC and we are in the process of becoming a charity, so no money is taken out in profits – making it the most artist-friendly fringe in the country.

We receive no regular public funding; we rely on grants and private donations to continue hosting the festival every year. You can donate to the Durham Fringe here.

We seek to have low overheads, with only one part-time member of paid staff, we rely heavily on local volunteers to develop and implement the festival.

Literally anyone. Whether you have a long history of performing or want to give performance a go for the first time we are keen to hear from you.  We have hosted international performers visiting the UK for the first time, local acts, regional acts on their way up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, student troupes, community groups, singers, poets, plays, musicals, dancers, acrobats, princes, pirates, and all in between.

Where appropriate, we are keen to source works outside of the traditional application process, created by those in marginalised communities; to ensure The Durham Fringe Festival is relevant to all, and to promote a diverse and inclusive festival of arts.

The Durham Fringe Festival seeks to promote diversity and inclusion and welcomes volunteers from all backgrounds and circumstances. Whilst we don’t pay any of our volunteers, in exceptional circumstances and upon request, the Directors of the Fringe may be able to cover certain volunteer expenses where appropriate.


Venues can come in many shapes and sizes, from purpose built theatrical spaces to bars and cafes and outdoor spaces… 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.

We are so fortunate to be able to hold performances in amazing venues across the City. In 2024 we welcome back the charming Cafedral and Fabio’s Bar as well as the purpose built Sir Thomas Allen Assembly Rooms Theatre and City Theatre. On top of that we have the return of our wonderful stretch marquee on Palace Green (nestled between the Cathedral and Castle!).

We are also adding two new venues for 2024. The Grade II listed Dunelm House (often described as the ‘marmite’ of Durham) and the amazing Durham Distillery.


A good place to start is This Is Durham (www.thisisdurham.com)

In the summer months the university colleges also offer reasonably priced accommodation. You could even get to stay in the historic Durham Castle!

University College (“Castle”) (https://www.durham.ac.uk/event-durham/our-venues/durham-castle/booking-form/)

St Chad’s (https://www.stchads.ac.uk/commercial/bed-breakfast/)

Please contact: [email protected] or drop us a line from our contact page enquiry form.


Please click here to read our full Box Office Terms and Conditions.

Please click here to read our Customer Privacy Policy and here to read our Performers Privacy Policy.

We want to play our part in making the arts more accessible to all. Our venues are all unique. Please contact us for full information on accessibility in our venues.

Click Here to view our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

Please click here for DFF Safeguarding Policy

Please click here Lost Child or Vulnerable Adult Procedure 2024


You can get hold of us by email or submitting the below form. Don’t forget to follow us on Socials for all the latest!



Durham Fringe CIC
C/O Ribchesters
Belmont Business Park
Finchale House
Durham, DH1 1TW



You can also email us direct
[email protected]