The Fiddles on Fire Festival is blazing a trail back to Sage Gateshead this weekend.
The concert halls and music education centre at the venue will be taken over between Friday (May 1) and Sunday (May 3) with fiddle music and workshops representing a huge variety of styles and traditions and featuring a host of fantastic artists including Gina Le Faux, Väsen, Frigg, Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, Jackie Oates Trio and Celtic Fiddle Festival
More than 80 workshops will be offering visitors of all abilities the chance to learn from great artists.
Meanwhile families and non-fiddlers will also be well catered for with a free family ceilidh on the concourse on Saturday from 2pm-4pm; a Big Fiddle Family Song and Dance on Sunday at 11am, and a programme of workshops that includes talks and sessions for other instruments – and even a session on Danish Dancing.
Absolute beginner fiddlers can take a full day crash course on the Sunday – with fiddles provided.
Performance wise, Hall One on Saturday night boasts a rare North East performance from the legendary Swedish group Väsen. The show will also bring together Finnish-Norwegian folk powerhouse Frigg with Catriona McKay and Chris Stout and the Scottish Ensemble – an absolute treat for folk fanatics and classical fans alike.
Other artists on the festival bill include Gina Le Faux, Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, Jackie Oates Trio, Alan Jabbour, The Devil’s Violin, Dermot McLaughlin, D.UK and King Cole, RANT, Iva Bittová, Gavin Marwick’s Journeyman and The Bottle Bank Band.
Fiddles on Fire will also serve as the launch event for a new book of English fiddle tunes brought together by Eliza Carthy and published by Faber & Faber. Many of the tunes will be at the heart of The Big Fiddle and other shared moments within the festival.
For more information and booking, call 0191 443 4661 or visit www.sagegateshead.com/fiddlesonfire. The festival is preceded by the English Fiddle Symposium.