At the start of the year I put together an epic list titled ’16 Things to Experience in NewcastleGateshead in 2016′ and we’ve already ticked off NE1 Restaurant Week and the Chinese New Year celebrations. There’s still loads from that list to look forward to but the thing about this buzzing little corner of the country is that there’s never a dull moment, every time I log on to Facebook or Twitter I seem to discover another amazing event. So here’s ten more dates to add to your diary (aka ten more brilliant reasons to love the North East!)
Leonardo da Vinci Drawings at Laing Art Gallery: On Now till 24 April 2016
A coupe of weeks ago I went along to the beautiful Laing Art Gallery in the centre of Newcastle to check out the current Da Vinci exhibition which features ten drawings from the Royal Collection. The artist’s drawings offer a fascinating insight in to his life and although not quite as iconic or impressive as the Mona Lisa, they are technically brilliant and quite extraordinary to see up close.
The Clayshed’s Big Vintage Festival at Hoult’s Yard: 23 April 2016
I love a rummage through the rails at a vintage fair and the organisers of this event (Britain Does Vintage) have pulled out all the stops to bring us a vast array of vintage delights including a qauint and quirky tearoom, fully stocked bar, dancing, demos, workshops, live entertainment and even a vintage styled photo booth! There’ll also be a pop up beauty parlour, I’ve always wondered what I’d look like with victory rolls!
Gateshead Beer and Music Festival: 29 April – 1 May
I had a ball at the Gateshead Beer Festival in 2014 & 2015 and am a little bit gutted that I’ll be out of town for 2016’s shenanigans as it’s one of my favourite events of the year! I’ve blogged about it before (HERE) but basically, if you love trying different real ales, mingling with friendly locals and checking out the regions’s best bands then this is the event for you!
It’s held at Gateshead Rugby Club over three days, I’ve had a nosey at the entertainment line up and one my favourite bands to see live, Smoove and Turrell are headlining on the Friday night, it’s sure to be a cracking night! Be warned though, I speak from experience when I say take it easy on the ale or you risk being too hungover to make it back for the rest of the festival on Saturday and Sunday!
Late Shows: 11 – 14 May 2016
The Late Shows is an annual culture crawl around NewcastleGateshead’s arty venues and often overlooked hidden gems. There’s a chance to join forces with other parts of the country for Museums at Night when hundreds of museums and galleries will unlock their doors after hours across the UK.
Details of the evening’s events are still being finalised but you can expect interactive art, treasure trails, behind the scenes tours and exhibition previews plus live music, DJs, discos and artist talks. It’s certainly a night out with a difference.
Dine by the Tyne: 12 – 15 May 2016
How do you fancy being served a gastronomic feast by a top North East chef while being suspended 100 feet in the air above the River Tyne? Sounds amazing doesn’t it and it really is happening thanks to Events in the Sky who will operate the unique pop-up restaurant for four days in May with tickets starting from £50pp
SunnyCon at St James’ Park: 17 – 19 June 2016
After 4 years in Sunderland, the SunnyCon convention is moving up in the world and coming to St James’ Park for 2016. It’s the largest animé and Japanese culture convention outside of London and thousands of fans will be donning their finest fancy dress and coming along to meet their heros from film, sci-fi, animé and gaming. There’ll be Q&A sessions, a taiko drumming workshop, performances, a fashion show and a variety of craft demonstrations, plus VIP guests.
Beyonce at the Stadium of Light – 28th June
If I could be a pop star for the day, I’d be Beyonce. Actually, I do sometimes think I’m Beyonce if I’ve had one two many glasses of prosecco! So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard she was bringing her Formation World Tour to the North East. However tickets sold out in less than 24 hours and I wasn’t quick enough off the mark 🙁
I’m still including it in this list though as I’m optimistic that there might be some last minute tickets released or perhaps the local media will run competitions to win tickets, you never know! If you’re one of the lucky ones who managed to secure tickets back in February, you’re going to have an amazing time, I’ve previously seen Take That and Bon Jovi at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland and it’s a fantastic venue for live music, the atmosphere is electric!
Cyclone Festival of Cycling: 17 – 19 June 2016
The North East offers a magnificent landscape for cyclists and anyone taking part in the 2016 Cyclone Festival of Cycling is guaranteed a wonderful experience. The event is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year so there are sure to be some extra special touches to make it better than ever. Entries are now open for the various events, from family rides to top men’s and women’s road races.
NE1 Motor Show – 9 & 10 July 2016
Last summer, the people behind NE1 Restaurant Week and NE1 Fashion Week brought us a wonderful new event with the NE1 Motor Show and it was a huge success. More than 100,000 visitors descended on Grey Street to see some of the world’s finest cars on one of Britain’s most beautiful streets, it really was a sight to behold. I’m delighted to hear it’s going to be repeated again this year, especially as I’m a big fan of classic cars. Rumour has it that there’ll be even more cars in more locations across the city so watch this space for more details nearer the time.
North Sea Tall Ships Regatta, Blyth: 26 – 29 August
The Port of Blyth is the place to be over the bank holiday weekend in August. A breathtaking array of Tall Ships and stunning vessels will sail in to Northumberland for a four day party with live music, grand parades, fantastic local food and spectacular fireworks. Cameras at the ready for this unmissable event, I can’t wait!