Live music, theatre and comedy to fill the streets at Bishop Auckland Food Festival

A feast of free family fun lies in wait for visitors to this year’s Bishop Auckland Food Festival.

The festival will bring delicious food and drink stalls and cookery demonstrations from celebrity chefs to the town on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 April.

And the festival organiser, Durham County Council, has now revealed full details of the event’s family entertainment programme.

The Saturday will kick-off with The Speakeasies covering popular songs with a surprising twist – think ragtime jazz Lady Gaga and smooth and soulful Guns ‘n’ Roses.

Also appearing on the Saturday are professional street entertainer and Covent Garden regular, Richard Filby, and foot-stomping carnival band, Baque de Ogum.

The Speakeasies’ Bishop Auckland-based vocalist, Ruth Stapleton, will return to perform on the Sunday.

She’s joined in Sunday’s programme by the world’s largest contemporary choir, Rock Choir, and Mad Alice Theatre Company, with their ‘Save my Sandwich’ show.

Taking to the streets on both days will be regular festival favourites, the North Tyneside Steel Band and the hilarious Granny Turismo.

They’ll be joined by stilt-walking duo, Bell & Bullock, and comedy chefs, Hugh Fearn and Lee Whittingstall, with their Liver Cottage mobile kitchen garden.

A gentle performance of puppets and shadows for children and families, Pigeon & Pomegranate, will have three showings each day in Bishop Auckland Town Hall’s theatre.

Free family-friendly craft workshops will be held throughout both days in gazebos and inside Newgate Shopping Centre.

There’ll be food and flower-themed gelli printing with Jackie Stonehouse or printmaking with a focus on football matchday food culture with Alastair Flindall in the gazebos.


And there’ll be family food-themed arts and crafts sessions from Wilson & Benn and The Wiggly Path Company in the Newgate Shopping Centre.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “There are just over three weeks to go until Bishop Auckland Food Festival and alongside the food and drink stalls and the cookery demonstrations we’ve got a super programme of family entertainment lined up.

“There’ll be family photo opportunities and laughs aplenty, with free events and activities also taking place in gazebos and in the town hall theatre. We’ve also got a quality live music offer so we have all the ingredients for people to come and make a day, or a weekend, of it.

“We’re well on with event preparations now and we’ll soon have a confirmed list of traders to share.”

This year’s celebrity chefs at Bishop Auckland Food Festival are BOSH! duo Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, Matt Tebbutt, Cyrus Todiwala, Meliz Berg, Marcus Bean, and Dan Hunter.

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 culture-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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