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Juice Festival returns with a fresh line up of family-friendly fun

5th September 2011

Categories: Latest News

Juice - NewcastleGateshead’s award-winning festival for children and young people returns for a fourth year this October half-term with a fresh, new programme which includes an after-hours tour of Daydreams and Diaries, the story of Jacqueline Wilson, a series of events and performances sparking discussion about Turner Prize 2011 and The Monster Parade, a free event for all the family on Sunday 30 October complete with live music, pumpkins and Halloween fancy dress.

This year’s festival runs for 12-days from Wednesday 19 to Sunday 30 October, presenting an exciting programme of performances, workshops and events held in many of NewcastleGateshead’s world-class cultural venues and outdoor spaces.

The festival brings together work produced by children and young people, as well as work by internationally acclaimed artists that will get the whole family involved.

Rachel Adam, Director of Juice Festival, said: “Half-term is a time when parents are looking for fun and affordable things to do with the family. What sets Juice Festival apart is that it’s not just about watching what’s going on, but about joining in and really experiencing the event to the full.

“This festival is special because young people are not only the inspiration behind it but are also importantly its co-creators. In a climate where we often only ever hear negative things about young people, Juice Festival is an opportunity to celebrate their creativity, energy and potential.”

The Juice Festival programme, led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in collaboration with partners across NewcastleGateshead, offers a series of wide ranging events beginning on Wednesday 19 October.  

Work by young people (highlights)

Poetry on the move (throughout the festival), in partnership with New Writing North, sees nine brand new Olympic-themed poems, written by children and young people aged 8-14, spring up across NewcastleGateshead.  You’ll find the poems at Tyne and Wear Metro stations, Fenwick department store and Waterstones in Newcastle, to name but a few.  Keep your eyes peeled for Juice Festival’s young poets throughout the festival.

Live Theatre, Newcastle bring stories to life in First Draft (Thursday 20-Saturday 22 October) as part of the festival.  Stories created by 9 and 10 year olds are transformed into short plays and performed by professional actors at Live Theatre.  Join a greedy piranha, a poisonous frog and a superhero dog at this year’s festival.

Becoming Art (Sunday 30 October), at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, sees Blah Blah Blah, the gallery’s own teen panel, create a series of interactive events to spark discussion with other young people about this year’s four shortlisted Turner Prize artists.Widely recognised as one of the most important and prestigious awards for the visual arts in Europe, Turner Prize 2011 will be hosted at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead from Friday 21 October.

For all the family (highlights)

Lovers of children’s fiction should not miss The Big Juice Read: Steven Butler’s ‘The Wrong Pong,’ (Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 October), for the chance tojoin The Wrong Pong illustrator, Chris Fisher, at Gateshead Central Library as he guides guests through an illustration master-class in creating their very own Troll character.  There’s also the chance to meet author Steven Butler, the brightest new star of children’s funny fiction and hear him read from his newest book at Newcastle City Library. 

Artist Nora Fok and students from Newcastle College will be helping children and their families create amazing miniature botanical bugs from seeds, leaves, pods and sticks.  Botanical Bugs (Thursday 27 October) at The Shipley Art Gallery is free to attend.

Opportunities to take part (highlights)

Last year’s popular Just Jam Weekend is back in 2011 – bigger, better and badder!  (Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 October).Bad Taste Cru, Dance City and Juice Festival present an explosive weekend jam-packed with Hip Hop activities; breakdance workshops, Jam and Juice - a hip hop performance showcase featuring Bad Taste Cru’s ‘Aftermath’, and the fourth annual International B-boy Battle. Just Jam brings the best international breakers to NewcastleGateshead, with guests from the UK and around the world, making this one of the highlights in Britain’s breakdance calendar.

Reboot: Machinima workshops at Tyneside Cinema (Mon 24 – Fri 28 October), is the perfect event for those creative types who love computer games and films. This week-long series of workshops for young people aged 14-19 offers the chance to make films using computer game technology and virtual worlds.  An expert film maker and virtual world designer will be on hand to help create the films using virtual actors, scenery and props. 

