For those of us old enough to remember the joys of “havin’ it large” in the early 90s rave scene, a Durham festival this summer will have a treat in store.

Durham’s BRASS festival might seem an unlikely host for a 90s rave party, but the organisers promise to transport music fans back to a brass-tinged version of that decade.

On Friday 12th July, BRASS will kick off with a world premiere of Promised Land by Mr Wilson’s Second Liners.

This event will feature a DJ, live brass renditions of old-school rave classics and an atmospheric light show.

And – just like in the days of warehouse parties and secretly organised raves in fields – the audience will only be told of the venue a few hours before the show starts.

Partygoers will then have to navigate their way to the ‘secret location’ through Durham City Centre.

It’s hoped that Promised Land will be a nostalgia trip for those who came of age in a time before social media and smartphones, but also that a younger generation can experience the joys of euphoric dance music.

Will – from Mr Wilson’s Second Liners – said, “Promised Land is a celebration of what the raves of the early 1990s were all about.”

“At the heart of these spontaneous parties was a simple desire to dance and be immersed in music unlike anything that had come before. It brought thousands of young people together and the secrecy made it even more exciting, creating a sense of great freedom.”

“Promised Land is an opportunity for dance fans, old and new, to experience the euphoria good music provokes.”

Mr Wilson’s Second Liners – who blend the rhythm and energy of New Orleans parades with 1990s club classics – are a popular fixture at BRASS.

Will continued, “Since 2016, when we first performed at the festival, we have looked forward to coming back every time.”

“Each year we are blown away by the fantastic atmosphere, the wonderful bands from around the world, the work of the festival team, and – most of all – by the crowds that come out and enjoy the music.”

“We’ve made friends across the county – in the schools we’ve visited and towns we’ve performed in.”

BRASS – which runs from Friday 12th to Sunday 21st July – will boast some of the best brass music from across the planet. The festival will see concerts, outdoor parties and workshops taking place all over the county.

The artistic director of BRASS, Paul Gudgin, said, ““BRASS is about celebrating the rich history and diversity of brass music today. It is about transporting audiences to different times and places, challenging perceptions and bringing people together.”

“I can’t think of a better way to launch this year’s festival than Promised Land. We are delighted to host its world premiere here in Durham.”

Tickets for Promised Land are available now, priced at £18. Upon receiving their tickets, partygoers will be given a special phone number, over which more details of the show will be revealed in the next few weeks.

At 7.00 pm on the day of the show, they should call the number again to find out the location of the venue, whose doors will open at 8.00 pm.

To book tickets for BRASS events and to see a full festival programme, please go to

You can also follow the BRASS Festival Facebook Page and follow @DurhamBRASS on Instagram and Twitter.

(The featured image shows Mr Wilson’s Second Liners. Second-lining refers to the New Orleans custom of following a live band along a street while marching, dancing, twirling parasols and waving handkerchiefs.)

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