Durham's Brass Festival returns with a bumper line up including Richard Hawley and Sunderland's Field Music

Durham’s BRASS Festival is back with a bang for summer 2022.

Monday, 14th March 2022, 12:15 pm

A double MOBO Award winner, a Mercury Music Prize and Brit Award nominee, a band fronted by the current British Poet Laureate, and arguably the most famous brass band in the world will headline the popular music festival when it returns this summer, after being cancelled in 2021 due to the pandemic.

Tickets for a range of live performances at Durham’s BRASS festival, which takes place from Sunday, July 10 to Sunday, July 17, go on sale on Friday, March 18, at 10am, with Richard Hawley, YolanDa Brown, LYR and The Black Dyke Band and Sunderland’s own Field Music among the line-up.

The festival, which is one of the summer highlights of Durham County Council’s annual events programme, will also feature a host of community workshops, free concerts in communities, schools and care homes around the county, and a full programme of lively street bands.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Back Chat Brass at a previous Durham BRASS Festival

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “BRASS is a key part of our festivals and events programme, so we were massively disappointed that we had to postpone it last year. We can’t wait to welcome back fantastically talented acts and enthusiastic audiences for the hugely anticipated event this summer.

“Our festival line-up has it all, celebrating brass music in its many forms, from traditional big band music to inspirational artists taking brass in a new direction. As well as boosting the economy and raising the county’s reputation as a cultural destination, BRASS aims to bring communities together to create unforgettable experiences for people of all ages.

“It’s a perfect example of the diverse artistic offering and commitment to cultural-led regeneration that makes County Durham such a strong contender to become UK City of Culture 2025.”

Festival Highlights

YolanDa Brown

::Durham Cathedral

On Friday, July 15, in the first of two performances at the iconic Durham Cathedral, LYR together with The Easington Colliery Band will premiere Firm As A Rock We Stand: A Commemoration and Celebration of County Durham’s ‘Category D’ Villages.

The band, comprising of author and current British Poet Laureate Simon Armitage CBE, musician Richard Walters and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Pearson, will perform for the first time live and in full, this incredible EP specially commissioned by BRASS Festival in partnership with the Durham Miners’ Association and the Redhills Charity.

In a memorable one-off gig, Richard Hawley will perform a Saturday night headline slot on Saturday, July 16.

Richard Hawley. Photo by Mark Swain

Hawley, who found success as a member of Britpop band The Longpigs and then as Pulp’s guitarist, earned a Mercury Music Prize nomination for his breakthrough soulful solo album Cole’s Corner. He has gone on to record seven more critically acclaimed albums and worked with Arctic Monkeys, Texas, Manic Street Preachers, Elbow and Paul Weller.

Hawley will be accompanied by one of County Durham’s most popular bands, the NASUWT Riverside Brass Band. The band, which was founded in 1877, rehearse in Pelton Fell, Chester-le-Street, and are concert and contest veterans.

::Gala Theatre

Gala Durham will stage a night to remember on Thursday, July 14, when Ibibio Sound Machine present their unique sound-clash of Western African funk, disco and electro, and the wonderful vocals of Nigerian singer Eno Williams.

Black Dyke Band

On Friday, July 15 tweed-clad brass powerhouses Old Dirty Brasstards will wow audiences with a contemporary brass makeover of exhilarating party jams, indie favourites and rock and roll classics. The quirky 10-piece will perform their unique interpretations at Gala Durham.

Family favourite and double MOBO Award winner YolanDa Brown treats fans of all ages to two special performances at Gala Durham on Saturday, July 16.

Little music-lovers and their grown-ups can enjoy all the fun of YolanDa’s Band Jam, in a live version of the saxophonist’s acclaimed CBeebies TV show.

Often lauded as the most famous brass band in the world, the multi-award-winning Black Dyke Band will perform at Durham BRASS festival for the very first time on Sunday, July 17 at Gala Durham.

::North East Favourites

An array of local talent will also be showcased at the festival, beginning with Sunderland duo Field Music on Sunday, July 10 at Gala Durham.

Dead Victorians on Framwellgate Bridge at the 7th Durham International Brass Festival in 2013

Brothers Peter and David Brewis have gained a reputation for an ambitious and intellectual approach to making music, with eight full albums, Mercury Award nominations, plus numerous commissions and side projects under their belt.

Their show, Binding Time - Songs & Stories from the Durham Coalfields, has been commissioned by BRASS in a new partnership with the Durham Miners’ Association and the Redhills Charity, funded by Arts Council England.

Fellow Mackem, Ben Lunn, will reflect his North-Eastern heritage, how disability impacts the world around him, and his working-class upbringing in his appearance at Ushaw College on Wednesday, July 13.

Conductor, musicologist, teacher and composer, Ben is one of three exciting artists chosen to create work for the festival’s Bold as BRASS, an inclusive and accessible programme which champions the talent of disabled artists, inspired by brass music.

Also returning and coinciding with the BRASS festival, is the ever-popular Durham City Run, on Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16 The festival will see hundreds of competitors race through the city centre, accompanied by live music from BRASS’ street bands.

For tickets and further information, visit www.brassfestival.co.uk

Read More

Read More
From a cone of chips to getting your hair styled - four interactive things to do...

Enjoy our headlines with fewer distractions and sign up to a digital subscription today - fewer ads, faster load times and all of the stories you need.

Your support for our journalism means we can continue supporting our communities for generations to come.

Click ‘Subscribe’ in the menu to find out more and sign up.