2007 – date
Streets of Durham was developed initially by Kate James from Visit Durham & Dream State Circus. The Festival Circus element was initially known as Streets of Play. When Dream State Circus moved to Australia, Steve Cousins of Let’s Circus took their place as programmers, working with Kate James and Alan Hillary Events. Street performers from around the world travel to perform in Durham each year. In 2011 Steve Cousins and JP McKendry ran the first Fresh Talent programme and pitch, teaching emerging artists & youth circus busking techniques. Joe May and Nathan White taught in 2012.
Festival line ups have included international & local performers such as: Todd Various, Witty Look, AJ James, Dream State Circus, The Balloonatic, Mighty Gareth, Mullet Man, Joe May, Plunge Bloom, Shirley Sunshine, Fatt Matt, The Black Eagles, George Orange, Nani Rossi, Pedro Tochas, Herbie Treehead, Fanti Acrobats, Charmaine Childs, etc. Five Ring Circus have performed several years.
Headline acts have included: Hang Aerial Dance and Lost in Translation Circus.
Each year the public get to vote for their favorite act – the winners have been Great Scott (Australia), Witty Look (Japan), Reuben Dotdotdot (Australia), The Black Eagles (Tanzania), Fat Matt (Australia) and the Mighty Gareth (UK).