At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Boris Johnson left theatres and performance venues in an impossible position as he warned the UK to ‘avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues’, but chose not to order these venues to close for a further four days.
This meant that the public were aware that they should not be attending events with mass gatherings, but left venues in limbo of having to choose to close for public safety, but facing uncertainty about what would that would mean for their staff and building. As the government didn’t immediately make it mandatory for cultural venues to close, it meant that they were unable to claim any compensation for cancelled performances. This left venue managers in the turmoil of facing financial loss, trying to keep customers happy as some were against going to shows but others were more than happy to as lockdown hadn’t been brought into affect yet, as well as wanting to keep their own staff safe.
Eventually when the government did announce that all theatres, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants needed to close back on 20th March, it at least meant that the decision had been taken out of their hands. However, since this occurred there has been absolutely no financial support offered specifically to the arts and culture sector. The furlough scheme has been introduced, however, which does allow many businesses to continue to offer monthly pay to their staff rather than make them redundant. But, within the live performance industry many staff are freelance, which means that they may not receive furlough at all, and also zero hour contract staff who also may not see much benefit of the furlough scheme.
Now, the affects of venues such as theatres having to remain closed for many months, with no reopening date in sight yet, is proving critical. Venues in other areas of the country such as Nuffield Southampton Theatre and Southport Theatre and Convention Centre have already sadly gone into administration. Even the iconic Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London has warned that it faces permanent closure and insolvency as a result of lockdown.
In Newcastle, it has come to light that some of our own venues are struggling too. As theatres and venues rely on ongoing tickets sales and revenue from merchandise and bars to keep going, it’s more than understandable that our venues face insecure futures. In the past week, The Evening Chronicle has broken stories about both the Tyneside Cinema and Newcastle Theatre Royal facing mass staff redundancies, as they are in serious risk of their venues closing indefinitely (links below).
It goes without saying that buildings such as these cost a lot of money to maintain, even when they are not in use, and without ongoing performances it is increasingly difficult for venues to continue to exist without making cuts and without being able to rely on income from future shows. As the government is currently unable to offer the cultural sector any information on when live performance venues may be able to reopen, and under what circumstances that may be, it’s also going to become harder for theatres to go ahead with this years panto season. Although pantomimes generally don’t start until the end of November, there is a lot of work and investment that goes into them that usually ramps up in the summer and autumn time to prepare shows. However, lockdown restrictions may continue to put a big halt to these types of productions, leading the People’s Theatre in Heaton to already cancel their panto for 2020. Panto is one of the most crucial income generating times of year for many theatres, so the loss of it will result in a huge financial hit.
As people fear the worst for the UK’s theatre and arts sector, petitions and calls on the government demanding further support for the industry are being amplified across the country. As well as providing entertainment and culture for the public, performance venues are instrumental to the economy. They not only provide jobs for thousands of people, but also offer enrichment, charitable experiences and skill building for vulnerable people, and bring in millions of pounds each year in both local spending and tourism. If the arts sector suffers, this will then have an effect on local restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, taxi firms, beauty salons, the list goes on.
But still, the government is failing to offer any direct support to the UK’s arts and culture venues. In a week which has seen the reopening of nonessential shops and zoos, arts venues are still being left out and unsupported. A pattern which perhaps comes unsurprisingly to arts professionals, as arts and culture funding has been gradually and consistently cut since 2010, even before the pandemic began.
While the spirit and passion of arts workers and culture lovers remains strong, support from the countries leaders remains nonexistent.
Over the last two weeks, the Black Lives Matter movement has become incredibly prevalent and at the forefront of worldwide media, following mass protests against police brutality. This follows the tragic death of George Floyd, an African American man, at the hands of US police in Minneapolis, despite him being unarmed.
Rightly so, the black community and those against racism across the globe have had enough of the unfair treatment towards black people from authorities, and the systematic racism that has led to many people of colour being killed and oppressed by police.
In a bid of solidarity, this week has seen people from all over the world share George’s story, sign petitions, donate to charities supporting black families and organisations and raise awareness for black history. This has included many different companies and organisations giving their own messages of support to the Black Lives Matter movement, and actively push for inclusivity.
Today a collective of cultural organisations based in North East of England have publicly ‘Denounced Racism’, in a message and stance that holds their sector very much against racism of any kind.
Organisations, including Northern Stage, Alphabetti Theatre, New Writing North and Gosforth Civic Theatre to name a few, have shared the following message on their social media pages and on their websites;
“We stand to denounce racism in all its forms
The cultural sector of the North East declare that silence is not ok and silence is seen as complicity. Racism has no place in a just and humane society.
Whilst we cannot undo pain and neglect, we are calling on all of us in the arts, cultural, heritage sectors; professional and voluntary to work together to address racism and its deep roots. We must listen, have conversations and most importantly act, we know we need to do better. Everyone is part of the solution – artists, staff, trustees, partners, promoters, audiences and communities.
We want to tackle this together in sharing better understanding and practices. We stand united to bring about change in our thinking and actions as a collective of organisations and individuals.
In the weeks and months to come we will collectively act to build on this statement with concrete steps and actions to demonstrate our commitment to bringing about real change. We ask you to stand with us.”
The cultural sector has and will continue to play an incredibly important role in spreading awareness of Black Lives Matter, as well as being inclusive and giving a platform to people of colour from many different backgrounds and heritage. As a region, it’s vital that our cultural organisations push the fight for equality.
For more information about Black Lives Matter, or to make a charitable donation, please visit;
Newcastle has a been a well known shopping destination for years now, and we’re lucky to have a wide collection of stores to choose from. Although today we have an incredible selection of independent shops mixed in with larger brands, many chain stores, and some of our independents, have been & gone.
If, like me, you experienced shopping in Newcastle in the late 90’s and 00’s, lots of the following shops may take you back to a much simpler time. When Baby Spice made platform shoes popular, flavoured lipgloss was considered super fashionable and your collection of rubber bracelets needed to be longer than your actual arm.
Dolcis was the place to go for trendy shoes. If you were after a new pair of summer sandals or stylish school shoes, you had to head to Dolcis in Eldon Square.
2. Virgin Megastore
Remember standing in the little music booths in Virgin Megastore on Northumberland Street to listen to the latest chart topping singles, like Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl? It was in direct competition with HMV, which was also just up the street at the time.
From what I remember, there was a Kookai concession in Fenwicks, and it also had its own larger store on Market Street, taking up part of what is currently Start Fitness. At the time it was considered high fashion… or at least the high streets version of it.
Kids today will sadly never experience the greatest pick & mix there ever was. Woolworths on Clayton Street was the go to for sweets, stationary, gifts and toys. *Sigh*, how we miss it…
5. Jane Norman
The best thing about Jane Norman was that you could use their snazzy plastic bags for your PE kit, and look dead cool at school. The clothes were pretty overpriced though, so it was best to go when there was a sale on.
