Summer 2024 events in Darlington

As the weather starts to warm up, so does the events calendar for Darlington! From character meet and greets to live music and exhibitions, there’s a fantastic line up of free events scheduled to take place across the town centre this summer, and you’re invited to join in. Whether you’re looking for something family-friendly or a music festival to dance your socks off at, there’s something for everyone. Take a look at this little preview to start planning your trip!

Darlington Dance Festival - Saturday 11 May

If you love to boogie, don your dancing shoes and head down to the marketplace on Saturday 11 May where local community groups and dance schools will be taking part in a mass dance at the popular Darlington Dance Festival. Alongside the big group dance, there’ll be plenty of other dance acts to see on the market square stage and street food to enjoy.

Groove Fest - Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 May

New to the Darlington calendar, Groove Fest will be taking place from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 May, and bringing a range of disco, funk and soul acts to the town. Plenty of venues and pubs will be getting involved, providing the perfect places to see some live music and enjoy a drink or two. You can also join the themed quiz in the Market Hall or see Greatest Hits of Motown at the Hippodrome on the Thursday night, so it’ll be a jam-packed weekend of fun!

Tractors & Diggers Day - Tuesday 28 May

Are your little ones fans of all things farming, construction or giant gadgets and gizmos? Head to the Market Square to find an exciting exhibition of tractors and diggers, and get up close with these mighty machines. From 11am-3pm on Tuesday 28 May.

Eco Fair - Saturday 8 June

Want to find out about living a more sustainable and eco-friendly life? The Eco Fair on Saturday 8 June is perfect for you! There’ll be talks and presentations, a market of eco businesses and local producers, wellbeing workshops, plant swaps and so much more. The town centre will be turned green, so head down, learn about sustainability and make an eco-conscious purchase or two.

Proms In The Park - Sunday 7 July

What could be lovelier than an afternoon at the South Park bandstand with a picnic and fabulous music? The incredible Proms In The Park is back on Sunday 7 July, offering music for all ages and tastes. This is a free event, so all you’ll need to bring is something to sit on, some food to snack on and yourselves! There’ll be bands performing from across the region in aid of The Army Benevolent Fund, so you’re sure to hear a fabulous array of tunes.

GOLD Tea Dance - Wednesday 17 July

Waltz down to Darlington for the annual GOLD Tea Dance. There’ll be music, dancing and lots of stalls with information on services for older people. This is always such a fun event, so keep the date free! From 11am-3pm on Wednesday 17 July.

Darlington By The Sea - Wednesday 24 to Sunday 28 July

The popular Darlington By The Sea event is back from Wednesday 24 to Sunday 28 July, bringing the beach to the town centre. There’ll be five days of sun (hopefully), sea and sand for the ever-popular event that sees a giant sandpit take over the market square, along with face painting, seaside activities and so much more. It’s the perfect way to spend a summer’s day with the family!

Darlington 10k - Sunday 4 August

If you love running, the Darlington 10k could be perfect for you. On Sunday 4 August, you’ll be able to take part in the full 10k run or the family fun run if your little ones love to have a race. There’s also the junior 3km run for 8 to 14 year olds where every participant receives their time and a t-shirt. This is a fabulously feel-good annual event, so even if you don’t fancy running, it’s always lovely to go along to cheer the runners on. If you’d like to register, please visit

Darlington Pride Weekender - Saturday 10 to Monday 12 August

Inclusivity and providing a space for all is what Darlington Pride Weekender is about, starting on Saturday 10 August with a march, live music, street theatre and stalls from local organisations. Then the party rolls on into Sunday 11 August with Pride In The Park, a family-friendly picnic event in South Park with acoustic music, Pride-themed crafts and family activities. Everyone is welcome, so don your best rainbows and join the fun.

Fairy Tales & Legends Day - Thursday 22 August

We’re sprinkling a little bit of magic throughout the town for Fairy Tales & Legends Day. Dress to impress, meet and greet some of your favourite characters, enjoy live theatre and do a bit of crafting. From 11am-3pm on Thursday 22 August. 

Rhythm & Tunes Festival - Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 September

Returning to the town for its 28th year, the annual Rhythm & Tunes Festival will be bringing three full fantastic days of live music to multiple locations throughout the centre. From Friday 13 to Sunday 15 September, you’ll be able to discover new artists, listen to old favourites and explore some of Darlington’s best venues. Many people travel from across the country to attend this music extravaganza, so it’s definitely worth a look!

This is just a handful of some of the exciting events we can look forward to in Darlington this summer, with many smaller events and markets in between, such as Emergency Services Day on Saturday 1 June, the Vintage Vehicle Rally on Saturday 20 July, and Jazz In The Afternoon on Sunday 18 August. Take a look at what's on to see our full calendar.

For more inspiration and ideas for days out in Darlington, visit


Enjoy Darlington