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NewcastleGateshead celebrates the return of summer with an array of amazing festivals

10th May 2010

Categories: Latest News

NewcastleGateshead celebrates the
return of summer with an array of amazing festivals.

Soak up the vibrant summer atmosphere as NewcastleGateshead, Sunderland and the coast present an outstanding programme of festivals and events. From the dulcet tones of James Morison echoing over the Mouth of the Tyne and punk princess Pink performing at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, to the mix of street entertainment and alfresco performances at South Tyneside’s Summer Festival; there’s plenty to entertain and thrill residents and visitors throughout the lazy summer months.

Kick start the music festival season with the Evolution Weekender (30-31 May) which annually transforms the NewcastleGateshead Quayside into a music Mecca. Three different stages will see headliners including Calvin Harris, Enter Shikari, and The Horrors performing for the crowds. The extensive line up also promises entertainment from De La Soul and Scratch Perverts.

Pink will bring her spectacular Funhouse Summer Carnival tour to Sunderland and the Stadium of Light on the 11 June, following the huge success of Oasis and Take That in 2009, this year looks set to be just as good.

If you don’t want the fun to end, then head to South Shields were the South Tyneside Summer Festival offers an amazing three months of fantastic free entertainment. Live music, brass bands, parades and parties, there’s something for everyone to enjoy throughout June, July and August.

In July the Summer Festival joins forces with neighbouring Tynemouth where the Mouth of the Tyne Festival spans the river with street entertainment and a series of special concerts. Opening the weekend of events on 09 July is folk singer Seth Lakemen, who performs at the Whitley Bay Playhouse, while UK pop sensation James Morrison will headline on 10 July at a specially staged event inside of the magnificent Tynemouth Priory and Castle.

And if music is the food of love, then EAT! NewcastleGateshead is all about the love of food. Indulge in the gloriousness of food at the festival of culinary adventures 12-27 June. Taste, sniff, watch and discover what the North East’s has to offer from chillies to cupcakes and whisky to wine. Join the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, throw an Artisan House Party or settle down with your own culinary creation at the Cakebook ‘Flash Mob Picnic’, where 100 of NewcastleGateshead’s iconic structures will be baked out of cake and displayed as an edible map of the city.

Dates for your Diary

14-15 May
The late Shows
Various locations across NewcastleGateshead
The North East’s legendary free culture crawl is returning on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 May with an even bigger selection of spectacular after-hours culture. Accept an after-dark invitation to more than 25 cultural venues, usually closed in the evening, as they tempt you in for a not-to-be-missed weekend in celebration of the international event ‘Museums at Night’.

On Friday 14 May nocturnal culture-lovers can warm up their Late Shows weekend with a special evening of events exclusively in the Ouseburn Valley. And as dusk falls on Saturday 15 May all The Late Shows venues will be getting ready for a cultural explosion of interactive events, unique performances one-off activities. With outdoor projections, live music, printmaking, underground tours and brand new exhibitions in the line up, The Late Shows is catering for all tastes!

The Late Shows is part of NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s programme of high quality and distinctive festivals and events

27 – 29 May
Durham Mysteries
Various locations across Durham
Ten stories, two thousand years in the making
Durham Mysteries will see a major contemporary revival of a traditional mystery play cycle, specially written for Durham by 10 creative practitioners from across the UK including David Almond (Skellig) and Ian McMillan (BBC Radio 3). Being performed over three evenings from May 27-29, 2010, the event will see a startling reinvention of traditional bible stories including Noah and the Flood, Cain & Abel, The Nativity and the Fall of Lucifer.

On each of the three evenings there will be the opportunity to see the whole cycle of 10 Mystery Plays in one incredible evening of drama and spectacle. The plays will take place at three venues, including the iconic Durham Cathedral, and Durham Gala Theatre, with the final eight being performed outdoors on The Sands. Durham’s 2010 cycle, will see plays being performed by a mixture of professional and amateur actors, dancers and singers from across the North East, using digital media, urban arts, modern music and dance, as well as conventional theatre to retell some of the most famous stories ever told.

30 – 31 May
Evolution Weekender
NewcastleGateshead Quaysides
The North East’s biggest music festival sees some of the world’s leading music acts perform on the iconic quaysides of NewcastleGateshead. Artists at this year’s event include; Paolo Nutini, Calvin Harris, De La Soul and winner of the BRITS Critics Choice award, Ellie Goulding.

Evolution Festival 2010 introduces a new stage, Ballast Hills, which sees performances from King Creosote, The Unthanks and Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan.

