- Durham OnAir
Bringing a brass-tastic party to the people
Communities across County Durham are set to come alive with the sound of feel-good brass music when Durham BRASS returns next week.
The much-loved festival, which is one of the highlights of Durham County Council’s annual events programme, is set to bring the party to the people across the week of Sunday 10 to Sunday 17 July.
Featuring a series of free concerts in communities with its Big BRASS Bashes and Mini
BRASS Bashes, performances in schools and care homes across the county and a full
programme of lively street bands, the festival promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are so
excited for the return of BRASS. One of the unique aspects of the festival is the way in
which it reaches out to our communities and spreads the joy of music across the county. It
is also one of the many festivals that helps to bring distinctive cultural experiences to our
“More than 40,000 people engaged with the festival in 2019 and we hope it will help to
bring even more people together this year, highlighting our determination that everyone
should be able to access cultural opportunities. With so many events, concerts, workshops
and world-renowned artists arriving in Durham for the week, there really is something to
suit all ages and tastes and we’re sure everyone will have a fantastic time.”
BRASS is just one of the many cultural events and activities taking place in County
Durham this year, demonstrating the council’s ongoing commitment to cultural-led
regeneration. This includes delivering key projects within County Durham’s shortlisted UK
City of Culture bid and raising the county’s profile as a fantastic place to live, work, visit
and invest. It also includes progressing major capital projects, such as the redevelopment
of the former DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery into a stunning new creative centre
showcasing national and international contemporary art alongside collections that
celebrate the county’s heritage.
The BRASS bashes, featuring a range of energetic and eclectic street bands, include:
The Big BRASS Bash
Trimdon Community College, Tuesday 12 July, 6pm
Crook Glenhome Park, Wednesday 13 July, 6pm
Seaham Terrace Green, Thursday 14 July, 6pm
Newton Aycliffe Town Centre Park, Friday 15 July, 6pm.
Mini BRASS Bash
Willington Town Green, Tuesday 12 July, 6pm
Bishop Auckland Market Place, Friday 15 July, 6pm.
Meanwhile, Streets of Brass will welcome some new faces alongside old favourites to a
free weekend of music in the streets of Durham. Spanish favourites Artistas del Gremio,
Italy’s Bandakadabra, Back Chat Brass, Bollywood Brass Band, Loud Noises, Perhaps
Contraption, Oompah Brass and all female Italian brass band, Girlesque, will take over the
city centre and get crowds on their feet to celebrate the final weekend of the festival.
The party will continue at Wharton Park in Durham on the evening of Saturday 16 July.
Visitors are encouraged to pack a picnic and put on their dancing shoes for a Big BRASS
Party as the same street bands bring the park alive from 6pm.
Across the week, performances will take place at schools and care homes as the festival
looks to give something back to older residents and inspire a new generation of brass
To celebrate the festival coinciding with the arrival of The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s
Baton Relay in County Durham during its final journey through England ahead of this
year’s Commonwealth Games, there will also be a special performance at The
Racecourse in Durham City from Back Chat Brass.
The Baton arrives in Durham City on Thursday 14 July, starting its journey at the top of
Claypath at 3pm before heading to the Market Place and visiting Palace Green. It will then
be carried back onto South Bailey and across Prebends Bridge then go via the River Wear
to The Racecourse, where it is due to arrive at around 15.40pm.
Following this, the Queen’s Baton Relay will travel to Seaham, with the Baton arriving at
Terrace Green from North Terrace at around 17.25pm before spectators enjoy a taste of
town’s Big Brass Bash event, which starts at 6pm.
There will also be traditional brass band performances at three of County Durham’s
bandstands. These include:
Consett Brass at Blackhill & Consett Park, Saturday 16 July, 3pm
Easington Colliery Brass Band at Horden Welfare Park, Sunday 17 July, 3pm
Ferryhill Town Band at Jubilee Park, Spennymoor, Sunday 17 July, 3pm.
Once a familiar site in parks and open spaces across the county, only a handful of
bandstands remain today. To coincide with BRASS, these evocative structures of times
past will be placed in the spotlight through a set of photographs taken by artist Rob
The haunting black and white images, which invite people to appreciate the area’s
heritage, are being displayed on bus shelters in Consett, Durham, Horden and
Spennymoor until Sunday 24 July.
For more information about the festival, or to book tickets, visit www.brassfestival.co.uk
There’s also more information about the Queen’s Baton Relay at