Birthdays sat in between Haymarket bus station and Haymarket metro station for years. It was a tiny little card and gift shop which was super handy whenever you’d forgotten it was someone’s birthday.
7. Miss Selfridge
Now, although there is still a small Miss Selfridge above Dorothy Perkins in town, there did used to be a much larger version of the shop at the main entrance to Eldon Square. It had a lot more to choose from, and even a photo booth that printed photos as stickers.
8. Early Learning Centre
Many people around my age, *cough* early thirties *cough*, will remember the absolute joy of going to the Early Learning Centre to buy those amazing plastic toy animals and dinosaurs. It was one of the best shops in Eldon Square that a child could go to.
So, I’ve already mentioned the big Miss Selfridge that used to be next to the main entrance of Eldon Square, Quicksilver took its place afterwards and had a large store in town. Perfect fit you wanted to look cool and athletic.
10. The Disney Store
A lot of Newcastle’s regular shoppers will know that Disney had a shop in the new posh bit of Eldon Square recently, but years ago they had a dedicated Disney Store, close to John Lewis. It was either where Clinton Cards or Lakeland is now, but I’m not sure which.
11. Our Price
Now this is really testing my memory, but I’m pretty sure that Our Price used to be next to one of the entrances to the Green Market, where the new food quarter is now. It was SO cheap you couldn’t not come away with loads of random CD’s.
12. La Senza
La Senza was the lingerie shop that every girl bought their first (uncomfortable) push up bra from. No matter the season, La Senza was always stockpiled with underwear and flowery bras in every colour.
13. Gadget Shop
Remember the Gadget Shop? It was full of pointless gadgets that you never needed but always wanted. It was also a fantastic store to buy Christmas presents, or just waste half a day playing with stuff you didn’t buy.
I don’t remember going into Adams when I was a kid, but I may well have done. It was one of Eldon Squares few shops dedicated to just children’s clothing.
Morgan was another girls clothes shop that had fantastic shopping bags for PE Kits. They also sold large zip up tote bags and black & white t-shirts with just ‘Morgan’ written on them, which to be honest is the only thing I think I ever bought there.
Bay, or Bay Trading Co., was another clothes shop gone before it’s time. I had a pair of baby pink corduroy jeans that I absolutely loved from Bay, and I’ll never forget them.
There used to be a massive British Home Stores on Northumberland Street. Eventually Outfit took over the large high street shop, which has also, er, sadly now closed too.
Kathmandu is the odd one out here, as it’s the only small local/ independent shop in this list. But credit where credits due, it was a fantastic goth shop if you were into that kind of thing. Remember how busy hippy green on Old Eldon Square used to get? It certainly made Newcastle more interesting.
19. MK One
MK One was always full of bargain clothes. I think I was probably even wearing a top from MK One the first time I ever went drinking at Kiss in the Bigg Market when I was 16.
20. Green Market
I’ve already mentioned the Green Market very briefly, but I don’t feel like I can leave it out of this list as it feels so nostalgic. It was full of fruit stalls, a computer games shop, an ear piercing shop and a Greggs among others.
21. Tammy Girl
Tammy Girl was a young lasses glow up from children’s wear to FASHIONISTA. Their trendy t-shirts and funky accessories were all the rage, and you knew you were cool if you were wearing a Tammy Girl outfit.
Etam was slightly more grown up than Tammy Girl, and where you’d start shopping once you knew you were becoming a more elegant young lady. It was great for school trousers too.
23. Internacionale/ Au Naturale
Cast you minds back to a time when Eldon Square was home to a superstore that had both Intercionale clothes shop AND Au Naturale interiors. What a dream, what a time to be alive, you’ve never seen so many jelly candles in your life. Quite sure it was where Holland & Barrett is now?
24. Rebel Rebel
Who could forget Rebel Rebel? They had £10 trousers in every colour and every going out top and ridiculously short skirt you could dream of. Even if you didn’t shop there, their sparkly fake Burberry patterned t-shirts were unmistakable.
Have these shops brought back any memories for you? Are there any I’ve missed out that you wish you could step back in time to shop at again? Leave a comment or send me a message!
Although we are still in a state of lockdown and daydreaming about pints with our mates in the hopefully not too distant future, we’re beginning to see a very faint light at the end of the tunnel. While public safety is indeed the most important aspect in this situation, it’s nice to imagine what we’ll do that first weekend after lockdown has officially come to an end.
There’s so much about Newcastle that I’ve missed over the last couple of months, so of course I have a huge list of places I want to visit as soon as it’s safe. But how can I fill that first glorious weekend of freedom with as much about what I love in the North East as possible? Well, I made a map to help!
To prepare for a weekend full of adventures you need a good breakfast to get you started. So, on Saturday morning a trip The Naked Deli on Gosforth High Street is a must. I’ll order my favourite from their breakfast menu, a smoked salmon scrambled egg with chives bowl and a peanut butter and banana protein shake. While my sidekick and lovely partner, Andy, always goes for their protein French toast with crispy bacon and maple syrup. A perfect energy boost for the day ahead!
After breakfast we’ll take a walk through Gosforth and head to Jesmond Dene. As always we’ll take a sneaky look at Jesmond Dene House on the way and talk about how amazing their restaurant must be!
After strolling through the dene and enjoying the gorgeous greenery, we’ll come to an end at Armstrong Bridge and then head towards Ouseburn, past the Biscuit Factory and along Ouseburn’s archways. Our second stop of the day will be at one of the sweetest spots in the city, Dreamworld Cakes, which is nestled in Arch 3. As someone with a huge sweet tooth and a love for local businesses, I really can’t speak highly enough of this cosy little patisserie. I’ve never seen cakes so lovingly and intricately created, and the staff are always fantastic. The cakes taste as wonderful as they look, too.
Afterwards, we’ll pop across the road to one of my most favourite places in Newcastle, Ouseburn Farm. The farm is a particularly special part of the city as it’s an incredibly unique city centre farm, sitting in the middle of Ouseburn’s pubs and creative studios, below Byker Bridge. It’s just a lovely place in Newcastle to see animals and enjoy a small corner of farm life. It’s also completely free to go to, but it does act as a fantastic charity, so of course we won’t forget to leave a donation!
After a morning of eating, walking and making friends with Ouseburn farms lambs and cows, it’s time for a drink. As we’re already in Ouseburn, it only makes sense to head to one of the local pubs, The Ship Inn. In an ideal world, the first weekend after lockdown will be nice and sunny, so we’ll sit outside on the deck and enjoy a nice pint in the sun. A pint of cider for me, and a beer for Andy.
