What's On

Your guide to everything in North East

A definitive guide to summer festivals in Newcastle and the North East

There's a busy few months ago with music, comedy, food and most importantly plenty of fun on the menu

Thousands watch bands at the Mouth of the Tyne festival, Tynemouth
Thousands watch bands at the Mouth of the Tyne festival, Tynemouth


Gateshead Beer Festival (May 1-3)

The event at Gateshead Rugby Club will combine beer (obviously) and music with acts like Smoove & Turrell, Soul Street, X Factor star Geoff Mull and The Maverick Rejects.

Day and weekend tickets available from www.gatesheadbeerfestival.co.uk and 0191 4200207.

Fake Festival Tynemouth (2)

The Fake Festival tour kicks off in the North East on May Bank Holiday weekend with Green Date, Antarctic Monkeys and The Bon Jovi Experience on the bill with support from local acts like Chloe Chadwick and The Firelight Opera.

Tickets from www.fakefestivals.co.uk

Jesmond Community Festival (8-25)

The festival proper gets under way with a parade onMay 9 from the Church of the Holy Name, North Jesmond Avenue, to West Jesmond School for the Grand Festival Fair.

A host of indoor and outdoor events –music, food, fitness, walks and even a taster volunteer session in Jesmond Dene – then make up a packed programme.

Full details on www.jesmondfestival.org.uk

Harambee Pasadia Festival (22 to 25)

Top drawer trombonist Dennis Rollins heads up the vibrant line up for the festival founded by Newcastle-based musicians Hannabiell Sanders and Yilis del Carmen Suriel. The four-day event will feature world-renowned performers of Afro-beat, jazz, reggae, funk and Latin music, as well as drumming and dance workshops, arts events, sporting activities and a great selection of African, Latin and Asian flavoured food. Rollins is joined on the bill by K.O.G & The Zongo Brigade, a West African influenced nine-piece band who will be performing on the main stage at Glastonbury this year after winning the famous festival’s Emerging Talent competition.

Dave Charlton Hannabiell of Hannabiell and Midnight Blue at 2012 Vamos festival launch
Hannabiell of Hannabiell and Midnight Blue at 2012 Vamos festival launch

Tickets for the four-day Harambee Pasadia festival are £45 per adult (£15 for under 18s and free for under 10s) which includes camping at The Hub in Barnard Castle. Day tickets are available from £25 and various early bird discounts are available until May 4. Visit www.creativevisionsandrhythms.com for more information or www.brownpapertickets.com to book tickets.

Amble Puffin Festival (25-31)

A festival which boasts something for everyone features guided nature walks, bird watching, local history talks, photo exhibitions, arts and crafts, watersports and live music.

And if you’re wondering about the title, it’s because 20,000 puffins nest on Coquet Island, a mile offshore.

Find details at www.amblepuffinfest.co.uk

Mod Revival (24)

From The Jam, with former Jam bassist Bruce Foxton, are touring the UK and will stop off to headline the Mod Revival at Chester-le-Street’s Riverside Park on the second May Bank Holiday. Also on the bill are The Lambrettas and Secret Affair.

Tickets from www.riversidelive.org

Northern Lights (30 and 31)

Star DJs Steve Angello and Steve Aoki will perform at the festival in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park.

The event is billed as the region’s first greenfield electronic music festival.

Other DJs in the line-up include Cosmic Gate, Ben Klock, Module, Good Greef and Ricky Ahmed.

Tickets online from www.ticketweb.co.uk

Zander Photography ¡VAMOS! Festivals large scale Mardi Gras procession on Northumberland Street, in Newcastle
¡VAMOS! Festivals large scale Mardi Gras procession on Northumberland Street, in Newcastle


Vamos (4-14)

Latino music legends Kid Creole and the Coconuts headline at the 2015 festival of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking cultures, performing at Summerhill Bowling Club, Newcastle, on June 13.

They’ll be joining Mexican wrestlers, Peruvian street artists, Mardi Gras party-goers, world music premieres, flamenco dancers and chocolate heaven at a home-grown festival celebrating its 10th anniversary.

With events, exhibitions and hot rhythms in Newcastle and North Tyneside, it promises to be the liveliest Vamos yet. Find details at www.vamosfestival.com

Eclectic Iron : A Seaside Festival of Words, Music and Oddities in and around Cullercoats (4-7)

Following the success of the Culture Award-winning Iron Age Festival in 2013, which celebrated 40 years of publishing by IRON Press, organisers have programmed a similarly diverse and exciting bill of theatre, poetry, fiction, live music, booze and grub - all to a backdrop of the sea. Highlights for the 2015 include talks by authors Ann Cleeves and Tony Harrison; a 20-mile 'baiku' bike ride (that's Haiku on a bike); the premiere of a specially-commissioned play, Fracking in Cullercoats; Storytelling and an exhibition from Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books and the chance to write your very own Cullercoats murder mystery. More information and tickets from 0191 251 6009 or www.ironpress.co.uk

Jesterval (5-14)

Laughter will resound in a 300-seat pop-up venue in Baltic Square, Gateshead. A surprise name in the line-up is Catchphrase presenter Roy Walker who will perform with son Phil.

Others in the programme include Jason Cook, Chris Ramsey, Ed Byrne, Gavin Webster, Sara Pascoe, Lili La Scala, Sue Sweeney, Kate Lucas, Jimmy Cricket, Boy with Tape on his Face, Andrew Maxwell and Paul Foot.

