Durham University’s annual Summer in the City festival celebrates Durham’s arts. Each year we aim to establish curated and collaborative programmes and to spark creativity across the city in June and July each year.

What People Say

“Wonderful to celebrate powerful art imagery by women with powerful message for everyone” 

“Being included and welcomed”

“The various and different events, which could suite for everyone’s needs, enjoy the summer and spark creativity”

Our History

Between 2019 and 2022, Summer in the City festival brought together three programmes of work; visual art, music and theatre. Each strand previously produced established programmes of events throughout June across the city; Durham County Council’s Gala Theatre and Durham University Student Theatre and music have established traditions of developing productions each summer, including productions by students, while the art programme (previously known as Art Durham) brought together exhibitions, talks, commissions, screenings and workshops. In June 2019 all three programmes united under Summer in the City festival and collectively engaged with over 19,000 visitors and participants. 

In 2021 the festival balanced a hybrid approach of a in-person and digital programme.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have repurposed our plans and gone digital to bring you SitC ONLINE 2020 all summer.

In 2019… 

  • Visitors participated by visiting festival exhibitions and events across the city in 25 different locations. 
  • Over 19,000 visitors attended events. 
  • Over 18 university students volunteered as part of the festival, in a variety of roles from tour guides, festival stewards to exhibition installation. 
  • The visual arts programme showcased 7 exhibitions, 10 events and 17 workshops.  
  • The music programme featured 18 concerts and events. 
  • The theatre programme featured 6 workshops and 30 shows. 
  • A high percentage of the total festival budget was invested directly back into the northeast economy through artist fees or use of local suppliers.