Now that we’re celebrating, there’s a venue in Newcastle that I haven’t visited yet that’s definitely on my to do list. So, we’ll take a quick walk up to Hoults Yard to find Full Circle Brew Co., which I’ve heard nothing but good things about. The venue itself is an active brewery, but also has its own bar to sit down in and enjoy looking into the brewery itself as you try their beer first hand. Being newbies, we’ll ask the owner, Ben, what he recommends;
“I mean, I’d recommend them all but it very much depends on the style of beer you like. We have three cores which have all been designed and developed for over a year with tweaks on each version to maximise the taste for all, they’re our crowd-pleasers. Our Hoop American Pale Ale is designed as a ‘gateway beer’ for the drinkers who are just getting into craft beer. Less hop bitterness and haze but still packing the expected flavours celebrated in an APA. The Repeater Session IPA is built for those who want more than a few in a day, great citrus hop flavour with a light bittering on the background. Now for the flagship, our heavy hitter and our best in my opinion. Our Hazy, Hoppy and Fairly Boozy IPA standing at 6.4%. It has a softening New England water profile and is packed with Citra hops, this is a real star in the making.” – Ben Cleary, Full Circle Brew Co. Owner & Founder
After a lovely couple of drinks at Full Circle, we’ll hit the road again and head straight down to the Quayside. It’s a lovely day, so we’re off to enjoy some more drinks and a late lunch at By The River Brew, overlooking the Tyne. This place is great because they have so many different food vendors in their Hawker Market, so there’s something to keep everyone happy. We’ll pig out on an authentic parmo from Parm-O-Rama, and some amazing fries with steak, known as the Steak Supper, from Shanty Town. Of course By The River Brew have their own great selection of home brewed beers too, and the selection sometimes changes. So it’ll be a beer for Andy and a crisp cider for me.
After enjoying the awesome scenes on the riverside, it’s time to head up into the city for some cocktails. And where’s best to go for a fine quality cocktail in town? Horticulture, of course! While it’s one of Newcastle’s newest additions to the bar and restaurant scene, Horticulture has already made it’s mark by specialising in an incredible selection of cocktails and percolators, as well an impressively creative kitchen. The drinks menu there is so boundless that I always have difficulty choosing which to order, so I’ll ask the bar owner, Mike, what he’d recommend;
“I would work your way through one of our world record amount of espresso martini flavours, or personally some of our signature cocktails are mind-blowing. My personal favourite is Wham Bam Rhubarb Jam which we use Rhubarb grown from our allotment, real tasty” – Mike Hesketh, Horticulture Owner & Founder
One Wham Bam Rhubarb Jam for me it is then, along with an Old Fashioned for Andy who likes his cocktails strong. A trip to Horticulture on a nice day also means sitting out on the gorgeous sun terrace, which is the perfect little sun trap in the city centre.
Once we’ve had our fill of drinking in the sunshine, in my ideal world, we’ll be off to see a show at The Tyne Theatre. Now, obviously there aren’t any shows lined up for the immediate future, but this is my perfect after lockdown weekend, so I’m going to pretend that Klub Kids are hosting a show starring some of the RuPauls Drag Race Queens. It’ll be a great night of entertainment and comedy and it means that we’ll get to spend the evening in one of Newcastle’s most enchanting buildings, as well as catch up with some of my friends working there.
Now after Saturday’s day drinking we’re likely feeling a little bit fragile today. So, what better way to freshen up than by taking a trip on the metro to Tynemouth? As it’s a Sunday, the famous Tynemouth Market will be in full swing as we get there, and it’s the perfect time for a bit of shopping and rummaging around antiques. I absolutely love the random mixture of things you find there, from stunning artwork to homemade candles to eclectic bric-a-brac.
After we’ve made our way around the market, we’ll head to King Edwards Bay for some fresh air by the sea and sandy toes, before heading back up the hill to the well known Marshall’s fish & chip shop for lunch. Their scampi & chips is a perfect hangover cure!
After picking up some chocolate from Gareth James Chocolatier (did I mention I had a sweet tooth?) and a quick look into Raspberry Bazaar, we’ll get the metro again and head to Monument. Now that we’re a bit more bright eyed and bushy tailed, we’ll grab a milkshake each from Shakeaholic. My favourite flavour is Black Jacks, sounds strange but it works, and Andy’s is a Milky Way. Shakeaholic has only just been renovated too, so the shop is all nice and shiny.
After getting our milkshake fix, we’ll make our way to Dog and Scone just off the Bigg Market, for a sit down with a coffee and some cuddles with the cafe’s lovely collection of friendly dogs. What could make a Sunday even more perfect then some quality puppy petting?
Next, we’ll pop up the road again for a movie at the historical Tyneside Cinema. Hopefully they’ll be playing some old cinematic favourites and we can watch a classic like Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Some Like It Hot on a Sunday afternoon. Watching a film like this in the Tyneside Cinema’s beautiful auditorium isn’t like any other cinema experience in the North East, and it’s the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday.
Top finish up a wonderful weekend, we’ll indeed be going for some more fantastic food. Seeing as we’re being indulgent, we’ll obviously be visiting Lola Jeans on Market Street for some of the best burgers in town. Now, as delicious as their burgers are, one of my favourite things to order at Lola Jeans is their Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls starter. It’s amazing! But for our mains, it’ll be a California burger for Andy, and a Clancy Wiggum for me!
Before rolling home to our bed, there’s just enough time for us to walk off some of the excess calories from the weekend with a stroll across the Millennium Bridge to take in the views on the way back to our flat in Gateshead.
Without wanting to dwell on negatives too much, the last two months have been a strange, difficult and worrying time, not least for the arts and culture sector.
In Newcastle, it’s been both great and hard to see lots of our wonderful live performance venues coming up with inventive ways to stay engaged with theatre and music lovers, as well as developing initiatives to raise money while needing to remain closed. You’re hard work has been incredible.
Live music and theatre is part of the heart and soul of the North East. I can’t wait until shows can go ahead again for that wonderful stage magic and the buzz of an amazing gig. We may have to wait a bit before that can happen, but when it does and we can walk back through the doors of our favourite venues, it will be unbeatable.
So, to raise a glass, to applaud and to celebrate our incredible venues, their dedicated staff and the fantastic creatives we’re lucky enough to have right here in Newcastle, this piece of art is for you. Designed by my very talented friend, Amy Hall, this artwork is a gift to all of the live venues in the city, as well as everyone who enjoys them. It symbolises that this isn’t a time of sadness but a time of hope and strength in the face of adversity.
In the last two months theatres, concert venues and music halls have been forced to postpone or cancel all of their immediate shows, due to Covid 19.
Of course, this has left many people who had purchased tickets for events unsure of what will happen next. It’s also been a very difficult time for the venues themselves as they try to navigate through this period of uncertainty. Many of them are also only able to operate with skeleton staff at the moment.
