A popular theatre festival is set to return to Durham this summer, with 90 shows scheduled for 250 performances across seven venues. 

Durham Fringe Festival 2024 returns "bigger and better", with shows for all tastes and ages across five days, including dance, drama, music, comedy and magic.

Now in its fourth year, the festival will run from Wednesday, July 24 until Sunday, July 28.

Ticket prices for 2024 remain at 2023 prices and ticket sales opened last week after the 2024 festival was officially launched by Durham County councillor and portfolio holder for economy and partnerships, Elizabeth Scott, and festival director Stephen Cronin.

Performances visitors to the 2024 festival can expect are 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. 

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 (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. Performers are also able to keep the lion’s share of their takings from any performance (70 per cent of net ticket sales to performers, 20 per cent to the venue and 10 per cent to the festival).

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.

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“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 businesses 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 www.durhamfringe.co.uk to book or for further information about attending or volunteering at the festival.