MUSIC lovers are expected to flock to an annual music festival when takes over a town centre later this month.

The Darlington Rhythm and Blues Festival returns to the Market Square on Sunday, September 15, bringing together the sounds of the blues while local bars will be hosting bands into the evening.

Headlining the main stage will be John Coghlan’s Quo, featuring the original Status Quo drummer, bringing the day-long festival to an end in the town centre, but there will be more live music continuing into the night at a number of different venues across the town.

Other bands taking to the main stage include Tommy Allen’s Trafficker, Mike Vernon & the Mighty Combo and Sari Schorr & The Engine Room – with music starting at 12.30pm.

Pre-festival and fringe events will lead up to and around the big day and will see a range of groups perform in venues across Darlington town centre, including the Dolphin Centre, and many pubs across the town.

The Northern Echo:

Mike Vernon & the Mighty Combo

New stages this year include the DL1 Podium stage featuring Mean Disposition and Alex Fawcett Band on Saturday, September 14 from 2pm to 5pm and The Riverside stage on Sunday 15 featuring The Hot Coals Blues Band, Luke Doherty Band and The Panthers from 2pm to 6pm.

Councillor Paul Howell, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for leisure and local environment, said: “This popular festival comes hot on the heels of a full programme of free summer events that has brought thousands of people to the town centre to enjoy a fun day with family and friends. It will end the summer in Darlington on a high note.

“Many thanks to our partners and town centre venues who have joined forces to put on what promises to be one of the biggest R ‘n’ B events in the region.”

The Northern Echo:

Sari Schorr & The Engine Room

The free event has been organised in conjunction with Darlington Borough Council, Darlington Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Club and Gasto Promotions.

Darlington R’n’B Club has been promoting live music in the town for 24 years. For the first 17 years the club was based at the Arts Centre until it moved to the Forum Music Centre when the Arts Centre closed. Both International and British bands have been promoted by the R’n’B Club which has a full programme of events lined up into next year.

Darlington’s Summer of Sound continues this month with an eclectic mix of music being performed at venues across the town.

The Northern Echo:

Tommy Allen

The Last Train Home, a music and comedy festival organised by music collective Tracks, on Saturday September 7, will see more than 50 musicians and comedians perform at various venues.

For further information about the Rhythm and Blues Festival and its fringe events visit or call 01325-363135.