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News Article Search

Fire(works) and Ice this Autumn/Winter in NewcastleGateshead

30th August 2012

Categories: Latest News

Following a summer of celebrations with Olympic Football at St James’ Park and a packed programme of festivals and events, NewcastleGateshead is looking ahead and planning a stunning winter programme including the return of midnight fireworks to NewcastleGateshead’s iconic Quayside.

NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival will once again enchant and inspire culminating in the annual New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival through the city’s streets, including early evening fireworks before the midnight finale. The spectacular welcome to 2013 sets the tone for a year-round programme that sees the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels to nearby Durham and a brand-new festival to celebrate all that’s great in NewcastleGateshead and the local area – Festival of the North East.
But first, September 2012 sees the world’s most iconic half marathon return to NewcastleGateshead giving runners and spectators an unmissable opportunity to see champions in action for the first time following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This year 56,000 people are predicted to take part in the BUPA Great North Run and the action doesn’t stop at the finish line, with the Great North CityGames taking place on the banks of the River Tyne and events programme, Great North Run Culture, animating the destination’s museums and galleries.

Top international athletes will compete on a purpose built, street level, athletics track set within the famous natural arena on the Quayside with spectators coming up close and personal with some of the 2012 Olympic Games competitors and medal winners at the free event.  

There’s no better time to plan a trip to one of the UK’s most recognisable destinations, learn more at

2012 / 2013 highlights include:

Connecting Light
Hadrian’s Wall
31 August-01 September 2012
A major new art installation along the line of Hadrian's Wall has been announced as part of the programme for the London 2012 Festival. Connecting Light is being designed by New York based digital arts collective YesYesNo with Zachary Lieberman. YesYesNo specialises in the creation of engaging, magical installations that combine creativity, artistic vision and cutting edge technology.

London 2012 Cultural Olympiad: ~Flow
River Tyne/NewcastleGateshead Quayside
25 March - September 2012
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements: there are many Cultural Olympiad events happening in NewcastleGateshead, which is known for the vibrancy of its cultural life. One outstanding project is ~Flow, which is part of Artists taking the lead, twelve extraordinary public art commissions funded by the UK Arts Councils for the Cultural Olympiad to help celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Produced by Ed Carter and the Owl Project, ~Flow is a floating self powered structure. A waterwheel will harness the energy of the River Tyne to power a number of electro-acoustic musical instruments that combine mechanical automation and digital technology to produce sounds that respond to the river. ~Flow has wide appeal, combining sculpture, cutting edge technology, hand crafted wooden instruments, architecture, engineering and electronic music to create an astonishing audio-visual public artwork.

Great North Run Weekend - including Junior and Mini Great North Run and Great North Street Games
From Newcastle to South Shields,
15 - 16 September 2012
The most high profile half marathon in the world will in 2012 be the first international athletics event since the Olympics and provide an unmissable opportunity to see some of the Olympic stars in action. A series of professional and junior athletics activities on the Saturday of the Great North Run weekend has been developed over the last few years, using NewcastleGateshead Quaysides as a 'virtual arena'.

Juice Festival
26 October-04 November 2012
NewcastleGateshead’s award-winning festival for children and young people takes place from Friday 26 October-Sunday 4 November 2012.

Packed full of activities and events for children, young people and their families, the festival is presented in the world-class venues, facilities and open air locations that make NewcastleGateshead such a brilliant place to live, grow up in and visit. If you’re looking for fun-filled things to do around October half term for the whole family then look no further than Juice Festival!

BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival
The Sage Gateshead
02-04 November 2012
The BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival is a weekend of talks, debates, conversation and performance, with a number of eminent speakers including leading broadcasters, artists, scientists and writers.

Ouseburn Open Studios
24-25 November 2012
Newcastle’s Ouseburn Open Studios offers a unique chance to come and glimpse behind the doors of some of the region’s most creative artists and designer-makers.

The last weekend in November sees the exciting return of this event with an eclectic range of work on offer to view, discuss and buy. With over 200 artists opening their studios to the public, there’s never been a better time to come and explore what’s on offer.

Many of the studios taking part in the event will be hosting a number of fun interactive workshops, artist-led demonstrations, creative family events and other activities. There’s also a huge variety of affordable work to buy from paintings, ceramics, sculpture, jewellery, furniture, prints, and much more to suit everyone’s taste.

NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival: Enchanted Parks
Saltwell Park, Gateshead, Dates (TBC)
The award-winning Enchanted Parks transforms Saltwell Park in Gateshead after dark with innovative and atmospheric creations using visual art installations, light, sound and performance on a large and small scale.

NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival: NYE Winter Carnival
Central Newcastle, 31 December 2012
The annual New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival sees the Newcastle Ice Queen and her entourage of local community participants parading through the streets of Newcastle, culminating in an early evening fireworks display.

Chinese New Year Celebrations
Sunday 10 February 2013 (TBC)
Kung Hey Fat Choi! Join us in and around Newcastle’s Stowell Street to celebrate the Year of the Snake. Enjoy traditional crafts, dance, martial arts, food and drink, games and much more with a vibrant and colourful party. Watch the spectacular dragon, lion and unicorn dances under the ornate Ceremonial Arch.

Festival of the North East
June 2013
The Festival of the North East will be a one off festival proposed for the month of June 2013 to celebrate the exceptional creativity and innovation of the region. The festival was the original concept of musician/composer, Kathryn Tickell, joined by the writer Lee Hall and others as the project’s Artistic Advisers.

The Festival of the North East will culminate in the arrival of the Lindisfarne gospels in Durham, and is intended to showcase inspiring moments, artefacts and events over the 1400 years since the creation of the gospels, including premieres of new work and special commissions .

Lindisfarne Gospels
01 July-30 September 2013
In the summer of 2013, one of the world’s greatest books, the Lindisfarne Gospels will be on show in a unique exhibition in Durham University’s Palace Green Library as part of a partnership between Durham University, Durham Cathedral, Durham County Council and the British Library. 

The must-see exhibition, in the heart of Durham’s UNESCO World Heritage Site will take the form of a compelling new contemporary interpretation of one of the nation’s most enduring stories, the tale of the North’s most famous saint - St Cuthbert, and one of the world’s greatest books – the Lindisfarne Gospels.  Housed in new world-class facilities, the forthcoming exhibition represents the closest and most vivid way for centuries, to experience the wonder of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

British Science Festival
07-15 September 2013
The British Science Festival is organised each year by The British Science Association to bring together hundreds of the UK’s top scientists, journalists and tens of thousands of members of the public. The Festival lasts over six days and events range from lectures and debates for adults, to hands-on activity for schools and families, to comedy, theatre and expeditions.


For media enquiries contact:
Shelley Armstrong
Media & PR Manager
T. +44 (0)191 440 5739
M. +44 (0)771 763 1109

David Brookbanks
Media & PR Manager
T. +44 (0)191 440 5740
M. +44 (0)794 658 1417

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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