11 June
Pink - The Funhouse Summer Carnival Tour
Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Her astonishing and record-breaking Funhouse Tour will transform Sunderland’s Stadium of Light into a Carnival-style spectacular with a visually stunning new production. The Carnival will roll into nine British cities, seven open-air stadiums and two massive festivals across the UK, and it will, without doubt, leave hundreds of thousands of fans across the UK stunned with Pink’s special brand of high octane and dazzling performance. The Funhouse Carnival will be unforgettable and a must see for 2010.

12 – 27 June
EAT! NewcastleGateshead
Various locations across NewcastleGateshead
Now in its fourth year, EAT! continues to champion local food producers, restaurants and culinary talent through a programme of events that includes; The Big EAT! (12 –13 June). This free weekend includes street food markets, themed satellite festivals, cookery demonstrations, a Fairtrade City Fête, the Food Adventure Playground, and will take over the streets of NewcastleGateshead. Sample food and drink from the North East’s finest producers, spice up your life at the Chilli Festival, try your luck with World Cupcakes or take your pick of the morning’s catch as a local fishing boat lands on the Quayside.

Other festival highlights include; The Great North Eco-Feast (27 June) with leading environmental chef Arthur Potts Dawson, The Pearly Diner (22-26 June), a restaurant like no other where diners can choose anything they want to eat, and Cakebook (20 June), which sees 100 iconic structures and buildings from NewcastleGateshead modelled out of cake!

EAT! NewcastleGatehsead is part of NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s innovative, eclectic and family-friendly festivals and events’ programme 2010/11.

June, July and August
South Tyneside Summer Festival
Various locations across South Shields
The three month South Tyneside Summer Festival, which takes place in venues across South Shields, begins in earnest in June with twice weekly live music at the Amphitheatre on the sea front.
These performances, which are held Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the month, will once again feature a wide mix of international, national and local artistes, including Monsters of British Rock featuring former members of Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Wishbone Ash and Thunder

For those who prefer something a little more traditional there will also be regular brass band concerts at the Amphitheatre throughout the duration of the festival, with most being held on a Sunday afternoon. While Sunday Concerts at Bents Park will this year feature Tony Christie.

More information about the festival, including details of the annual Cookson Parade, which takes place on 03 July, can be found on the website

09 – 10 July
Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival
Whitley Bay
2010 marks the 20th anniversary of the Jazz festival which will be playing its final encore to audiences this summer as the long-running event comes to a close. Featuring, as always, the very best in classic jazz, from Ragtime to Swing, the 150 musicians will represent the USA, Japan, Australia, Chile, Hungary, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the UK. For further information visit

10 – 11 July
Mouth of the Tyne festival
Tynemouth and South Shields
Pop star James Morrison’s headline performance at this year’s Mouth of the Tyne Festival has sold out. All 4,000 tickets have been sold for the event at Tynemouth Priory on Saturday 10 July 2010.

But there’s still plenty for those visitors without tickets to enjoy including a special performance by Seth Lakeman on Friday 09 July at Whitley Bay Playhouse, for which tickets can still be purchased, and an exciting weekend of live music, markets and entertainment on both sides of the River Tyne

Experience more with a Discover Pass, offering exclusive money saving deals at over 60 of Tyne and Wear's most popular visitor attractions. The Pass is available to buy online and from Tourism Information Centres for just £2
For more information on things to do in NewcastleGateshead go to


Media Enquiries
Shelley Staines, Media and PR Manager, Tourism Tyne and Wear 0191 440 5739

Notes to Editors

Why 'NewcastleGateshead'?
You may wonder why the destination is described as NewcastleGateshead...

Newcastle (a city on the north bank of the River Tyne) and Gateshead (a town on the south bank of the River Tyne) have been transformed into a single cultural and cosmopolitan visitor destination: NewcastleGateshead (think Buda Pest).

The two places are closely linked - by seven bridges across the river – and visitor attractions and events can be found on both sides. Visitors to the area are drawn to sample attractions, galleries, live performances, sporting events, museums, restaurants, hotels and much more in both Newcastle and Gateshead - with easy pedestrian access from one to the other in a matter of minutes via the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

Three of the area's most high-profile contemporary attractions (BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, international music centre The Sage Gateshead and world famous public art the Angel of the North) are all in Gateshead, while Newcastle brings a wealth of history and heritage (along with its world-class contemporary developments), plus an incredible choice of cosmopolitan nightlife, to the successful partnership: NewcastleGateshead. 

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