Festival Season!

By Pete Eisenmann

Copyright Discover Durham.

As we approach the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall, Durham moves into full swing with a variety of festivals and events for everyone. Here is a summary of some of the annual festivities:

  • August 15-18 – The NC Gay & Lesbian Film FestivalThe North Carolina Gay + Lesbian Film Festival (NCGLFF) is the second largest gay, lesbian and transgender film festival in the Southeast, attracting thousands of patrons yearly. Since its beginning in 1995, the Festival has featured a diverse array of shorts, documentaries and feature films. Discover Durham named the NCGLFF a Signature Event for Durham, the highest honor bestowed on a cultural event or attraction by the organization. The NCGLFF celebrates a worldwide glimpse of today’s gay, lesbian and transgender life, helps bring the community together and features entertaining and sophisticated films and filmmaking (from the NCGLFF website). Note, next year the NCGLFF is changing its name to the OutSouth Queer Film Festival. http://www.carolinatheatre.org/films/festivals/ncglff


  • September 21-22 – CenterFest Arts Festival – For over forty years, this art and community-focused street festival brings Downtown Durham to life with arts, crafts, entertainment, food, and fun. Dozens of artists from across the country display their works in clay, drawing, glass-blowing, printmaking, photography, painting, jewelry, and more. CenterFest is presented by the Durham Arts Council. http://centerfest.durhamarts.org


  • September 25-27 – Black Wall Street: HomecomingBlack Wall Street: Homecoming is a celebration of success, business and culture, featuring pitches, workshops, stories, art and culture at various venues in Downtown Durham, bringing together black founders, investors, industry experts and members of the startup ecosystem. This year’s agenda ranges from motivational talks led by speakers who live the entrepreneurial journey to deep-dives on business pain-points, with an option to personalize agendas. The three-day event is designed to allow founders the opportunity to exchange ideas with peers and subject matter experts, plus connect with investors through nonstop networking. https://bwshomecoming.com


  • September 27-29 – Art of Cool FestivalProduced by The DOME Group, LLC, The Art of Cool Festival 2019 will take place September 27-29, 2019 in downtown Durham. AOCFEST 2019 fuses forward-thinking R&B, Neo Soul, Hip-Hop, Jazz, alternative and spoken word greats over the course of a dope, culture-filled weekend.  Great music, community engagement and more! AOCFEST is proud to be a Durham born and bred festival! The AOC team is working hard to create a phenomenal experience for loyal Cooligans and newcomers alike. http://aocfestival.com/


  • September 28 – Pride: Durham NC – Pride: Durham, NC is in its second year celebrating equality in Durham. Its predecessor, NC Pride, served as the Tar Heel state’s annual LGBTQ+ festival, taking place each year in Durham. The parade draws thousands of costumed marchers alongside decorated floats and vehicles. Additional activities include festival vendors, speeches, and parties taking place around the Triangle. It’s a great opportunity to support an inclusive community. https://www.pridedurhamnc.org


  • October 19th – World Beer Festival Durham – This festival brings together more than 250 world-class beers from breweries around the world, as well as food vendors and great music by local and regional artists. Sample rare and unique beers, learn about ingredients and pairings, and hang out with fellow beer enthusiasts at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Downtown Durham. 

These should get you started on filling in your festival calendar, and if that isn’t enough you can always go to the Discover Durham website – https://www.discoverdurham.com – to get a full slate of activities that are taking place in and around Durham. Enjoy!

Scroll to Top