THE full programme of a town's cultural festival has been officially released.

Darlington Arts Festival will take place across different venues in the town from May 17 to May 20.

Now in its seventh year, the festival aims to promote and support cultural activities within the town.

Organised by Darlington For Culture, the festival is an opportunity for organisations and individuals to promote their events and activities, and for audiences to discover something new – in keeping with the theme ‘Follow Your Art’.

As a brand new feature, the festival welcomes the addition of a performance space in the Market Hall – called 'Spotlight on…' – which provides groups with the opportunity to promote their events for free and attract new members.

This year, the festival will feature a number of emerging music acts such as with the Noisy Daughters vinyl launch, the Darlington Piano Society recital and New Orleans jazz performances.

There will be theatrical and dance performances from Belly Giggles children's theatre and the Darlington Dance Festival.

There will also be talks by artists and practitioners, and a guided walk around the town centre to discover ‘The art of Darlington’ with Chris Lloyd of The Northern Echo.

A substantial part of the festival is devoted to creative writing for new and established writers to help develop their skills, including two events led by crime writer John Dean.

And the festival will finish with Darlington Film Club’s screening of Florence Foster Jenkins.

Darlington For Culture said they want to help the arts scene thrive even more in 2019 and encourage local societies to get involved in promoting themselves.

Stephen Wiper, Creative Darlington Manager, said: “Darlington for Culture has programmed four fantastic days of activity, events and exhibitions.

"The festival celebrates the wealth of creative talent, innovation and energy that help make Darlington a great place to visit.

“Creative Darlington is delighted to be supporting the festival and whether you enjoy film, music, theatre, visual arts, creative writing or exploring something new.

"We hope you’ll have a great time at this year’s festival.”

The Darlington Arts Festival is an annual event which takes place across a number venues in the town including Darlington Hippodrome, The Forum, Head of Steam Museum and Crown Street Gala.

To see the full festival programme and details of each event, visit