Experience Durham's lively BRASS festival online - how you can bring the show to your living room

An annual brass festival which bangs the drum for traditional music with a contemporary twist is taking place online this year.

Monday, 13th July 2020, 2:50 pm
Updated Monday, 13th July 2020, 2:51 pm
Previous Durham brass performers

Durham BRASS festival usually adds an explosion of colour and sound to Durham City’s streets – but this week it’s livening up living rooms.

Like all large-scale events, it’s been unable to take place in its usual format due to coronavirus, but it’s running online from July 13 – 18, via the BRASS website www.brassfestival.co.uk.

The online festival will feature many of the BRASS favourites from around the world, including interactive and entertaining workshops hosted by the likes of Spanish amigos Artistas Del Gremio, Mouv ‘n’ Brass from France and the UK’s own Backchat Brass.

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The festival showcases music from all over the world

There will also be special lockdown performances from more favourites, including Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, with their unique colour and sound bursting from the screen with some exclusive content for BRASS 2020.

The festival team has also teamed up with the volunteer-run cinema co-operative Star and Shadow in Newcastle, which set up its own radio station during lockdown. On Monday, July 13 and Friday, July 17, from 7pm to 9pm, two special shows will be broadcast via the Star and Shadow and BRASS websites, celebrating the tradition and diversity of brass music and featuring musical clips, interviews and more.

Alongside the workshops and new performances, fans will be able to take a look back at some of the best BRASS moments from over the years, including Durham Hymns, and Durham Music Service will be delivering a number of tutorials over the course of the festival too.

To bring the online festival to a close on Saturday, July 18, five of BRASS’s favourite street bands will perform together online, with a backdrop of footage from previous years.

Coun Joy Allen, Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism at Durham County Council, said: “For years now, Durham BRASS has spread the joy of music to communities across County Durham and while we can’t welcome bands to the county this year, we’re delighted that they’ll still be spreading their music online.

“I’m sure for many people, Durham BRASS is part of the soundtrack to their summer and thanks to the festival moving online, that doesn’t have to change this year. We will still be able to enjoy our favourite bands from all over the world, this time from the comfort of our own home.

"I’m also sure that BRASS Online 2020 will make us all look forward to welcoming these bold and brilliant musicians back to the county in the future.”

Other festivals which have moved online due to the pandemic include Sunderland’s Summer Streets festival.

Highlights include YouTube sensation Look Mum No Computer, current indie darlings Martha, Kema Kay star of I, Daniel Blake, BBC Radio 2 regulars Cattle & Cane, New Comedian Of The Year, David Eagle (The Young’uns) and emerging North East talents Georgia May and Martha Hill.

Summer Streets in the House, the virtual gig element of the festival, will take place on YouTube from 7pm on Saturday, July 18.

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