Tickets from www.jesterval.co.uk

Alnmouth Arts Festival (20-21)

This festival boasts one of the region’s loveliest locations.

Artists presenting their work this year include Bob Lawson, from Cullercoats, whose work is to be exhibited during this year’s prestigious Venice Biennale, jewellery designer Kate Jakubovics, textile specialist Tess Allan, woodworker Stan Thompson and photographer John Hartshorn.

Details of the festival, first held 10 years ago, can be found at www.alnmouthartsfestival.com

Jumpin’ Hot Jamboree Garden Party (19-21)

This festival for the connoisseur, with only 250 tickets (£50 apiece) to be had, takes place at Thorp Lea East Farm, Easington Colliery, County Durham, with free camping and flush toilets available.

The music will be diverse, including Easington Brass Band, the Side Cafe Orkestar, specialists in Gypsy swing, a French singer based in Berlin, a cajun band from Glasgow, an Australian duo and more.

There is even to be a Mad Hatter’s tea party. Details from www.jumpinhot.com

Last year's North East Chilli Festival
Last year's North East Chilli Festival


North East Chilli Festival (4-5)

Over 80 producers will be at Seaton Deleval over the weekend offering the tastiest and spiciest chilli products. Meanwhile real ale producers will aim to quench your thirst – and all to a full-blooded musical soundtrack.

One truly hot event will be the 2015 North East Chilli Eating Competition.

Tickets from www.chillifest-ne.co.uk

Mouth of the Tyne Festival (9-12)

The annual event is always popular and this year a second venue has been added. The Beautiful South’s Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, The Specials and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas will all entertain at Tynemouth Priory while Lisbon and Jack Savoretti will take the stage at Playhouse Whitley Bay.

Tickets from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and the Playhouse website.

Durham Miners’ Gala (July 11)

Last year’s gala was the biggest the city has seen since the early 1960s when the Durham Coalfield had over 100 working mines.

It was estimated that over 100,000 gathered on the racecourse behind 158 banners of which 65 represented Durham mines, 12 were from other coalfields and 81 were supplied by other unions. In all, 65 bands marched with the banners to create one of the most spectacular Big Meeting displays ever seen.

Fake Festival Whickham (11)

After beginning its UK-wide jaunt in Tynemouth, the touring festival will arrive at the playing field on Fellside Road when tributes to Oasis (Oasish) Queen (Flash) and Foo Fighters (Four Fighters) will entertain.

Tickets from www.fakefestivals.co.uk

Corbridge Festival (11)

The family-friendly music event is back at Tynedale Park with Teenage Kicks hit-makers The Undertones headlining.

The bill also includes Bizarre Inc’s Angie Brown, Miles and Erica from The Wonderstuff and the former frontman of The Seahorses, Chris Helme.

There will also be a Kids’ Zone and plenty of food and drink to purchase.

Tickets available from www.corbridge-festival.co.uk

South Tyneside Summer Festival (July 12-August 2)

All manner of household names will perform at the annual free concerts.

Billy Ocean will headline on July 29 while local lad Joe McElderry will be one of the stars on August 2 with Lola Saunders and Collabro, featuring Washington’s Jamie Lambert.

More acts are to be announced.

Newcastle Pride (17-19)

The new three-day format proved popular last year and is to be repeated although the action will be restricted to the Town Moor this time around.

Last year saw acts like Vengaboys, Shayne Ward and Sinitta entertain partygoers in both rain and sunshine.

SummerTyne American Festival (17-19)

To celebrate its 10th birthday there’s a stellar line-up. Headliners at Sage Gateshead include Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal, Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, The Shires, Jace Everett, Naomi Shelton and The Gospel Queens, Cedric Burnside Project, The McCrary Sisters, Gruff Rhys, The Felice Brothers, James Hunter, Della Mae and Ward Thomas.

Tickets from www.sagegateshead.com

Barnard Castle Comedy Festival (18)

Canadian stand-up Tony Gray is one of the headline acts at this brand new comedy festival in County Durham.

The three-time Chortle Award-winner will join BBC Radio 4 star Alex Horne on the bill.

Earlybird day tickets for the festival are on sale from www.barnardcastlecomedy.com

Sunderland International Airshow (24-26)

The 26th airshow, one of the largest in the UK, sees modern military aircraft fly past with some of the most exciting civilian aircraft and display teams.

The event starts on the Friday evening with a launch party involving a small flying display alongside ground-based live music and fireworks. Two full afternoons of flying will follow.


Fake Festival Chester-le-Street (8)

Four Fighters, Really Hot Chilli Peppers and Blondied are on the bill for the third instalment of Fake Festival action in the region at Riverside Park.

Tickets from www.fakefestivals.co.uk

Hardwick Live (22)

With main stage entertainment from the likes of James, Razorlight, Embrace and 10cc, and Cast and Smoove & Turrell on the second stage, this looks to be a hot ticket at Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield.

Tickets from www.hardwicklive.co.uk .


Lindisfarne Festival (4-6)

The inaugural event at Beal Farm has assembled quite a line-up. Headlining on the Friday night will be Public Service Broadcasting and there will be sets from DJ Yoda and The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club and other live performances from Johnny Dickinson and Jackie Oates. Adamski, Reverend & The Makers, Smoove & Turrell, Nadine Shah and Frankie & The Heartstrings are among the confirmed acts for the Saturday.

Tickets from www.lindisfarnefestival.com


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