However, customer bookings are a priority to live performance venues, and from what I have seen so far, I know that a lot of venues here in the North East have been working their hardest to make sure that customers with tickets to any cancelled performances are helped as soon as possible.
But, the staff at these venues are only human and can only sift through each of their bookings personally at a certain speed. This has led to a number of these venues being inundated with queries from clients who want to find out what to do with their tickets. Staff from relevant ticket sellers should be in touch with you either by email or over the phone, to let you know of any changes to your booking, but there may be a delay in this if there’s a backlog. It’s also worth noting that if you have purchased tickets through a website such as Ticketmaster or Eventim, then they should be sending out emails to bookers with further information too.
However, to try to help the situation, I’ve put together some information of where to find details of postponed or cancelled shows for a collection of venues in the North East.
The arena’s ticketing partner for their events is Ticketmaster, so information regarding events should come from them. But to make things as easy as possible, the Utilita Arena have curated an easy to use guide specifying which of their events have been cancelled or moved. This webpage is also being updated as and when necessary with any updates;
They have also stated on this page that; “If an event is not listed below we currently do not have any information to provide so please keep checking for updates”. So, if you have tickets for an event that is not currently on this list, then they likely won’t be able to give any further information on it at this time.
You can also view all upcoming shows at Utilita Arena to purchase tickets, here;
The Theatre Royal in Newcastle have recently issued the following statement;
“We are working hard to contact all customers who are awaiting refunds as quickly as possible. We are aware some customers have been waiting for a few weeks and we are extremely grateful for your patience.
We are also working hard to contact customers who have tickets for upcoming performances with more details regarding cancellations. We are trying to reschedule as many performances as possible so you don’t miss out on the excellent shows we had planned; depending on our progress with this not all show cancellations will necessarily be announced and processed in chronological order. Please rest assured that we will contact you in due course.
We’re doing our best and appreciate your support.
The Theatre Royal haven’t issued a specific list of performances that have been cancelled, however they are giving regular updates on their social media as to what’s happening. Understandably, as a lot of the theatre’s performances have long runs at the venue then it may be a more lengthy process for them reschedule shows.
You can view further information from the theatre, here;
The Tyne Theatre is currently working very hard to contact each of their customers individually with information on their tickets. They are working with minimal box office staff at the moment so there is currently a delay. The theatre have previously issued information regarding cancellations and refunds, here;
In this, they have stated; “If a show is rescheduled: Tickets will remain valid for the rescheduled date. We do encourage ticket holders to hold onto their tickets where possible in this turbulent time for the events industry – which needs your support now, more than ever. However, If you are unable to attend the rescheduled date, refunds will be available from your point of purchase”.
And; “If a show is cancelled: Refunds will be available from your point of purchase. If you booked through our ticketing agent Eventim, your payment card will be refunded automatically. If you booked via our box office we will be in touch to issue your refund (please bear with us at this busy time). If you booked through another ticketing agent, please contact them with any enquiries regarding your refund”.
A list of their upcoming cancelled and rescheduled events can also be found on their website, here;
The City Hall joined forces with O2 last year, and their comms are now very similar to that if the O2 Academy’s. They are also posting regular updates about shows to their Twitter page, and have released further information on their website, here;
All of their current shows up until at least 7th May have been temporarily postponed, and further updates will follow after the Government’s advice after this date. Ticketing staff will be contacting purchasers directly if your tickets have been affected.
The Sage have announced that all shows and other events at their venue will not be going ahead until further notice. They have also said that their box office team are working to contact customers of cancelled and postponed shows directly. For more information you can view their statement in full, here;
So, currently all performances up until 31st July have been suspended, and the box office team are working very hard to contact all customers in due course. If you have any urgent queries for Northern Stage, then please email them rather than call, and be aware that there may be a delay in response.
The People’s Theatre are a community based theatre and so it’s current closure is difficult for the box office team there.
All performances there have currently been cancelled for the remainder of their Spring/ Summer season. They have assured customers that their box office will be in touch with customers directly and are also regularly updating their Twitter page with news and updates.
You can also visit their website for any further information, here;
If you have any problems at all in reaching out to any of these venues, or any others in the country at the moment for that matter, please be patient. Live venues are are currently dealing with a lot of uncertainty and stress in trying to mange the situation. But their priority is bringing the stage back to life and inviting you all back through their doors as soon and as safely as they can.
Have any further questions? Contact me at Tickets in Newcastle and I’ll help as best I can!
It’s a strange time in the events industry at the moment, with shows not going ahead for the foreseeable future for obvious reasons.
Venues are closed and concerts, gigs and productions have had to cancel and postpone performances and tours. Huge stars are in no way exempt from this, and even big upcoming tours from artists such as Harry Styles, Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift have all been affected.
There were also likely a number of big tours that have needed to be postponed that weren’t even announced yet, and I have a sneaky suspicion that a large scale tour from the Queen Bey herself may have been one of them.
I’m a HUGE Beyoncé fan. I’ve seen her in concert 10 times, and was also lucky enough to see Destiny’s Child live back in 2002. I’ve spent a lot of money on travelling to other cities to see her shows and have even held her hand from a VIP pit (or the Beyhive Pit as her fans will know). I wouldn’t change it for the world as I’m always blown away by her shows and her stage presence, but it would be nice to see Beyoncé play in my hometown of Newcastle again.
In fact, here’s 10 reasons why Beyoncé should bring her next tour to Newcastle;
1. She Hasn’t Performed In Newcastle Since 2009 –
Yes, it’s true. The last time Bey graced Newcastle with her presence was all the way back in May 2009, when she performed at the Utilita Arena (then named the Metro Radio Arena). It was part of the UK leg of the I Am tour, which showcased her Sasha Fierce days and Single Ladies dance routine. Of course, Beyoncé did bring her last solo tour, The Formation World Tour, to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light in 2016. The show sold out and attracted crowds from all over the North East… but haway man.
2. Geordie Crowds Are One Of The Best In The Country –
It’s absolutely no secret that Geordie’s love a good gig, and we’re not quiet about it! I can’t count the number of concerts I’ve been to here where the performers have been in awe of the audience. The atmosphere that a crowd in Newcastle can bring is like no other. We’re a canny bunch, and an eclectic collection of people. When we get together for a show, the scenes are incredible. Even if there’s a bit of rain, it never puts a dampener on the crowds here, and certainly never stops us from putting on our trendiest outfit and donning our sharpest winged eyeliner. One things for sure, when Beyoncé hits the stage in her Freakum’ Dress, we’ll be right there looking like Diva’s.
3. Geordie Fans Are Loyal –
A Geordie fan is a fan for life. We love what we love and we’re dear to it. Beyoncé has a lot of devotee’s here in Newcastle, mainly because we’re people of good taste. There’s a big music and fashion scene in the North East too, and Beyoncé is undoubtably a big influence on both of those. As she’s been a big player in the music industry for over 20 years now, her music has also been a popular staple of radio, bars and nightclubs in the UK for a long time, which has created fans spanning various generations. Have you ever been in Mushroom Bar swigging a double vodka and coke when Run the World starts playing? It’s wild.
