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With the easing of most coronavirus restrictions in March this year, 2022 really felt like the year we could get back together and celebrate once again. The Killers raised the Riverside Stadium roof, the Rugby League World Cup and Tour of Britain brought the sport and much-loved festivals made a welcome return. Next year’s sure to be just as big – here are ten great events taking place in 2023.

  1. Darlington Coronation Party, Market Square, 6 May.

If Darlington’s Jubilee celebrations were anything to go by, then you won’t want to miss the town’s Coronation party on May 6. A fun filled day of activity and music is set to take place in the market square, with further details set to be announced soon.

  1. Arctic Monkeys, Middlesbrough Riverside Stadium, 5 June

We bet you’ll look good on the dancefloor if you’re hitting the Riverside for the multi-award-winning Sheffield rock band. Hot on the heels of The Killers and Take That, Alex Turner’s band will wow the crowds with hits from their seven albums, like When the Sun Goes Down and Fluorescent Adolescent. Including special guests The Hives and The Mysterines, tickets are on sale now – but they’re going fast.

  1. Tall Ships, Hartlepool, 6 – 9 July

Nearly one million people hit Hartlepool Waterfront when the Tall Ships last visited the town in 2010 – drawing the biggest crowds the marina had ever seen. Now, 13 years later, the majestic fleet is returning once again for a four-day celebration including live music and entertainment, parades, food markets and much more.

  1. Hullaballoo in the Park, South Park, Darlington, 22 – 30 July

The UK’s only dedicated children’s theatre north of London, Theatre Hullabaloo, will be entertaining little ones once again with a packed outdoor programme next summer holidays. In 2021, it brought theatre, messy play, storytelling and trails to the town’s green space, and this year there’ll be plenty more for kids aged 0-10 to enjoy.

  1. Saltburn Food Festival, Saltburn, July

Saltburn Food Festival celebrates the best food and drink our region has to offer, highlighting the amazing array of local producers to foodies and shoppers. The whole town gets in on the action, with a carnival atmosphere adding to the fun as you browse for delicious deals.

  1. Middlesbrough Mela, Albert Park, Middlesbrough, August

The North East’s largest multicultural festival is entering its 33rd year in 2023, and it never disappoints. From arts and crafts, street performers and a stall bazaar to live music, funfairs, children’s activities and not forgetting the delicious food, there’s something for everyone in this lively and dynamic get-together.

  1. Stockton International Riverside Festival, Stockton, 3 – 6 August

The town’s star summer attraction is undoubtedly SIRF, a four-day extravaganza bringing together some of the best street theatre, dance, music and outdoor arts from across the globe. Stockton town centre is transformed with hundreds of vibrant performances for an unmissable experience the whole family can enjoy.

  1. Festival of Thrift, Billingham, September

Moving to a new home in Stockton for 2023, the 11th annual festival of sustainable living will still offer the same family fun with a crucial environmental message. As ever, local makers, food producers, upcyclers and artists will be packing out the programme with plenty of events and advice teaching you how to live sustainably.

  1. Redcar Running Festival, Redcar, 24 September

This event incorporates the Everyone Active Redcar Half Marathon, Zetland 10k, Beacon 5k and the 2k fun run. Races take place on a completely flat, traffic-free route making it accessible for runners of all abilities, including athletes looking to set personal bests. The Beacon 5K and the 2K Fun Run support races are fun for all the family, as well as providing excitement for the spectators who come out to cheer runners on. For more, or to enter, please visit www.nmhraces.net

  1. Hartlepool Folk Festival, Headland, Hartlepool, 6 – 8 October

It may be 10 months away, but huge names have already been announced, including folk icon Martin Simpson, long-running Irish outfit Altan, Cambridge Folk Festival award-winner Angeline Morrison and vocal harmony trio Lady Maisery. There’s also a Singalong-a-Wickerman to celebrate the film’s 50th birthday, with further artists to come.

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