Tyneside Cinema also lays down the gauntlet to those aged 19 or under to make a short film on the theme of Halloween for a chance to win the first ever Young Tyneside Film Challenge trophy and win £500 of Amazon vouchers and a gala screening of their winning film.

Visiting artists (highlights)

Former Children’s Laureate, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, remains one of the nation’s favourite and most successful authors having sold over 25 million books in the UK alone. Daydreams and Diaries, the story of Jacqueline Wilson, (Thursday 27 October, 6pm-8pm), at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s Books, offers an exclusive after-hours tour of her brand new exhibition and the chance to join in a treasure hunt and party complete with a Tracy Beaker twist! 

Northern Stage, Newcastle,hosts a classic tale of good versus evil - told with a twist.  The Rememberers, a live action graphic novel written and performed by Kenny Baraka, (Wednesday 26-Friday 28 October), combines rap narration, lyrics, projection, music and graphic novel illustration.  Kia - Guardian of the Rememberers - tells the story of a young girl whose undiscovered power holds the key to humankind’s future. Earth’s vital signs are weakening and The Rememberers can wait no longer to battle against the sinister NorCon corporation.

Dance Please! (Friday 28 – Sunday 30 October), at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, is a highly interactive playground of movement, light and sound for children aged 5-10.  Children can play with rhythms and re-mix sounds just by shaking their feet; splash wild colours across the room and spin crazy shapes by simply wiggling a finger.  Experience a wonderful world of magical animations and spectacular sounds created by Italy’s leading children’s theatre company, TPO, with leading British choreographer, Tom Tale.

Halloween (highlights)

Halloween inspired events are once again amongst the highlights of this year’s Juice Festival as thoughts turn to all things ghostly and ghastly.

Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without a ghoulish carved pumpkin.  BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art hosts a free Happy Halloween Pumpkin Carving event, (Monday 24 & Tuesday 25 October), led by a team of professional artists armed with over a thousand pumpkins all ready to be transformed into spooky lanterns. 

These special Juice Festival pumpkins make the perfect accessories for the Festival Finale Monster Parade on Sunday 30 October at Baltic Square, Gateshead.  Dressed in their best Halloween fancy dress, families will join Unfolding Theatre, Bill Quay Primary School and West End Women and Girls Centre for this spooky parade along the NewcastleGateshead quayside which features live music from young musicians from The Sage Gateshead.  Face the monsters from your imagination, chase them out from under the bed and banish them down the Tyne, never to be seen again.

Carol Bell, Head of Culture and Major Events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Juice is a highlight of NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s year-round programme of festivals and events and it continues to go from strength to strength, attracting more participants and visitors to the destination, year on year.”

Juice - NewcastleGateshead’s award-winning festival for children and young people takes place from Wednesday 19 – Sunday 30 October 2011.  The 12 day festival showcases outstanding work created by children and young people as well as a family friendly programme delivered by regional, national and international artists.  For the full festival programme, please visit:

Juice is developed and produced by NewcastleGateshead Initiative as part of its festivals and events programme.  Juice was awarded Event of the Year in The Journal Culture Awards 2009.


For further information, interview requests, images etc, please contact David Brookbanks, Media & PR Manager for NewcastleGateshead Initiative on 0191 440 5740 / 07946 581 417 or email


Juice Festival is funded by Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, Arts Council England, North East, Northern Rock Foundation and the Sir James Knott Trust.  For further details see

Dance Please! is co-commissioned by Juice Festival, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Theatre Is.. and Crying Out Loud.  It is a collaboration between TPO Company and British choreographer Tom Dale. This performance is for children aged 5 – 10yrs.

The Rememberers is for young people aged 13yrs+ and was originally commissioned by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Apples & Snakes

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