ARTISTS, musicians and craft connoisseurs flocked to a North-East town to make the most of the flagship event of a month-long festival.

The Darlington Arts Festival is running throughout May with events and exhibitions taking place across the town.

Today’s (Sunday, May 11) showcase brought together many of the organisations involved.

They had the opportunity to display their wares on stalls or entertain the crowds on an outdoor stage.

The festival, now in its second year, is organised by community group Darlington for Culture (DfC) which worked with Darlington Borough Council, The Forum Music Centre and Greener Communities to stage the showcase.

DfC chairman John Dean said it proved a hit with visitors and was testament to the resilience of Darlington’s art scene.

He said: “I think what we have seen in Darlington is an arts scene that is becoming increasingly confident.

“Obviously it went through a difficult time when the arts centre closed nearly two years ago, but what we have now is partnership working and people coming together to share ideas and make things spring into action.

“Everybody is working together and it is an exciting time for the arts in Darlington.”

Yvonne Preston, artistic director at DfC, added: “It has been a really good day, we expected that the weather wasn’t going to be very good but we were very lucky because the sun did shine.

“There was a lot of variety in the arts and crafts stalls and a lot of talking going on, with people finding out about the different things going on here in Darlington, courses and things like that.

“I think that is what it’s all about really, getting the message out there that the arts are alive and well in the town.”

Darlington Arts Festival continues until the end of the month, with events as diverse as classic film screenings, dance shows, live music performances and writers’ workshops taking place in a variety of venues across the town.

Copies of the events programme are widely available throughout the town and can be viewed online at

A condensed rundown of festival events for the coming week can also be found on page six.