4. We’ve Got Different Venues To Choose From –
Ok so, granted, we do only have one arena in Newcastle and it is a liiiittle bit smaller than other arenas in the country. But, the arena is an iconic music venue in Newcastle and there’s a lot of love in that building with a good act on stage. Bey could even do more than one date there and they’d all be sellouts. We also have The Sage, which is renown for some of the best acoustics in Europe. The Sage would be perfect if she wanted to host a string of smaller, more intimate, shows in a beautifully artistic venue. However, Beyoncé’s last two tours, The Formation World Tour and On The Run 2 with Jay Z, were both stadium tours. So, how about St James Park? It has a capacity of over 50,000 – so just imagine the amazing show that Beyoncé could hold there.
5. Easy Travel –
Newcastle City Centre, and each of the three venues I’ve just listed, are very easy to travel to. Newcastle has a great system of metros and busses for local travel, as well as Central Station in the heart of the city and Newcastle Airport for anyone travelling further afield. There’s also an endless amount of taxi ranks in town for if your feet are sore after the show.
6. It Would Be One Of The Most Anticipated Events In The Region Of The Year –
Even if times were more normal at the minute, a Beyoncé concert in Newcastle would be one of the biggest events of the year. The excitement, the local media coverage, the Instagram pics, the mini busses full of lasses buzzing to dance away to Crazy in Love. It would be amazing. And if she was to announce a tour date in Newcastle after the lockdown, the anticipation would be amplified ten fold.
7. It Would Bring Tourism And An Economic Boost To The City –
Beyoncé’s talents are so vast that they include tourist and attractions management. Big concerts attract fans and gig goers from all over, and I should know as I have travelled to Glasgow, London, Manchester and Sydney, Australia, to see Beyoncé live. Gigs are a great excuse for a weekend away, a trip with friends or for die hard fans, like me, to show their dedication. This will bring money to the region from tourists staying in hotels and enjoying Newcastle’s shopping, food and bar scene. It goes without saying that, after the current lockdown, the city would greatly benefit from this sort of financial boost.
8. We’re A City Of Art and Culture –
In her spare time, when Beyoncé’s not selling out stadiums, having children or winning Grammy Awards, she paints. She’s also a known lover of poetry, photography and art galleries. Thankfully, Newcastle is full of wonderful art and cultural venues such as The Baltic, Laing Art Gallery and The Biscuit Factory. Beyoncé even filmed her music video for Ape Sh!t in the The Louvre Museum when she was in Paris, so, you never know?
9. Newcastle Has Some Of The Best Bars And Restaurants In The Country –
Newcastle has always been known as a party city, but over the last few years the toon has also flourished into a mecca for independent breweries, cocktail bars, coffee shops, café’s and restaurants. Not only are the bars and restaurants in Newcastle perfect for pre concert refreshments, but they’re also fit for a Queen… Bey.
10. The After Parties Would Be Amazing –
Imagine; you’ve spent the last two hours dancing, screaming and crying to Beyoncé. Actual Beyoncé. On stage in front of you. The Queen has finished her concert and you have been truly blessed to have been in the same room as her and thousands of others living it up. You’re a bit drunk. Drunk in Love, to be exact. And you’re in the toon, surrounded by some of the most banging bars and clubs in the UK. Or, some of the worst if you’d prefer those. You step onto a sticky dance floor in Florita’s with your mates around you and a daiquiri in your hand. You’re ready to dance All Night.
So there we have it, at least 10 reasons why Beyoncé should bring her next tour to Newcastle upon Tyne. Can you think of any others? Let me know!
Music lovers of the North East will likely be well aware of the yearly festival that takes place in the stunning Tynemouth Priory each summer.
The festival has been going since 2005 and in previous years has pulled in huge acts such as Sam Fender, Beverley Knight, James Bay and Billy Ocean.
This year, the festival was due to go ahead on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th July. However, the festivals organisers have announced this morning that due to the current situation surrounding Covid-19, the Mouth of the Tyne Festival will not be going ahead this year.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as the festival has managed to postpone their bookings with most of this years artists for July 2021 instead, and the lineup will now be happening between 8th – 11th July next year.
One of their headline performers, Keane, will now be taking to the stage on 8th July 2021, alongside Cattle and Cane and Eliza Shaddad. And the headliners for second part of the festival, Lighthouse Family, will perform on 10th July 2021, joined by PP Arnold and Georgie.
The event organisers released the following statement via their social media channels this morning;
“With a heavy heart, we announce that we have decided to reschedule this summer’s Mouth of the Tyne Festival. We will return between 8-11 July 2021. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, as with many other festivals and events across the UK this summer, we’ve decided to take action to protect residents, visitors, artists, suppliers and staff, following the latest government advice.
We are, however, delighted to say that ALL artists have agreed to return to Tynemouth next year. Keane’s rescheduled show will be on Thursday 8 July 2021 and Lighthouse Family’s will be on Saturday 10 July 2021. Newton Faulkner’s show at Playhouse Whitley Bay has been rescheduled for Monday 16 November this year. We’ll provide an update on festival performances from Saving Grace and John Cooper Clarke soon.
This would’ve been the festival’s 16th year. We really are very sad to have to postpone, our team has been working tirelessly to deliver you an amazing festival this summer, and we hate to think of you disappointed. We simply cannot take any chances on public safety in light of the ongoing situation. Thank you to everybody who has purchased tickets so far, all tickets remain valid for 2021, but if you would like a refund, you can get one from your point of purchase. Either Ticketmaster or See Tickets will be in touch with you soon.”
So, to confirm, if you already have a ticket and would still like to attend the event next year then your tickets will remain valid. If you already have tickets but are unable to attend the festival in 2021, you will be able to get a refund and your ticket providers should be in touch with you shortly.
For more information about the Mouth of the Tyne Festival, you can visit their website, here;
Newcastle, and indeed the rest of the North East, is a hub of culture and home to some of the finest cultural venues that the UK has to offer.
Newcastle’s rich arts and hospitality scene is constantly developing and offering a range of incredible live performance, music, food, drink and art. Many of our local venues and cultural establishments are also run as hard working independent businesses, fuelled with love and passion for their craft.
Sadly, due to the current circumstances surrounding Covid-19, our wonderful venues now remain closed indefinitely, until the world can return to some sort of normalcy. Without being able to generate income from regular custom and sales, these independent venues are now at risk and may struggle to reopen without support from the community.
