North East Connected

Dark Start for 2015 Discover Middlesbrough Festival

MIDDLESBROUGH’S town centre and heritage buildings will come alive with unique happenings next month as Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark creeps back for one night only.

Following on from the success of last year’s event – which saw film screenings, stained glass cars, giant crucifixes made from discarded VHS tapes and disembodied voices across the town’s tannoy system – a bigger and better Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark will launch Discover Middlesbrough 2015.

The heart of the event on Friday, October 16 will be Centre Square, where visitors can find a range of unusual art installations including a glowing rainbow, a hexayurt filled with illuminated bottles and pink neon interpretations of 11th Century proverbs.

Visitors can also join in the fun themselves, helping artists to turn bottles into glowing bulbs and transforming paper into delicate origami creations which will pulse with light and sailed in the fountain in front of the Town Hall.

There will also be a micro street food market, and the eagle eyed visitor might even spot a mysterious figure hidden on a stairwell.

Away from Centre Square, there will be a double bill of wonderfully unsettling films at the historic Reference Library programmed by multi-disciplinary artist and curator Nicky Peacock.

Added to this, there will be a torch-lit behind the scenes exploration of the historic Town Hall and an exclusive twilight tour around the stunning 19th Century Empire Theatre before the clubbers arrive.

Visitors with a head for heights will be able to travel on the newly installed glass lift to the top of the Tees Transporter Bridge and, for the first time, take in the breathtaking glow of Teesside at night.

Those taking part should meet at the luminous yellow Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark festival caravan located in Centre Square, where they will be taken by shuttle bus to the bridge.

Visitors can book in advance for the Tees Transporter Bridge, Town Hall and Empire Theatre tours in person at the Town Hall Box Office, or purchase on the day at the festival caravan. Tickets will cost £2 each.

Arts, Events and Festivals Development Officer Phil Douglas said: “We’re delighted to be able to bring Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark back for a second year, and to have it launching Discover Middlesbrough is very exciting.

“It’s going to be bigger and better than last year’s, with more art installations, more venues open and more people involved – we’ll even have festival staff and guides in light-up hoodies on hand to make sure everyone gets the most out of their night.

“It’s a great opportunity to see the work of talented regional artists, and a great programme of complementary fringe events have been developed at mima, Gallery TS1, Python Gallery and The House of Blah Blah.

“So don’t be afraid, come and see Middlesbrough as you’ve never seen it before!”

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark takes place on Friday, October 16, from 5pm to midnight in venues across the town centre.

Full details of the Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark line-up can be found at

Full details of the Discover Middlesbrough programme can be found at

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