A new arts festival is coming to Bishop Auckland which promises to bring residents and tourists visiting the area, closer to music, cinema and live performances. 

Organised by The Auckland Project, a regeneration charity and visitor attraction, and taking place at Auckland Castle between 22nd June and 20th July, Summer Fest provides entertainment for all ages with showings of popular films and an array of music to suit all tastes, including country, pop, folk, Motown and rock ‘n’ roll.

The line up of events includes: 

  • Mania – The ABBA Tribute:
    on Saturday 22nd June. Dig out those platforms, dust off the flares and ‘Take a Chance’ on Mania by releasing your inner ‘Dancing Queen’, with ABBA’s number one touring tribute act which has performed from London’s West End to Las Vegas 
  • A Country Night in Nashville:
    on Sunday 23rd June. Nashville is coming to Bishop Auckland and celebrates the best of country music, with something for all fans of the genre 
  • The Unthanks:
    on Friday 28th June. The award-winning folk group bring beautiful vocals and a blend of traditional melodies to the audience at Auckland Castle, giving visitors a mellow but unforgettable start to summer 
  • Royal Northern Sinfonia:
    on Saturday 29th June. The Royal Northern Sinfonia are back at Auckland Castle. Expect an electric, joyful, memorable evening in the company of some of the best classical musicians in the North 
  • Family Night:
    on Sunday 30th June. Children over five can join the Unicorn Dance Party for a colourful and sparkly show, or for Save Our Sandwich join Cordlia, Profession Queen of Carrotology for all things whacky and silly 
  • Motown:
    on Friday 5th July. A new show takes you back to the 1960s and is packed with your feel-good favourites from the heyday of Motown and soul 
  • Beyond the Barricade:
    on Saturday 6th July. Bringing together much-loved songs from the West End and Broadway musicals, delighting audiences across the globe for 25 years 
  • Emilio as Elvis:
    on Friday 12th July. Put on your ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ and get ‘All Shook Up’ as Emilio and his 1950s live band perform the greatest hits by the King of Rock’n’roll 
  • Majesty – A Tribute to Queen:
    on Saturday 13th July. The UK’s premiere touring Queen tribute band will perform iconic Queen songs  
  • Community Concert:
    on Sunday 14th July. Join the band that continues to keep local mining heritage alive, playing a wide variety of music from traditional bass brand ensemble pieces to rock and pop 
  • The Princess Bride: on Friday
    19th July. Brace yourself for swashbuckling duels, pirates and six-fingered men as Auckland Castle welcomes the charming cult classic to the first Outdoor Cinema event 
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:
    on Saturday 20th July. This timeless classic rounds off Auckland Castle’s Summer Fest, diving into a world of pure imagination 
A Country Night in Nashville performances will be at Summer Fest, Auckland Castle

“Our inaugural Summer Fest, is the perfect way to enjoy the long summer weekend evenings: full of relaxation, good friends, good entertainment and good food.   

“The sun is shining, it’s still light outside and you’re spending time listening to your favourite music or having a classic film night with your favourite snacks – this is exactly the atmosphere we aspire to create during the events at Summer Fest and can’t wait to provide an unforgettable experience for our guests.” 

Jared Bowers, chief operating officer at The Auckland Project

Guests are encouraged to bring their picnic blankets and chairs to ensure they are comfortable for performances and showings, whilst wearing outdoor-friendly clothing and layers for chillier weather. 

Food and drink outlets are available at the event, and guests are also welcome to bring picnics. 

Tickets for the Family Night are £12, the outdoor cinema tickets start from £12, with the remaining concerts £25 per ticket. 

To purchase tickets to any event from the Summer Fest line up, please visit: www.aucklandproject.org/summer-fest/ 

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