However, these organisations have put together different initiatives in a bid to help them get through this frankly quite awful time. Take a look to see how you can support some of the North East’s best cultural businesses to keep going;
The Tyne Theatre and Opera House;
The Tyne Theatre, based in the city centre on Westgate Road, has been a running Victorian theatre since 1867. The Grade | listed building has been lovingly restored and continues to run as a charitable trust, operated by a collection of devoted staff and volunteers.
The theatre offers a wide range of live theatre, including comedy, ballet, panto, concerts and traditional theatre. The venue is a favourite with stars such Sarah Millican, who has held many sold out performances at The Tyne Theatre in recent years. It’s also famously haunted by a mischief making ghost called Bob!
The theatre has been forced to reschedule and cancel performances due to the essential closure of the building, which means that the trust will suffer from a lack of income from ongoing shows and bar sales.
To aid the Tyne Theatre and Opera House you can purchase tickets for shows going ahead from later in the year, merchandise and can also donate directly to the charity. The theatre also has a Friends Club which will entitle you to a membership card, priority bookings and a free tour of the theatre. For more information, you can visit their website, here;
Ouseburn Farm is one of Newcastle’s most treasured organisations. In the heart of Ouseburn valley this little farm provides organic farming, education, skill building, volunteer opportunities and hands on experiences with their selection of farm animals. They also run as a charity, so they truly are a community based organisation.
This gorgeous green space within the city works to provide enrichment and vibrant experiences for people from all walks of life, within a welcoming and happy environment. The farm first originated in 1976 and has grown into a flourishing and wholesome place.
To support their cause and help keep the farm running, you can sponsor an animal, buy a bee on their art wall or make a direct donation, here;
Horticulture is one of Newcastle’s most recently opened establishments, specialising in an extensive cocktail list and a unique and ethically sourced menu of ‘modern British cuisine with international flavours, delivered in a relaxed social environment.’
After taking over premises on Market Lane, that used to be known as Paradiso, owner Mike Hesketh has put his heart and soul into creating a beautiful bar and restaurant, with gorgeous decor and expert staff. Specialising in events for over 10 years, it’s no surprise that Mike has put together one of the most impressive new venues in the city.
Horticulture have developed a generous Pay it Forward scheme, in which customers can purchase a voucher and receive another 50% of the amount for free to spent on food and drink.
To purchase a voucher and find out more about their incredible menu, you can visit their website, here;
Northern Stage have been developing local talent and theatre productions, as well as showcasing national and international performances in the North East since 1970. They have set the standard for theatres across the country in establishing and promoting accessible theatre for audiences, creators and performers from all different backgrounds.
The building houses three exciting different stages and offers magical theatre experiences for people of all ages. Northern Stage also operates as a charity and relies on donations from individuals and businesses to continue to run the theatre and also provide support and workshops for young people in the local area.
There are a number of different ways you can support the theatre, including purchasing tickets for future shows, signing up as a Member and giving a direct donation. For more information, visit their website, here;
The Cluny has been a driving force in providing a space for local and touring talent to perform within an independent music venue in Newcastle. Based in Ouseburn, The Cluny supports the local area in the regeneration and sustainment of the the Ouseburn area, which has become a thriving hive of artists, small local businesses and creatives.
The Cluny offers a range of gigs every week, as well as a friendly and comfortable bar and restaurant with great staff and a sociable atmosphere. They’re also a hub of excitement once the warm weather starts and customers affectionately make their way to Ouseburn to enjoy a pint in the sunshine.
They have merchandise and vouchers available which can be redeemed at the bar once they reopen. The vouchers make perfect gifts or can be bought preemptively for a celebration booze up once bars are allowed to open their doors again. To purchase vouchers and merch, you can visit their website, here;
Alphabetti is a wonderful independent theatre, small but full of character. You’d be forgiven if you haven’t heard of it before, as it’s one of Newcastle’s smaller cultural venues. However, Alphabetti is full to brim with local talent as well as warm and welcoming to touring productions.
The bar area is often open to enjoy whether or not you are there to see a show, and it even has its own photo cupboard and mini library. If you’re already a regular, you’ll know that Rex the staffy rules the roost at Alphabetti, and he’ll quite often welcome you with a waggy tail.
To support this excellent independent theatre, you can make a donation to help keep them going through the current situation, here;
Seven Stories museum specialises in children’s literature, and in providing an incredible space for children to read, learn and experience enchanting literature based events.
The National Centre for children’s books runs as a charity and is dedicated to celebrating the magic of children’s literature. Based in Ouseburn, the centre offers families and children a range of unique exhibitions, engaging storytellers, author readings, and an independent book shop.
To help them in their mission to continue to bring children’s reading to life, you can find out more about them and make a donation, here;
The People’s Theatre in Heaton is an exceptional cultural institution, championing non-professional theatre productions in the North East. First set up back in 1911, the organisation has been going for over 100 years and runs as a charity.
The theatre is home to a lovely foyer and bar area, as well as a 500 seat auditorium. The theatre is well known within Newcastle for showcasing first class am-dram performances as well as up and coming talent. It’s the heart of a community in the North East and is truly one of the UK’s cultural gems.
To make a donation or offer any other kind of support to this community organisation, you can visit their website, here;
Billy Bootleggers is the perfect independent haunt for anyone with a love for Americana style dive bars and live music. With a regular line up of lively bands and a bar stocked with home-brewed moonshine, this venue has been one of Newcastle City Centre’s most loved alternative venues since 2017.
Situated on Nelson Street, at one of the entrances to the Grainger Market, the bar has developed a reputation for live gigs and an American inspired menu.
As an independent venue, the bar needs support so that they can open again once social gatherings are allowed to go ahead, and bars and restaurants are allowed to open to the public again. So, they have set up a Crowdfunding campaign, offering to double your donation at the bar when it reopens. To make a donation and find out more, you can view their Crowdfunder page, here;
Gosforth Civic Theatre is an arts and events venue with a café and bar, based right next to Regent Centre. They are run by a charity named Liberdade Community Development Trust, who focus on working with people with autism and learning disabilities and helping them to get involved with the arts in their local community.
The theatre provides an inclusive space for theatre, events, cinema and music. They also offer a lot of classes and activities for families and anyone interested in the arts.
As they operate as a charity, their current closure deeply affects the organisation. The loss of ticket sales will meant that the theatre may struggle through this period. If you’d like to make a donation to Gosforth Civic Theatre, you can donate here;
The Tyneside Cinema has provided the North East with world class cinema from across the globe, with both old and new movies and art films since 1937, originally built as a news theatre.
The cinema is now ‘the North East’s leading specialised independent cinema and digital arts venue’ and operates as a charitable organisation. The gorgeous Grade || listed building is a cinema lovers haven and also offers a filmmaking program to help support creative potential.
The cinema usually welcomes over 500,000 customers each year, and without ticket and event sales it will be difficult for them keep the building running to be able to reopen. To support the Tyneside Cinema, you can make a donation or purchase a gift voucher on their website, here;
Newcastle’s Quayside is home to to the Live Theatre, a modern and unique venue with a great reputation for nurturing new talent and developing new writing.
