Live music, street theatre and more confirmed for Bishop Auckland Food Festival

Dancing ‘grannies’, human hedges, singing waiters, and chefs on stilts are among the free family acts performing at Bishop Auckland Food Festival, organisers have confirmed.

The festival, run by Durham County Council, pulled in a record 30,000 visitors last year and returns to the town on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April.

A weekend of delicious food is in store, with around 150 stalls selling the best of local produce, and five celebrity chefs taking to the cookery demonstration stage throughout.

And there’s plenty of family fun to be had too.

Taking to the streets on both days will be tree-like characters, Human Hedges, stilt-walking double act, Hungry Chefs, and the North Tyneside Steel Band.

BBC Introducing singer/songwriter, David Aryn, will perform on the Saturday, while TikTok sensations, Waiter Surprise, will fill the town with song on the Sunday.

Waiter Suprise

Also appearing on the Sunday will be the hilarious Granny Turismo – the world’s first (and only!) shopping trolley dance display team.

There are kids’ craft workshops on both days too – they can make their own lino print tote bags with Daisy Arts, or try spray painting with Dan Walls from Illumination Wall Art.

The Auckland Project is also getting in on the act by putting on family activities across the weekend.

The project is hosting a kids’ dinner party with dressing up and games at No.43 in the Market Place, plus Spanish Gallery-inspired art activities in Auckland Tower.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “There are only three weeks to go until Bishop Auckland Food Festival and although the food and drink stalls and the cookery demonstrations spring to mind as soon as you mention the event, the street entertainment is a very big draw in itself.

“We’ve got a great programme this year, with family photo opportunities and laughs aplenty. The little ones in particular seem to love the walkabout street theatre acts and are sure to be talking about it for days.

“We’ve also got a quality music offer – David Aryn is a BBC Introducing Artist of the Week, while Waiter Surprise have burst into song at many a wedding reception and are no strangers to a viral TikTok video either!

“We’re well on with event preparations now and we’ll soon have a confirmed list of traders to share. It’s going to be quite a weekend!”

This year’s celebrity chefs at Bishop Auckland Food Festival are Phil Vickery, Rachel Allen, Kenny Tutt, Sandro Farmhouse and Janusz Domagala.

Bishop Auckland Food Festival is just one of the many cultural events taking place in County Durham this year, cementing Durham’s position as the ‘culture county’ and demonstrating the council’s ongoing commitment to cultural-led regeneration.

This includes delivering key projects within County Durham’s shortlisted UK City of Culture bid; progressing major capital projects and raising the county’s profile as a fantastic place to live, work, visit and invest.

Bishop Auckland Food Festival is supported by Bishop Auckland Town Council and Durham County Council’s Towns & Villages programme.

To keep updated on all the latest Bishop Auckland Food Festival news visit the event’s website and follow its social media channels.


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