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Organisers of Durham Brass festival have introduced a three-day, free, outdoor concert at Durham Racecourse that will act as the finale of the 14-18 July event.

With the new outdoor stage part funded by a £724,000 Culture Recovery Fund grant awarded to Durham County Council from Arts Council England, Durham Brass will see performances by acts including Richard Hawley, the Trevor Horn Band and Field Music.

Organised by the festival’s artistic director Sue Collier of Ionic Events alongside production manager Mick Bowles of Event Safety, in partnership with Durham County Council, the event’s Covid safety measures will be determined following the Government’s announcement for Stage 4 on 14 June. The Racecourse  has a capacity of 12,000 and can accommodate 6,000 with social distancing measures in place.

“We will release 3,000 free tickets initially, which will allow for social distancing and compliance with stage 3 of the roadmap. This means that the event can go ahead even if stage 4 of the roadmap can’t proceed as planned on 21 June,” said a council spokesperson.

Aside from the racecourse event, Durham Brass will consist of an array of brass-related live music shows, with Covid-safe measures, across outdoor spaces and indoor venues throughout Durham. Much of the content will be available to stream.

Durham County Council cabinet member for economy and partnerships councillor Elizabeth Scott said, “The idea to take the event to the racecourse is very much to avoid asking people to gather in confined areas because Durham is a small historic city and therefore the streets are quite narrow. Taking the event to the racecourse means we can have the maximum number of people enjoy the event.

“The festival will provide an immediate and much-needed boost for local retailers and hospitality businesses. At the same time, it will strengthen County Durham’s reputation as a place where culture and heritage are celebrated, attracting even more visitors and boosting the economy throughout the year.”