It’s a fantastic theatre to experience new shows, both touring and developed here in the North East. It’s also perfectly situated to enjoy the art and architecture of the Quayside, and also has one of the nicest bars in the city centre, with a mixture of modern and countryside pub style interior.
To support the Live Theatre at this time, you can purchase merchandise and gift vouchers, join as a Friend and make a donation, here;
The Theatre Royal on Grey Street is one of Newcastle’s most well known theatres. It’s beautiful architecture helps it to stand out in the city centre, and it often welcomes large scale touring productions from the West End to the North East.
Loved by thousands of theatre goers each year, the Theatre Royal has been awarded with the North East’s Most Welcoming Theatre award four times since 2015. The stunning building truly brings the magic of theatre to life and has seen many stage legends perform there.
To support the theatre and help them to keep going while shows currently cannot go ahead, you can make a donation to the Theatre Royal, here;
Wylam Brewery is a stunning events venue, based inside the old Military Vehicle Museum in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park. The building has been restored to a beautiful space for live music and foodie events, as well as a tap room with numerous huge selection of beers to choose from, and a lovely outdoor area looking over the parks lake.
Wylam Brewery has become a favourite venue in the city for customers to enjoy a pint in the sun, or one of their fantastic Sunday dinners on a weekend. They have also pulled in live performers such as Trevor Nelson, regularly host incredible foodie events and is now also a popular wedding venue.
To support Wylam Brewery during this uncertain time until they can reopen, they do have an online store to purchase a selection if their different beers, here;
The Sage is one of the Quayside’s most iconic buildings, and is well know internationally for providing world class acoustics and sound quality for live performances. The venue attracts performers from many different genres, including renown classical, jazz and folk artists.
The Sage also offers a range of high quality classes and workshops for the local community, to get as many people as possible involved in the creative process of learning and engaging in music. They’re particularly passionate about providing support for young musicians and hold a Young Musicians Programme, open for children aged 4-19, from all different backgrounds, who are interested in music and improving their skills.
Without being able to rely to income from ticket sales, The Sage needs support to be able to reopen and keep their incredible venue going. To help them to get through this period, they have set up a Coronavirus Resilience Fund that can be donated to via text message. To find out more you can view their website, here;
The Tyne Bank Brewery is another excellent independent spot in Newcastle, based on Walker Road, near Hoults Yard. They celebrate everything craft, local, live music and niche events such as vinyl markets and DJ sets.
You may have even been lucky enough to attend one of their doggy socials which, just as they sound, invite their customers to bring along their four legged friends. Food, alcohol and pups? What a dream!
To help support this local brewery and super cool independent venue, you can still buy their beer online for delivery. To order, you can go to;
The Stand in Newcastle has become the go to venue in the city centre for nightly live comedy. The club hosts shows every week offering local established and up and coming comics, as well as giving a stage to touring comedians from across the globe. The Stand has given a platform to many local comedians who have gone on to become household names, and has also invited national live talent to perform for Geordie audiences since 2011.
The Stand does have two other venues based in Edinburgh and Glasgow, but the club and their comedy circuit do run as an independent business. Without sales from tickets and ongoing shows, the venue will struggle get back on its feet without support from fans of the hilarious hive that allows amateur and more well known talent to flourish.
To keep spirits high and momentum going, The Stands venue based in Edinburgh has been hosting free online comedy shows every Saturday night, which you can view via their Facebook page and YouTube. To Help support The Stand to keep going, you can purchase gift vouchers which can be given as gifts or redeemed for future performances, here;
Full Circle Brew Co. is a fantastic recent addition to Newcastle’s Hoults Yard. The independent Brewery and tap room offers an impressive assortment of beers, brewed right there in their venue. They even describe themselves as a ‘craft beer haven’, and believe me, they’re not wrong!
The venue itself has a unique and relaxed atmosphere, and the bar is even glass-fronted so that customers can view the entire brewery as you sit back and enjoy a pint or a cocktail. The venue itself is quite new but sadly is being affected by the current essential closure to the public. However, Full Circle Brew Co. are still able to sell a great range of their beers online. They can even offer free delivery on orders over £30 to postcodes NE1-NE12 & NE25-NE30, or free delivery on orders over £70 to anywhere else in mainland UK. To order, you can view their website, here;
The Little Buildings is a small and intimate music venue, based on Stepney Bank in Ouseburn. After having to relocate from their original premises, the venue has found a new home and only recently reopened in March, but sadly had to close shortly afterwards due to the Governments advise amidst current pandemic.
The 50 person capacity venue is run by a father and son team who are dedicated to providing an intimate music venue for live bands and grassroots music lovers in the heart of Newcastle. They have put a lot of work into their brand new venue, but are now faced with uncertainty for their future. If you’d like to support The Little Buildings, they are currently selling original recordings of previous performances that they have hosted. To purchase a track from a selection of music and donate to the venue, you can go to their crowdfunder page, here;
The information on all of these links are subject to change depending on the current situation regarding Covid-19 and the Governments advice.
Please only donate financially to any of these venues if you can afford to. You can show support to them for free, by either sharing their posts on social media, sharing this blog post, or by sending them a message to let them know you’re excited to visit them again once this situation has passed.
If you work for a cultural venue that would like to be included in this list then please get in touch.
If you’re stuck at home, maybe missing a pint at the pub or getting a bit bored of baking banana bread, you might have noticed a lot of companies and venues have started doing live online versions of pub quizzes – and it’s a dead canny idea!
The problem with this is that it can sometimes be a bit difficult joining in with one of these quizzes at the same time as your friends and family in other homes. So, I’ve put together 50 pub quiz worthy questions perfect for us Geordies to get involved with! This way, you can either challenge your family at home, or you can have one of your friends host as a quizmaster on a Skype, Zoom or Houseparty video call and have your very own pub quiz at home without leaving the house!
The rules are pretty simple, below are 50 questions about Geordie culture and Newcastle upon Tyne. Each question is multiple choice and gives you 3 options to choose from. Either print off the questions and multiple choice options, or keep note of which answer you choose from A, B or C. The correct answers are at the very bottom of this page – so it’s important that the quiz master doesn’t give these out to anyone and googling answers is not allowed. Little cheaters.
So, call ya mates, get ya snacks and the rosé wine out and let’s gan!
1. What year did the Tyne Theatre and Opera House on Westgate Road open?
2. Which is thought to be the oldest pub in Newcastle city centre?
A. City Tavern
B. The Old George Inn
C. The Town Wall
3. Before it closed down in 2008, which street was Woolworths based on in Newcastle City Centre?
A. Clayton Street
B. Grainger Street
C. Pilgrim Street
4. Which popular orange drink was invented by a chemist in Newcastle?
5. What year did Barry Manilow perform at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena (previously Metro Radio Arena) for the first time?
