STOCKTON International Riverside Festival (SIRF) celebrates its 30th birthday this year and judging by the line-up, it will be an occasion to remember.

The SIRF 17 listings are out and with daredevil flaming high wire acts, the largest community carnival of its kind in the Tees Valley, theatre, dance, circus and much more in between, the festival is not to be missed.

The four day, free festival will return from Thursday, August 3 to Sunday, August 6, bringing together a variety of internationally renowned acts to entertain audiences across Stockton town centre.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Director of Culture, Leisure and Events, Reuben Kench, said: “We are delighted to announce SIRF’s 30th birthday programme, which offers a unique and entertaining mix of small and large scale productions from across the globe.

“The SIRF atmosphere is always special but this year the party mood promises to make the festival particularly memorable.

“Family fun and after-dark spectacles are in abundance so make sure you check out the SIRF website and plan your weekend early to make the most of the chance to see world class theatre, dance and circus on Stockton’s doorstep for free.”

SIRF 17 will launch on the evening of Thursday 3 August with aerial theatre show, Frameshift.  Created by Australian and Korean collaboration, Stalker Theatre and Creative Dandi and Drifterzcrew it will combine vertical performance, contemporary dance, video mapping and digital interactive technology with the backdrop of Stockton’s Riverside.

Among the weekend’s other highlights are The Baina Trampa Fritz Fallen, a family friendly show which will see lighting, video imagery and music combined as popcorn is swept and thrown across the performance space.

SIRF favourites Whalley Range All Stars are back, this time bringing a miniature town to life with the witty use of objects triggering sound effects.

And there will be a party atmosphere throughout with birthday games including a large scale interactive game zone inspired by classic arcade games and oversized Bingo compered by Beryl and Cyril, who hope to make Bingo an official Paralympic sport.

The 30th SIRF will come to a spectacular close with a breathtaking flaming high wire performance above the audience in the stunning grounds of Trinity Church.  The heart stopping spectacle stars the world’s only high wire fire walker, Jade Kindar-Martin and will be accompanied by live music and a dancing sea of colour-changing umbrellas.

SIRF 17 will offer up to 30 individual shows a day from 1.15pm until 11pm.  To view the full festival programme and keep up-to-date with SIRF news and announcements visit

SIRF is supported by Arts Council England.

For a taste of what to expect at the finale, watch this video: