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Durham Fringe Festival 2024 has launched

Durham Fringe Festival 2024 returns bigger and better with eight performance spaces across seven venues, 90 different shows and a total of 250 performances across five days, including dance, drama, music, comedy and magic.  Ticket prices for 2024 remain at 2023 prices and ticket sales opened today, Thursday May 2 following a celebration on Wednesday May 1, where the 2024 festival was officially launched by Durham County councillor and portfolio holder for economy and partnerships, Elizabeth Scott, and festival director Stephen Cronin. Now in its fourth year, the festival will run from Wednesday July 24 until Sunday July 28. 

Elizabeth is one of the festival’s newest board members along Quentin Sloper from Durham University and Philip Cronin.  As part of his introduction, Stephen thanked retiring board members Bill Moir, Lucinda Flemings Jones and Andrew Beales for their kindness and selfless support over the last three years. 

A highlight of the evening was a preview of some of the performances visitors to the 2024 festival can expect including students from New College Durham Performing Arts, Durham University’s flagship A Cappella group Northern Lights, and a sprinkling of magic from local rising star Tom Bolton who entertained guests with a variety of mysterious tricks. 

The 2024 festival will showcase a greater range of dance in 2024 thanks to a new partnership with Dance City, as well as a host of theatre, comedy, music and magic. 

Two new festival venues were also unveiled for 2024 - these are Durham Distillery and Grade II listed Dunelm House which join established festival spots The Sir Thomas Allen Assembly Rooms, City Theatre, the charming Cafedral café and the festival’s very own stretch-marquee tent on Palace Green.

The festival was originally born from festival director’s (retired paediatrician and Royal Television Award-Winner) Stephen Cronin’s vision of having an arts festival that offered performers the chance to take part without having to pay to do so and that furthermore enabled them to keep the lion’s share of their takings from any performance (70% of net ticket sales to performers, 20% to the venue and 10% to the festival).  In this way the festival offers a huge and diverse range of shows for visitors with financial barriers to participation removed.

Stephen’s ethos of fairness and accessibility extends to the ticket prices which have

been kept the same as last year (£9 per show and special offers of £20 for tickets to

any three shows and £20 for a family ticket (up to 2 adults and 2 children).

Stephen said, “I think we are unique in the festival world in the way we run Durham

Fringe. We have ambitious plans and are growing year by year. As we get the word 

out this festival has the potential to attract new visitors to Durham, and we have

formulated our programme to cater to all tastes and all ages; we even have a show

for babes in arms – with a parent/carer of course! For the first time, this year, we

have also partnered with Newcastle-based Dance City as we recognised that we

could strengthen our dance offering over last year and this is a growing area for us

“We are grateful for an army of festival volunteers and the goodwill of sponsors including IntuPay Group, Adkins Cheurfi, Durham Group Estates, EMG Solicitors, LNER, New College Durham and Radisson Blu Durham, plus the support of local business in the area.  This year we are encouraging them to get involved with their own special festival events, offers and window displays.  We want the people and businesses of Durham to feel this is their festival and really be a part of all that is going on.”

Festival tickets are now live and can be booked online.  Visit to book or for further information about attending or volunteering at the festival.


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