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Everything You Need to Know About Freedom on the Tyne – THIS SUNDAY!

October 24, 2017 in Something a bit random! 7

If you live in or around Newcastle, chances are you’ve already heard about ‘Freedom City 2017’, the city-wide programme marking the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. receiving an honorary degree from Newcastle University.

The anniversay falls on the 13th November but many celebratory events inspired by Dr King’s legacy have already taken place and there are plenty more to come, including the hugely anticiapted ‘Freedom on the Tyne’!

martin luther king artwork

Image Credit: NGI

What is Freedom on the Tyne?

It’s a tricky one to describe because there has never been anything like this in Newcastle before. Think of the city as a huge stage where performers will act out the drama of civil rights struggles from across the globe. Theatre, music, dance, circus and art will bring to life the dramatic stories of the courageous people who have led the long march for civil rights.

You could be walking down the Bigg Market and catch an outdoor perfomance that potrays the Haunting of General Dyer in 1919 in India. Or you could be wandering along the Quayside and suddenly find yourself in the midst of a demonstration against the infamous pass laws in the 1960’s in South Africa.

Full details of all the performances can be found here:

Image Credit: NGI

When is it all Happening?

Freedom on the Tyne will take over the city on Sunday 29th October, 2017 from 3pm to 6pm. The best way to enjoy it would be to follow the story from start to finish across the various locations but it can also be experienced at any stage for any duration.

An epic finale will take place on the Tyne Bridge at around 5.15pm and you will definitely want to be there for that!

Image Credit: NGI

When and Why will the Tyne Bridge Closed on Sunday?

To round off a day of captivating performances and passionate celebrations, Freedom on the Tyne will culminate in a jaw dropping display of performance, sound and light on NewcastleGateshead’s most iconic landmark!

The Tyne Bridge will be closed to traffic from 1pm until 8.30pm for this unforgettable event, the first of it’s kind to ever to take place on the bridge.

It’s probably best to wrap up warm because no doubt you’ll be covered in goosebumps as the North East unites to celebrate Dr King’s unshakeable message of peace, justice and equality. The hairs on the back of my neck are standing on end just thinking about how emotive it will be to see the night sky above the Tyne lit up in honour of all those cvil rights heroes.

Do You Need a Ticket?

The simple answer to that is no!

The whole event is free to enjoy. It’s been conceived and directed by acclaimed international director Tim Supple and scripted by award-winning writer Roy Williams, all you need to do is turn up and experience it.

Where Can You Find Out More?

This is the website for the whole programme of events: and for everything that’s happening on Sunday 29th October check out

If you’re on Twitter you should follow @freedomcity2017 and use the hastags #FreedomCity2017 and #FreedomontheTyne

*This is a collaborative post with NewcastleGateshead Initiative

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6 years ago

Exactly where when and who decided to rename the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, and the town of Gateshead, NewcastleGateshead. There is no NewcastleGateshead no one wants or asked for this redicilous rebranding excercise.
Presumably during this civil rights fest there will be at least one event celebrating, Charles Earl Grey, (He of the monument and street) a local man, & former prime minister who’s government abolished slavery and brought in the great reform act?

6 years ago

Terrible idea closing the Tyne bridge and all the road closures. The person who dreamt up this showed total disregard for those who had to work on Sunday in the city or traveling through causing a traffic nightmare! Love the message of this great man MLK “I have a dream” speech I wish it had of been more tastefully remembered.

maureen guy
maureen guy
4 years ago

What if any entitlements does one aquire when they have freedom of Tyne and Wear.?

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