The Client

Durham Bid

Event Type

City Wide Festival



The Brief

AH Events icon White

To produce an annual event that will attract large footfall to the City and encourage visitors to explore whilst retaining them during the day and into the evening.  To benefit the City businesses and create a recognised major event in the Durham City calendar.

The Solution


AH Events got to work creating the first two day Fire & Ice In Durham festival in 2016, the format of which has remained as the festival has grown each year.

High quality ice sculptures are created and placed at key locations around the City. Each sculpture is lit by a flaming beacon which stands over 9ft high and helps guide visitors around the trail.  Each year the festival has a different theme and visitors have already enjoyed Polar Exploration, Myths & Legends, Literary Characters and Heroes and Villains.

Each evening there is a multimedia show in the Marketplace with jets of water, flames, Co2 and pyrotechnic effects all ‘dancing’ in time to music, fitting the theme.

The festival has been hugely successful and does not only attract huge footfall but also gains widespread publicity including National press such as The Times newspaper.

Some Kind words from our Client

Durham is a jewel amongst cities; famed for the World Heritage Site that is Durham Castle and Cathedral, its prestigious university and the quintessential charm of the medieval city with its cobbles, businesses and picturesque views across the river. The level of expectation of those visiting the City is therefore considerable. Add into that mix that Durham BID is charged with increasing the appeal of the City and promoting it to new users and visitors. This sets us an ambitious objective, one that juggles the high expectations of all stakeholders.

The most high profile aspect of our delivery is our events programme. Everything we do has to be worthy of the City of Durham. Consequently we cannot afford to leave anything to chance. It is therefore imperative that we have the utmost confidence in all of our strategic partners. Alan Hillary Events have worked with Durham BID for more than five years and in that time have delivered events that have generated some of the highest footfall occasions of the City. Not only has this included the traditional Christmas Lights switch on but unique events such as Fire&Ice InDurham and Balloons InDurham. These have raised the profile of the City considerably and has seen coverage in national press.

Alan Hillary Events are dedicated to ensuring that we as a client get what we want. On each and every occasion we work together we feel as though we are their only client such is their attention to detail and level of support. Their professionalism and experience means that the briefs we provide are received with honesty and suggestion made where needed to ensure that the event is delivered to a point where we feel that expectation has been exceeded. Not only would I recommend Alan Hillary Events to any party for any occasion but I would go as far to say that if ever there was a Force Majeure it would be Alan Hillary Events that I would want stood in the corner with me. Nothing beats them. No one compares to them.

Adam Deathe – Durham BID