Peterlee to host some of the best street bands from across the world

Towns and villages across County Durham will host some of the best street bands from across the world as part of this year’s BRASS festival.

The Big Brass Bash events will see bands from the UK, France and Spain party in a number of parks throughout the county and promises to have people up on their feet and dancing.

This year’s venues are:

Shotton Hall, Peterlee – Monday, 16 July

Glenholme Park, Crook – Tuesday, 17 July

Timothy Hackworth Park, Shildon – Wednesday, 18 July

Jubilee Park, Spennymoor – Thursday, 19 July

Town Park, Aycliffe – Friday, 20 July

All of the concerts take place from 6pm to 9pm.

As well as festival favourites including Back Chat Brass, Artistas del Gremio and Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, new all-female street band Breakout Brass will join the tour as part of this year’s focus on women and brass.

Other newcomers include The Brass Funkeys, an eight-piece London-based brass band, and Funky Style Brass from France.

Local performers from each area will also be taking part in the events and will work alongside The Northern Monkey Brass Band to create special performances unique to each venue.

Residents living in Lanchester and Chester-le-Street can also get involved in the action, with two free street ceilidhs set to take place on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 July respectively.

The new addition to the festival’s calendar will feature Scottish band Reel Brass taking ceilidh music to the streets, alongside some authentic New Orleans jazz from the all-female line up of Shake Em Up Jazz Band.

Reel Brass will perform a mix of traditional ceilidh tunes with pumping brass arrangements and will also be teaching the dances so that everyone can take part.

Festival director Paul Gudgin said: “There are strong, historic connections between County Durham and Scotland so we are delighted to bring a bit of celidh culture to Lanchester and Chester-le-Street this year. With an authentic New Orleans band playing as well, it’s going to be a musical version of bourbon meeting whisky.

“Our big brass bash events are always popular and we hope lots of people head out into our parks to enjoy these free events.”

As well as the big brass bashes, the bands will also be visiting schools across the county to provide performances and workshops for 15,000 schoolchildren.

All Big Brass Bash events and the street ceilidhs are free to attend and no prior booking is needed.