This year’s music line-up stretches from the first day of the event, with John Hackett Band at The Forum on 19th May, to the final day which will see 30-plus fabulous bands at six town-centre stages on 3rd June as Music Box Fest celebrates its third year.

A spokesperson for the John Hackett Band said: “We’re delighted to be opening the live music proceedings at this year’s Darlington Arts Festival with some original progressive rock.

“It looks like a fabulous mixture – HMS Pinafore, Ruby Wax, Under Milk Wood, not to mention all the literary events. Truly something for everyone, we can’t wait!”

The Dance Festival also takes place the first weekend of the Arts Festival 2018, this year highlighting mental health issues. You can join in the mass dance and learn the moves (see link below) before it takes place on 20th May.

There will be choral music to enjoy at Darlington Choral Society’s ‘Summer Sing’, which is a concert version of Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘HMS Pinafore’ at St Cuthbert’s Parish Centre on 26th May, free to attend.

The jazz genre is represented by ‘Six-In-A-Bar’ at Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club on Saturday 2nd June,12.30pm till 3pm at St. Augustine’s Parish Centre, with music from the 1920s/1930s jazz age by what is considered to be one of the most innovative and professional bands in the UK. The line-up is Willy Entwistle of the Temperance Severn on reeds, violin, flageolet and arrangements, Pete Eddowes, percussion, Chris Howes, banjo, tenor guitar and vocals, Colin Turner, bass saxophone and double Bb tuba along with Phil Lucas, trumpet and flugal horn.

And if you haven’t planned your summer break yet, you can prepare yourself with an evening of light music and verse presented by the Take4 Clarinet Quartet and Helen Winthorpe Kendrick, at St Andrew’s Church on Saturday 2nd June 7.30pm.

19 May John Hackett Band Forum Music Centre
20 May Mass Dance Market Place
20 May Soapbox Sessions Hole In The Wall
23 May After-school song session Forum Music Centre
24 May Singers, musicians and poets night The Copper Beech
26 May Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore St Cuthbert’s Parish Centre
2 June ‘We’re All Going on a Summer Holiday’ St Andrew’s Church
2 June Six-In-A-Bar St. Augustine’s Parish Centre
3 June Music Box Hash Bar, Hole In The Wall, Avalon