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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

Covid Safety in the Tent

The Event Organisers have worked incredibly hard to ensure The Tent is a safe venue for all and they have implemented tried and tested procedures to ensure the utmost safety for all attendees, performers and staff members.

All performances will be held in line with the latest Covid safety guidelines, meaning the audiences will book tickets online, be required to show proof of a recent negative covid test and wear masks throughout the show, unless eating or drinking.


The Tent has a Capacity of 450 this summer, though the venue itself can fit over 2000, meaning that even when an event if ‘full’ social distancing and general COVID crowd control can always be achieved to the highest standard.

Safe social distancing

Social distancing is fundamental to creating a COVID-safe event and applies to all those visiting or working on the event site, including attendees.

Tickets, Track & Trace

All events will be ticketed in order to support proper COVID planning and keep everything under capacity. This also enables smooth running of a Track and Trace System. Attendees will be seated in household (or support bubble) tables: this facilitates not only easy and structured social distancing, but also for the venue to have a table service for drinks running form the Bar under the current government guidelines.


All attendees will require proof of a negative test taken that day or the day before in order to gain entry to the event – this will be checked by our COVID marshals who will be employed to support the students in running these events safely.

Enjoying performances safely

Entrances and Exits to and from the The Tent will be staggered and slow in order to encourage safe conduct in and around the local area immediately before and after all events.


All tables, chairs and other touch points will be thoroughly cleaned before and after every event, with hand sanitiser made available to all.

Monitors and Marshalls

All events will also have COVID monitors that will come from our student community who will work alongside the marshals

Guests to Durham University

Public safety is our main priority and at Durham we are operating a Lateral Flow Test to Participate scheme whereby our students test regularly in order to access many face-to-face components of our Wider Student Experience. Student entry to 'The Tent on the Racecourse' events will be subject to a negative Lateral Flow Test result (xxx days/hours in advance of the event – different time window depending upon the event). To help us protect each other and the wider community we ask that all of our guests also take a Lateral Flow Test - and obtain a negative result in advance of attendance at the event. If your Lateral Flow Test is positive you will be unable to attend the event.

While Durham University has access to Lateral Flow Tests, the contract for access to these tests is restricted to Durham University staff and students only. Durham will not, therefore, be in a position to offer guests access to the testing sites on Durham’s campus. You will, therefore, need to obtain access to a test through the normal NHS channels and existing community testing networks.

Students - Test to participate

In accordance with our Test To Participate requirements, all student participants at the Tent on the Racecourse should:

  • take two tests in the week prior to participation,
  • take their tests at a DU site,
  • ensure one test is taken within 48 hours of the event/activity,
  • ensure one test is taken 3-4 days prior to this,
  • always bring proof of their negative results and their campus card to the event/activity.
Same day bookings are available at Palace Green, with test slots up to 6.30pm. Tests at Palace Green are subject to capacity and students should please note that bookings can only be made up to 12pm.
Walk-ins are welcome at Maiden Castle, 9.30am to 3.30pm (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun) and 1.30pm to 7pm (Tue and Thurs). You do not need to book in advance for a walk-in slot.

If you need to take a test, full information is available on the website here.

Our response to Covid-19

Visit our dedicated Covid-19 Safety webpages to find out more about the work we are doing to keep our, students, staff and local community safe during the pandemic.

Durham County Council Covid Safety

Details of Durham County Council's latest Covid safety advice and information on how and where, members of the public can take a Lateral Flow Test are available on their website. Click here to visit the webpage.