Get involved.

Back to standard opening times: Wednesday - Saturday plus any other days when we have events.

Host your own event!

Empty Shop is all about opportunity, you can use our HQ venue to host any number of creative or cultural events.

Find out more

// About us

Empty Shop CIC is a non profit arts organisation in the North East of England and based in Durham City. We deilver exhibitions & events, collaborate on projects and run a licenced cultural venue. Formed in 2008, Empty Shop is completely independent and unfunded by choice. more

// Upcoming Events

The 100 Second Story Smackdown @ Empty Shop HQ
Oct 30 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Durham University English Society present the 100 Second Story Smackdown

100 second story smackdown poster (1)Participants’ best stories in 100 seconds or less. 100 stories or 100 minutes, whichever comes first. A no-holds barred storytelling smackdown. At the end of the dash, only one storyteller will be left standing.​

Give it a Go! Free event held in conjunction with the DSU.

The facebook event:

Spooky Blues @ Empty Shop HQ
Oct 31 @ 8:00 pm

Blues Bar is back on Halloween!

✞ Dance ’till you drop in the Empty Shop ✞

Update your calendars and prepare for a night of dance horror. The totentanz is back!


“I would like to invite you to a spooky blues-infused night on Friday the 31st of October @ 8:00pm!

We will have a taster of the beautiful dance that blues is early in the evening (8.15pm) so that we can enjoy the night as much as possible.”


“We will have a dedicated blues dungeon for the night to meet your fellow vampires and ghosts, which provides the perfect excuse for a little bit of eerie spell-casting chatter and chilling cocktail sipping.”


Blues dancing, like swing dancing, has its roots in black culture in the US. It is much slower and lacks standard pre-set patterns. This requires dancers to engage in a beautiful conversation about the music they hear. To have a glimpse on the character of the dance, see &

Facebook event – click here

The Zu Zu Cats + DJ Richie B @ Empty Shop HQ
Nov 1 @ 7:30 pm

The Zu Zu Cats are back for their 3rd gig and this one is a Halloween extravaganza!

zzcExpect all original material that nods to 50’s/60’s beat with a touch of country and blues… “Like Richard Hawley swapping style and guns with Tarantino…”

DJ set before and after from Richie B featuring Funk, Soul and Hip-Hop…

Fancy dress optional

FREE ENTRY! Doors from 7pm

House rules: Be nice, respect the place and the people in it

The Jazz Sessions: Havana Club 5 @ Empty Shop HQ
Nov 6 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Working in association with the Jazz Co-Op in Newcastle and following a successful run of taster sessions, we are excited to announce that The Jazz Sessions will continue on the first Thursday of every month.

Jazz sessions November webThanks to everyone who came to the first four sessions.

Havana Club 5

Chano Vega (Guitar and vocals)
Alan Law (Piano )
Paul Grainger (Bass)
Paco Rivera (Congas , Hand Percussion )
Carlos Luis Rivera (Timbales , Bongos, Vocals)

A Latin Jazz ensemble with latin flavour, playing a spirited mix of standard and original tunes, to authentic latin and Afro-Cuban grooves.

We encourage anyone with an interested in live jazz, or an ear for discovery to come along and support these events and please, spread the word!

Doors from 7:30pm // Music starts at 8pm

Jazz Co-Op – click here

// Latest news


The Jazz Sessions

April 2, 2014

We are starting a monthly Jazz session this month with a view to establish regular gigs in Durham City. The Jazz Sessions will take place...


DIY Youth Co-Op Launches

January 22, 2014

Could you be part of Durham’s next generation of DIY creative? From Thursday 6th Feb we’re starting a new initiative to help young people put...


XMAS and NYE at Empty Shop… PARTYYYYY!

December 6, 2013

December is a really busy month, we have loads going on so check out the calander for sure, but this post is about the parties...


Durham Book festival at Empty Shop HQ

September 27, 2013

We’ve gone Cuckoo for Durham Book Festival The Book Festival is one of the highlights of the Durham’s cultural calendar and while we’ve hosted the...