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.

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 in 2021 we kept it small.  Just 4 main venues each with space for 70 to 170 seats. And we sold over 2000 tickets. We have added 2 more venues in 2022. We are growing!

The Durham Fringe Festival will take place from July 26TH  and run to July 31ST 2022. The closing date for performers applications is 31st March.

After the impact of the pandemic, 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. We have working relationships with the various bodies around the city about how the Durham Fringe Festival can positively impact the offer the city has to its residents, those in the wider County Durham area and visitors to our City and County.

There are over 250 fringe festivals globally. With perhaps the most famous taking place in Edinburgh during August each year.

We believe Durham is well placed to be a fringe festival city. There is a diverse population who relish engagement with live entertainment, truly unique buildings offering themselves as venues, a thriving restaurant and café culture and world-renowned visitor attractions.

Recognising the potential, the seed for a fringe has been in place for many years. Our plan was to launch in 2020 but the global pandemic put paid to that. Never deterred though, we formed as a CIC in 2021 and held the inaugural Durham Fringe Festival in the summer of 2021 to much acclaim.

In 2021, over 2000 tickets were sold to 300 different shows, whose artists gave over 100 performances. A taste of the performers and programmes can be found here.


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.

We are so fortunate to be able to hold performances in four amazing venues in 2021: St Chad’s Garden, The Assembly Rooms Theatre, Fabio’s Bar and City Theatre.

In 2022 we are adding 2 more venues. Find out more about all our venues here.

Get in contact! We consider every opportunity.


We will launch the 2022 programme and ticket portal in June 2022. You could become a member of the Founders’ Club and receive 10% savings on all tickets and regular updates. Find out more here.

Performances in St Chad’s Garden

St Chad’s Garden is a beautiful outdoor venue and, being England during the summer, there is always the chance of poor weather and you should consider this when booking tickets.

We strongly believe in the British theatrical tradition of “the show must go on” and performances will continue with light drizzle or similar and you should dress accordingly.

In the event of heavy rain, we will endeavour to move the shows into St Chad’s Quad. However, St Chad’s Quad is an indoor space that is smaller than the garden and so would not be suitable for all performances. In addition, there is no raked seating so your view of the stage would not be as good.

In all circumstances we will use our best efforts to continue our programme but the safety of our performers and patrons is paramount and it remains a possibility that some shows may be cancelled at very short notice or halted mid-show.

We will offer refunds for cancelled shows; see our Box Office Terms & Conditions for full details of this.

We follow the advice and guidance from Government and we urge everyone to behave responsibly and think of the safety of themselves and others.

We follow the UK Theatre See it Safely guidelines.

For your safety, all Fringe staff and volunteers will be required to have an NHS COVID Pass. Performers are encouraged to do so as well, but it is not mandatory.

Contact us and we can direct you to latest availability.

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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.

The British weather cannot always be relied upon, and St Chad’s Garden is an outdoor venue. Here’s how we will handle poor weather conditions.