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Countdown to the festival!
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Event Phone & What's App No. 07548630414
Welcome to Durham Big Sing
An Inclusive Community Singing Festival
Welcome to Durham Big Sing - Inclusive Community Singing Festival
Sat 20th May 2023
10.30am - 4.30pm
7 - 9pm
At venues in the heart of Durham City
Organised by The Singing Elf Social Enterprise
Welcome to Durham Big Sing
Durham Big Sing is an inclusive community singing festival for adults, returning to venues in the heart of the historic Durham City for the first time since the pandemic. This year’s festival is aimed at bringing together individuals to celebrate the joy of group singing, but also welcomes members of choirs from across the North East and beyond. Originally planned over a weekend but now combined into one day, this year’s festival has spaces for hundreds of adult voices and includes 3 workshop sessions and one evening performance with singers choosing which of the four sessions to attend.
Tickets Still Available!
Registered singers will receive a unique booking link with their saved details via email and be the first to get the chance to select their workshop preferences. You'll save time as you won't need to re-enter details you've already given us but can check your choices again before submitting your booking. (Check your junk/spam folder.)
Key Festival Info
Accessibility & Inclusion
As an inclusive festival we specialise in supporting those with hidden barriers to take part and have a wide-range of measures in place to make our events as accessible as possible, with our team of volunteer stewards there to guide and assist too. around 50% of our participants live with a physical or mental health condition, disability or are neurodiverse. Most adults can access the festival but we invite those with complex, sensory or memory related conditions to discuss your individual needs with us. Read full information about all the ways in which the festival provides Accessibility Support Here
We've made changes to the festival following feedback
Originally, we planned Durham Big Sing as a two day event with a Choir Day at Gala Theatre on the Sunday. Following feedback from singers and choirs, we decided to combine aspects from both days into a one-day festival on Saturday 20th May. We've improved flexibility on ticket pricing thanks to support from funders and changed the schedule so that singers can choose how many sessions to attend.
This year's event will focus on individuals and small groups, although choirs are welcome to, lots aren't able to attend as full choirs this time. We hope to bring back our choir day as part of next year's festival.
Durham Big Sing's History
Durham Big Sing took place for the very first time on Sunday 19th May 2019. The event welcomed almost 400 singers to Durham's Gala Theatre for one day of workshops and performances. Singers from across the region took part including members of 20 choirs. Check out the highlights of the day here or watch all the films from the day on our You Tube Channel.
After the huge success of 2019, The Singing Elf became a Social Enterprise and we launched a 10 day festival planned for May 2020. The rest, as they say, is history, and we are finally returning 4 years later than planned.
How to Get Involved
There are 4 ways to get involved with Durham Big Sing. You can take part in one or a mixture of ways as an individual, with a choir or group, as a volunteer or professional singing leader.
Attend alone or with friends
Durham Big Sing welcomes hundreds of adult singers of all abilities from all walks of life. You don't need any previous experience, be part of a choir or even believe that you can sing to take part. You can attend alone, with friends, small groups of singers from a choir or full choirs. During booking, you can select up to 3 other people you want to ‘link’ with, so that you are placed in workshops together, even if they book separately to you.
Attend with your choir
Durham Big Sing is a non-competitive, supportive festival that celebrates choirs of all shapes and sizes, musical genres and geographical location. Our evening Shine session will showcase a vibrant mix of performances with audience tickets available. Slots for choirs are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis at the discretion of the festival director after discussing the requirements of the choirs wishing to perform.
Be a volunteer
As an inclusive festival, our volunteers play an essential role to assist the wellbeing & safety of everyone taking part. There’s different ways to get involved depending on your skills, experience, interests and availability. Most of our volunteers will need to attend one training session in advance, either online or in-person at our main venue Elvet Methodist Church on the afternoon of Monday 8th May (bank holiday).
Singing Leader Opportunities
If you are a professional, amateur or student singing leader, teacher or coach, you'll also be able to access training and networking opportunities through the festival. Bursaries are also available to reduce the festival ticket cost further for any student or volunteer singing leader. The Singing Elf also offers paid-work opportunities for leaders throughout the year in addition to the festival, make sure you register to find out more.
Booking will open soon, make sure you register to be invited to book!
Our Core Values:
Durham Big Sing celebrates community singing in its widest form and aims to bring together 2,023 singers from throughout the North East.
Celebrate community singing
in a non-competitive environment welcoming all adults regardless of their level of ability, confidence or experience, along with leisure-time singing groups of all musical genres.
Strive to include everyone
by placing accessibility at the heart of the festival. Our ethos of meaningful inclusion aims to address the many barriers of taking part such as physical, mental & emotional health, social isolation and finance.
Create outstanding experiences
by delivering high quality, impactful events led by the region’s top vocal leaders. Working collaboratively with leaders, venues and partners to achieve excellent standards.
Dare to be different
take risks and explore different opportunities in an ambitious way. Challenge perceptions, disrupt traditional attitudes and kick-start new ideas.
Energise & Inspire
through a collective love of singing and its power to unite communities. Focusing on enjoyment by creating fun, exhilarating singing experiences that invigorate and uplift singers.