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NewcastleGateshead glows with festive fun

21st September 2011

Categories: Latest News

There are more than just 12 days of Christmas in NewcastleGateshead as the Winter Festival falls for another year of Christmas markets, festive performances and celebrations. 

As popular as ever, Enchanted Parks transforms Gateshead’s Victorian Saltwell Park into a winter wonderland filled with fantasy and mystery. Families can take in the magical surroundings and atmosphere whilst interacting with art instillations, light, sound and performances which will surprise and delight.

The season’s festivities are brought to a colourful close with Newcastle’s New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival which sees an array of theatrical creations take over the streets and entertain crowds with dancers, musicians and performers. In contrast to the fiery Latin spirit seen in previous years, for 2011 the Carnival takes inspiration from Nordic mythology, emulating the magical and icy spirit of the north.
Other events taking place this winter include the International Print Biennale at Northern Print, the esteemed Turner Prize hosted by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Northern Sinfonia Christmas Concerts held at The Sage Gateshead. The vibrant Wunderbar Festival also stages a range of events across NewcastleGateshead, focusing on interactive visual art and contemporary performance.


International Print Biennale
Saturday 17 September – Saturday 19 November 2011
Northern Print, Newcastle
The International Print Biennale celebrates printmaking with a range of exhibitions, workshops and activities across NewcastleGateshead, and Print City fringe events. The Print Awards launches the Biennale with an open call for submissions of works which are shortlisted for the exhibitions by a panel of experts in the field of printmaking. As part of the event this year, a giant piece of print will be created using a steam roller.  

BALTIC presents Turner Prize 2011
Friday 21 October 2011 – Sunday 8 January 2012
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays
BALTIC is the first non-Tate venue outside London to host the Turner Prize, widely recognised as one of the most important and prestigious awards for the visual arts in Europe.

Arguably the world's most recognised and prestigious award for contemporary art, the Turner Prize presents the very best of current British art. This is your chance to discover what is new in British art now. The Prize, established in 1984, is awarded to a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceeding 4 April 2011. For the first time ever, the exhibition will this year be held outside of a Tate venue.

Visit the exhibition at BALTIC this autumn to see this year's nominated artists; Karla Black, Martin Boyce, Hilary Lloyd and George Shaw. The winner will be announced at a ceremony at BALTIC on 5 December 2011. 

Wunderbar Festival
Monday 31 October – Sunday 6 November 2011
Wunderbar is a dynamic festival of contemporary performances, visual art, and extraordinary happenings for the North East that places the audience at the heart of the experience.

NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival
Mid-November 2011 – January 2012
Enjoy everything the festive season has to offer, including Christmas markets, festive performances, world-class cultural events and opportunities to purchase imaginative gifts for Christmas. Enchanted Parks
Wednesday 7 - Sunday 11 December 2011
Saltwell Park, Gateshead
The winter is full of surprise, secrets and suspense. Snow and ice hide, unknown gifts are disguised under dressed up trees to delight and excite. Things in Saltwell Park are not what they seem…Enchanted Parks returns in 2011. Enchanted Parks is part of NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s festivals and events programme, and is funded by Gateshead Council and Northern Rock Foundation.
To buy tickets call the Box Office from 1st November on 0191 433 6965 or buy on line from and search What’s On - £6 adult, children u16 FREE accompanied by an adult.

The Continental Market
Monday 21 November – Saturday 3 December
Grey’s Monument, Grey Street and Grainger Street
While the rest of the world is ticking iPods and Wiis off their list, you can get back to the cosy feeling of handmade foods and special one-off gifts for your family and friends.

The Continental Market gives us gourmet ingredients and a very real taste of Europe. You can get a currywurst from Germany, waffles from Holland, paella from Spain and crepes – both sweet and savoury from France. 

The Christmas Market
Wednesday 7 – Sunday 11 December
Grey’s Monument, Grey Street, Grainger Street and Old Eldon Square
The Christmas Market welcomes stall holders from closer to home. There are beers from local microbreweries, home-made jams, delicious cakes and handmade chocolates.  And once you’ve bought something scrumptious to eat, you can find special gifts such as scarves, leather bags, hand thrown pottery, woolly hats and jewellery. And you know if it’s at our Christmas Market it’s going to be that little bit more special. 

Ouseburn Open Studios
Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 November
Various Venues
The studios in the Ouseburn Valley are home to a wide range of creative people including artists, jewellery and furniture makers, graphic designers and printmakers. This weekend offers the rare opportunity to chat to studio holders about their work and learn what goes on behind their studio doors. It’s also a great chance to talk about commissions and there is always a wide variety of work on offer to buy, adding a touch of sparkle to the tedium of Christmas shopping.
Northern Sinfonia Christmas Concerts
Saturday 10 – Sunday 11 December
The Sage Gateshead
Join The Sage Gateshead for a wonderfully festive evening led by the Principal Conductor of the Choral Programme, Simon Halsey. Simon will be joined by a special guest presenter for some specially selected Christmas readings. Expect laughter, beauty, tradition and carols. Winter Fair
Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 November 2011
Gateshead Heritage @ St Mary’s
Following on from the success of last year’s Frost Fair, the Winter Fair provides a mixture of local crafts and food stalls and will showcase the wealth of arts, crafts and traditional food in North East England. Stalls include ceramics, stained glass, jewellery, textiles and photography/prints.

New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival
Newcastle City Centre
Friday 31 December 2011
The popular New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival is back for 2011 with an array of strange creatures inspired by Nordic mythology set to animate the Carnival parade as the Ice Queen is linked with the wild north. Taking inspiration from Viking myths and stories of the gods of the North, a fiery ship and a huge metallic serpent, will take to the streets as Thor’s hammers beat out a rhythm for the night.

And don’t forget…

Boss Sounds Festival
Saturday 29 October 2011
Northumbria Students’ Union
One of the UK's greatest festivals celebrating ska and reggae music, Boss Sounds returns to NewcastleGateshead this autumn when Madness’ greats Lee Thompson and Mark Bedford join a host of Jamaican artists including Dennis Alcapone, Dawn Penn and Winston Francis and Owen Grey, as The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra who have quickly become one of the UK's hottest ska outfits.

Boss Sounds will be the Orchestra’s North East debut and sees the boys return to their Jamaican ska roots. Tickets £17.50 from


For media enquiries contact:
Shelley Armstrong
Media & PR Manager
T. +44 (0)191 440 5739

Notes to editors:
• NewcastleGateshead Initiative is a destination management and marketing agency; a public-private partnership supported by Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils, working with around 165 private sector member organisations across NewcastleGateshead and the wider region.
All of our activity aims to promote and position NewcastleGateshead as a world-class vibrant tourism destination, through targeted marketing and PR campaigns nationally and internationally and through the work of our cultural programming team and convention bureau.
NewcastleGateshead Initiative is supported by a board offering expertise from a range of sectors and professions. We also work with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and businesses, who share our ambition to promote NewcastleGateshead as a world-class place in which to live, learn, work, and visit.
• United by seven bridges across a spectacular riverscape, Newcastle (a city on the north bank of the River Tyne) and Gateshead (a town on the south bank) form a single, diverse and extremely vibrant visitor destination. World-class culture, vibrant nightlife, award-winning dining, inspiring heritage, fantastic shopping and acclaimed architecture are combined here like nowhere else, by the famous Geordie spirit which is symbolised by Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North as it welcomes travellers to the area.

Imagery / Photography opportunities:
• - NewcastleGateshead’s Initiative’s extensive royalty free image library

Useful links:
• - NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s media website
• - destination website for NewcastleGateshead
• - NewcastleGateshead’s visitor pass website  

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