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BBC 6 Music Festival in Newcastle: We preview the big weekend

The festival arrives on Tyneside today bringing with it top notch acts like Hot Chip, Royal Blood, The Charlatans and Neneh Cherry

Andrew Hayes-Watkins Lauren Laverne
Lauren Laverne

The day is now upon us, the BBC 6 Music Festival is taking over Tyneside for three days and what a packed line-up there is in store.

The news the event would be heading to Newcastle and Gateshead was revealed in January and ever since then excitement has been building for it to start.

Tickets for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights were snapped up within half an hour of going on sale and there was also great demand for tickets for the daytime events and the late night session at The Boiler Shop on Saturday night.

It was the job of the North East’s own and 6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne to let the festival cat out of the bag and she’s ecstatic to be bringing it to home turf.

“Newcastle is such a vibrant place when it comes to music and culture,” she commented.

“It has been for years there’s legends like Bryan Ferry and then exciting new acts like Frankie & The Heartstrings.

Frankie and the Heartstrings
Frankie and the Heartstrings

“And then there’s the amazing independent art galleries and record shops.

“The region has done amazing well to get some of the huge gigs at the Stadium of Light but I’m hoping the festival will put places like Ouseburn on the map- that’s my old stomping ground and an area I’m still so passionate about.

“I’m still trying to get my head round the lineup; it’s absolutely amazing!”

So what can you expect to see if you’ve got a ticket? Here’s a roundup.


The 6 Music Festival action will get going at the O2 Academy on Westgate Road shortly after 5pm with come back rockers Interpol, Scottish rockers Mogwai, BRIT nominees The War on Drugs, who also won BBC 6 Music’s album of the year accolade for 2014, and America’s Sleater Kinney.


The pace really picks up for the second day of the festival with a packed programme of events starting from 11am.

One of the day’s big highlights is Tyne and Wear born Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry who will be speaking to Lauren Laverne at The Cluny, with the Ouseburn hotspot also hosting interviews with the likes of Hot Chip and a discussion panel featuring Maximo Park’s Paul Smith, Ross Millard of Futureheads and Frankie and The Heartstrings, Beth Jeans Houghton, Nadine Shah and Field Music’s David Brewis.

A short distance away at The Cumberland Arms, Mark Radcliffe will be hosting a day of folk, with performances from Marika Hackman, Songhoy Blues, Stornoway, Moulettes, Kings of the South Seas, 6 Music’s Tom Robinson and Gerry Diver while The Star and Shadow will host a conversation with Everything But The Girl legends Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn.

The Saturday night action will see thousands of people descend on Sage Gateshead to enjoy performances from the likes of Hot Chip, Royal Blood, Simian Mobile Disco and local lads Maximo Park before revellers head over to The Boiler Shop.


Like Saturday, there’s events happening all day long. The Boiler Shop will host performances from North East acts Shields, Tessera Skies, Yellow Creatures and Hyde and Beast on the BBC Introducing stage before the curtain comes down on the festival back at the Sage will star turns from the likes of The Charlatans, Neneh Cherry and Jamie T.


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