Communities across County Durham are coming alive this week with the sound of feel-good brass music as the popular BRASS festival returns. 

One of the highlights of Durham County Council’s annual events programme, Durham BRASS is bringing the part to people all week until Sunday (July 17).

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..

The Northern Echo: GirlesqueGirlesque

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The first BRASS bash will be held at Trimdon Community College, at 6pm on Tuesday (July 12). Appearing will be: Bandakadabra at 6.05pm; Perhaps Contraption at 6.40pm; Girlesque at 7.20pm; Old Dirty Brasstards at 7.50pm and Back Chat Brass at 8.25pm.

There will be BRASS bashes at: Crook Glenhome Park, at 6pm on Wednesday July 13; Seaham Terrace Green, at 6pm on Thursday (July 14); 6pm and Newton Aycliffe Town Centre Park at 6pm on on Friday July, 6pm.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are so excited for the return of BRASS.

The Northern Echo: Back Chat BrassBack Chat 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 residents.

“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.

The Northern Echo: BandakadabraBandakadabra

"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.”

Mini BRASS Bashes will be held at Willington Town Green, Tuesday (July 12) , 6pm and at Bishop Auckland Market Place, Friday (July 15), 6pm.

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Meanwhile, Streets of Brass will welcome some new faces alongside old favourites to a free weekend of music in the streets of Durham.

The Northern Echo: Artistas del GremioArtistas del Gremio

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 July 16. 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 lovers.The Northern Echo: Perhaps ContraptionPerhaps Contraption

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 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.

For more information about the festival, or to book tickets, visit

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