Six of the best spring and summer events in Newcastle
PUBLISHED: 16:45 05 April 2013 | UPDATED: 15:49 10 April 2013
It will be a typically lively spring and summer in the UK's capital of living it up. Chris Titley profiles six of the biggest parties
Newcastle is Britains party town. There is no other city which shows such above-and-beyond dedication to revelry. If there were a Beaufort scale of blow-outs, Newcastle would be on permanent hurricane setting.
This has always been the case. And the authorities have always tried to stop it. A couple of years ago, a document was auctioned in London detailing a clampdown by Newcastle magistrates on pub landlords who permit drunkenness or tippling, suffer men or women of notoriously bad fame, or dissolute girls and boys. It dated from 1827.
Fast forward to last November, and the same thing was happening again. This time it was the council stepping in to poop the party. TVs Geordie Shore presented the place as nothing more than a riotous cacophony of drunken stag and partieshen parties, they said. Time for a clampdown on late-night drinks licences.
Leading lights of Newcastles nightlife hit back. Ive worked in Nottingham, Mansfield, Oldham, Leeds and Durham as well, and Ive never seen a city centre thats as alive but as safe as Newcastle, said Damian Conway, chair of Newcastle City Centre Pubwatch.
Meanwhile someone was readying another rumble the End Of The World Party Just In Case. Only in Newcastle would they respond to Mayan predictions of global meltdown with a hoedown on Town Moor.
Voted one of Europes best party cities in 2010 on TripAdvisor, named the city with the best nightlife for students last year and with a Facebook page entitled Newcastle: The UKs Number 1 Party Town!!!! (yes thats four exclamation marks) it seems the citys carousal crown will remain firmly in place whatever the suits say.
So how do you get your invitation to this Geordie jamboree? You dont need one. All are welcome. Come with us as we lead you through some of the sparkiest summer shindigs. Oh, and leave your coat behind. With bars more plentiful than postboxes youre never going to be shivering outside for long, even if the weather is as bad as last summer
The Maker Faire
Billed as the worlds largest show (and tell) festival the Maker Faire is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. Basically if you make something, bring it along. Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists and students.
Among the exhibitors are the National Museum Of Computing, wholl be encouraging people to program with the BASIC computer language on old BBC Micros a real blast from the past for people of a certain age. And therell be all manner of other workshops teaching skills as varied as soldering, printing, pottery and shrimping.
The Maker Faire is at the Centre For Life, Newcastle, on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28. makerfaireuk.com.
Festival Of The North East
New for 2013, the first ever Festival Of The North East celebrates the regions creativity. It takes place throughout June. The brainchild of Northumbrian smallpipes musician and Newcastle University lecturer Kathryn Tickell, and with Maxmo Park frontman Paul Smith and artist Antony Gormley among the artistic advisors, it looks set to be something special.
Newcastle Fashion Week
Those with a flair for fashion will be swanning around Newcastle for nine days from May 11. Last years glitzy affair had catwalks galore, exclusive parties and shopping events all over Newcastle, featuring big names including Dizzee Rascal, Jayne Middlemiss, Wayne Hemingway and the Black Eyed Peas. Organisers promise an even bigger event in 2013 as the city cements its reputation as the norths fashion capital
Then EAT! NewcastleGateshead is the event for you. A party for the tastebuds, this fabulous foodie fest boasts 15 days of deliciousness, from food markets to master classes, wine tastings to beer tents. Last year the event kicked off with a giant map of British landmarks fashioned entirely out of cake. With Marco Pierre White opening a restaurant in Newcastle last year, and both Jamie Oliver and Antoni Carluccio set to follow suit, the city scrans never been better. As festival director Simon Preston says: Bon appetit, pet! eatnewcastlegateshead.com
The Evolution Festival
If you like your sounds soft and symphonic, you may wish to avoid Tyneside during the May Bank Holiday Weekend. The Evolution Festivals back on Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27 with some of the biggest names in music, including The Vaccines, Paloma Faith, Ellie Goulding and Jake Bugg. And on the Saturday theres a chance to catch tomorrows stars. Evolution Emerging stages gigs by more than 25 up-and-coming artists at six different venues. And its all for free.
The Late Shows
We all know what happens after dark in museums. The exhibits come to life and try to kill you. Or are we getting mixed up with the Ben Stiller movie Night At The Museum? Anyway theres a chance to find out what really happens as the Late Shows return on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18.
Museums, galleries and visitor attractions stay open so you can go on an after-dark culture crawl. Last year 30,000 people visited more than 50 venues, many staying open till the wee small hours. Highlights included a spectacular circus at Discovery Museum, where visitors could try daring stunts; dancing and a traditional South African barbecue at the Shipley Art Gallery; and access to the indoor tropical rainforest at Moorbank Botanic Garden.