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Festival to draw crowds to Newcastle's cultural quarter

The annual Ouseburn Festival promises fun for families, foodies and music lovers

www.idene.co.uk One of the performers at last year's Airstream Sessions at Malmo Quay
One of the performers at last year's Airstream Sessions at Malmo Quay

The annual Ouseburn Festival takes place this weekend in Newcastle’s bustling cultural quarter with music, comedy, art, food and family entertainment all part of the mix.

Organisers are expecting as many as 8,000 visitors to the festival which has been staged annually since 1996.

Regular visitors will have seen this historic and characterful part of the city undergoing a gradual transformation.

The artists in the 36 Lime Street studio complex blazed a trail and other creative enterprises have followed.

Now come the developers, the artists having performed their traditional role in the phenomenon known as culture-led regeneration.

This year’s festival is sponsored by Carillion igloo which is responsible for The Malings, a £15m eco-housing development named after the old Malings pottery and to include 76 homes.

David Roberts, development director of igloo, said: “We are really looking forward to meeting people at the Ouseburn Festival and giving them an introduction to what’s happening in the area.

“If they haven’t been to Ouseburn since last year’s festival they’ll see a real difference.

“Work is well underway on The Malings and we have already sold 23 homes before we have even started marketing them or opened a show house.

Artist Michelle Wood, with some of her work at Northern print, in Byker
Artist Michelle Wood, with some of her work at Northern print, in Byker

“The area is a fantastic place for families and people coming to the festival will get a real feel for that.”

People visiting igllo’s Airstream caravan will be able to find out more about The Malings and forthcoming developments at Lower Steenbergs Yard and Malmo Quay.

Most people this weekend will be just visiting rather than wanting to put down roots and there’s loads to do with children’s activities from 11am on Saturday and a festival parade starting at the Cycle Hub on Newcastle Quayside at 12 noon on Sunday.

The 2014 International Print Biennale has a strong presence with exhibitions at Northern Print, Stepney Bank, 36 Lime Street and Hoults Yard on Walker Road.

Twenty artists who use Northern Print’s facilities are exhibiting all weekend (10am to 5pm) in the Pattern Shop Building at Hoults Yard. Their work was made in response to the Malings Pottery which used to occupy the site.

NarcFest, masterminded by Narc music magazine, is likely to prove a popular festival within a festival with gigs scheduled at Ouseburn venues across the weekend from 7-11pm.

Narc and Carillion igloo have joined forced to present the Airstream Sessions, a series of performances on Malmo Quay.

Performing on Saturday are Jack Fallows, Suntrapp and Meghann Clancy. Taking the stage on Sunday will be Effie, Alex Dobson and Samuel Thomas.

Narc editor Claire Dupree said: “Airstream Sessions is a fantastic musical element during the day. It’s good to host all these up-and-coming North East singer songwriters.”

Alongside the Airstream Sessions will be the food element of the festival, organised by The Grazer. More than 20 stalls will feature delicacies from, amongo thers, The French Oven, Electric East, The Feathers Inn, Blackfriars, The Miller’s Daughter, Marco Polo and La Petite Creperie.

Dave Cross, one of the Ousburn Festival organisers, said: “One of the main aims of the festival is to show off and celebrate the wonderful facilities for families in Ouseburn.

“We have Seven Stories, Ouseburn Farm, Stepney Bank Stables and many live music venues.

“It also shows off the area’s industrial heritage, including the Victoria Tunnel which was rated the number one attraction in Newcastle by Trip Advisor.

“The festival is aimed at people from across Tyneside and has a really broad appeal.”

Find the full programme on www.ouseburnfestival.org.uk


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