Darlington Arts Festival returns to town

Darlington Arts Festival returns to town
20 September 2021

Darlington Arts Festival is set to make a welcome return to town this week.

A wide range of events will take place from Friday 24 until Monday 27 September including gothic writing workshops, live music, theatre, poetry readings, exhibitions, film making, craft skills, dance and even the chance to build a replica of the town clock.

The festival is a joint venture managed by Darlington Borough Council and sponsored by Darlington for Culture (DfC). Last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic.

A marquee in the market square will form the centre piece of the festival which will take place in town centre venues including The Forum, Friends Meeting House, Hippodrome, The Majestic Theatre, Head of Steam museum and the Cornmill Shopping Centre.

The marquee will be open from 10am-4pm from Friday to Sunday and will host around 40 stalls full of arts and crafts, giving shoppers the chance to make an early start on Christmas shopping or to buy a unique gift for someone special. Free arts and crafts activities and exhibitions will also be on offer.

Flags will be flying on the first day of the festival with a free semaphore session and flag making drop-in session in the marquee. Other free events include music in the market hall, jazz and Peruvian music in the market square, poetry readings on High Row, film shows and film activities at Guru Boutique and the Friends Meeting House, clock tower building on Saturday and a free dance performance on Sunday.

Theatre goers can pay what they decide at a performance of Under Milk Wood by Green Theatre at the Friends Meeting House on Friday while tickets are on sale for The Cat and the Canary thriller at Darlington Hippodrome and music performances at The Forum Music Centre.

Craft workshops include lino print, make your own lampshade with Gillian Arnold, and there is a range of writing and poetry workshops across the weekend.

Youngsters can enjoy crafts in the marquee as well as a Little Learners sessions in the Cornmill Centre. The weekend coincides with the anniversary celebrations at Head of Steam Railway museum where kids can enjoy art and craft activities. The final day of the festival sees the opening of a free photography exhibition at Crown Street Library with local work from Darlington Association of Photographers

Councillor, Alan Marshall, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for economy, said: “Darlington has always enjoyed a thriving arts scene and I am delighted that we are able to support this showcase weekend of arts and activities. There really is something for everyone and I encourage people to take a look at the full programme to see what’s on offer and get involved.”

DfC’s Chair, Jo Potter, added: “The council has recognised the benefit and success of other regional arts events in attracting people to town centres. DfC appreciates the council’s significant investment in the festival and we look forward to ensuring its regular place in the town’s events calendar.”

Find the full programme of events at darlingtonforculture.org

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