6. How long did it take to build the Tyne Bridge?
A. 10 Years
B. 5 Years
C. 3 Years
7. How many goals did Alan Shearer score playing for Newcastle United?
8. Newcastle Central Station was opened in 1850. Which members of the Royal family opened the station?
A. Prince George and Princess Marina
B. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
C. King George V and Queen Mary
9. Finish the lyrics to this number 1 single by PJ & Duncan, AKA Ant &Dec; “Lets get ready to…”
10. In 2006 a French artist placed different Space Invader inspired mosaics all over Newcastle City Centre and Gateshead. What is the name of the artist?
B. Space Raider
C. French Invader
11. The longest direct flight that leaves Newcastle International Airport lasts around 10 hours 5 minutes and takes passengers 4,849 miles. Which city does it go to?
A. New York
12. In January 2019, Greggs the Bakers released a new product that offended TV presenter Piers Morgan (we were all very proud of them for it). Which product was it?
A. Vegan Steak Bake
B. Vegan Sausage Roll
C. Vegetarian Hot Dog
13. How many kilometres does the dene in Jesmond Dene stretch for?
14. What was the name of Jill Halfpenny’s character in Byker Grove?
15. On Dean Street you’ll find a bar named Colonel Porter’s Emporium, but which famous ale did Colonel Porter concoct?
A. Old Crafty Hen
B. Newcastle Brown Ale
16. The Baltic is an iconic arts centre on the Gateshead quays, but before it became a renowned art gallery, what was it?
A. A Cigarette Factory
B. A Brewery
C. A Flour Mill
17 . Which famous bread comes from Newcastle?
A. Stottie cake
18. Where in Newcastle is Newcastle Cricket Club based?
A. Heaton Park, Heaton
B. West Farm Avenue, Longbenton
C. Osborne Avenue, Jesmond
19. In Newcastle’s Bigg Market there is a bar called Filthy McNasty’s – but which venue stood there before it was converted?
A. Bar M
C. Blu Bambu
20. Which theatre in the city centre has the most seats?
A. The Tyne Theatre and Opera House
B. The Theatre Royal
C. Northern Stage
21. What type of food is The Redhouse on Newcastle’s Quayside famous for?
A. Fish and Chips
B. Pie and Mash
C. Jacket Potatoes
22. Which type of architecture is Newcastle’s Dean Street famous for?
23. Geordie lad Sam Fender has shot to fame in the music industry and recently announced a sold out gig at the Utilita Arena. But before he became known for his musical talent he tried his hand at acting. Which British TV series did he appear in the first episode of?
A. Peaky Blinders
C. Call the Midwife
24. For 20 years, Metroland was Europe’s largest indoor amusement park and featured a rollercoaster, a pirates ship and the infamous waltzers. But what year did it close?
25. Which former Newcastle Falcons player kicked the winning drop goal for England in the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final?
A. Inga Tuigamala
B. Jonny Wilkinson
C. Carl Hayman
26. Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend stands at which point of Hadrian’s Wall?
27. In 2011, a well known North East radio station changed its name to Capital North East, but what did it used to be called?
28. What is the name of the girl band that famous Geordie singer Cheryl found fame in?
A. Girls Aloud
C. Little Mix
29. The Newcastle Eagles have had home arenas at Metro Radio Arena between 1995-2010, and then Sport Central at Northumbria Uni between 2010-2018, before building their own Eagles Community Arena. Which area of Newcastle is this purpose built facility based in?
C. West Denton
30. STACK Newcastle has been a really popular spot in Newcastle City Centre since it opened in 2018, and has lots of excellent food vendors to choose from. But what’s the name of the sushi restaurant there?
A. Ghetto Sushi Star
B. Sushi’s Delight
C. Sushi Me Rollin’
31. The Angel of the North was created by which sculptor?
A. Antony Gormley
B. Thomas Heatherwick
C. Sarah Lucas
32. Which famous band that released singles titled ‘Lifted’ and ‘Raincloud’ formed in Newcastle back in 1993?
A. Robson & Jerome
B. Lighthouse Family
C. Liberty X
33. What is the name of the retro sweet shop based on Heaton Road, Heaton, that has been open since 1934?
A. Trevor’s Sweet Shop
B. Smith’s Sweet Shop
C. Clough Sweet Shop
34. If you went to The Mushroom Bar on Grainger Street and ordered a Skittles Cocktail, what would the ingredients be?
A. Vodka, Blue Curacao, Taboo, Orange Juice & Lemonade
B. Vodka, Cherry Sourz, Pepsi Max
C. Absolut Mandarin, Triple Sec & Red Bull
35. Central Arcade in Newcastle City Centre is home to which music shop?
A. TY Vinyls
B. JG Windows
C. VW Sounds
36. Before Tesco Extra in Gateshead town centre was built, it used to be a famous car park. But which film did it star in?
A. Get Carter
B. The Italian Job
37. Newcastle’s Town Moor is home to which type of farm animal in the summer months?
38. What is the nickname for The Millennium Bridge?
A. The Twinkling Eye
B. The Winking Eye
C. The Blinking Eye
39. Fenwicks department store originated in Newcastle in what year?
40. Which famous rock star used to busk on Heaton’s Chillingham Road?
A. David Bowie
B. Jimi Hendrix
C. Bob Dylan
41. Newcastle’s very own dog café opened in 2017, but what is it called?
A. Dog and Scone
B. Dog and Bone
C. Dog and Calzone
42. Which band was the first major rock band to perform live at Newcastle’s St James’ Park?
A. Status Quo
C. The Rolling Stones
43. Between 1941-1948, the statue of Earl Grey on top of Newcastle’s Grey’s Monument stood without a head – why was this?
A. A Construction Worker Accidentally Broke The Statue
B. The Statue Was Struck By Lightning
C. Hot Summer Weather Caused The Statue To Melt
44. Which well known Geordie folk song written in 1862 includes lyrics referring to ‘Scotswood Road’ and ‘Airmstrang’s Factory’?
A. Blaydon Races
B. Swalwell Marathon
C. Benwell Bounding
45. Which year did HMV move from Northumberland Street to Eldon Square?
46. How many books does the Lit and Phil Library on Westgate Road have in it?
A. More than 90,000
B. More than 170,000
C. More than 200,000
47. Wylam Brewery in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park is now a popular venue for events, food and drinks. But what was the building previously?
A. A Garden Centre
B. A Tearoom
C. A Military Vehicle Museum
48. Famous rock star Sting was born in Wallsend and worked as a teacher in Cramlington before his music career took off. Where did his stage name ‘Sting’ come from?
A. He Was Stung By A Bee On Stage
B. He Worked In A Pub Called The Beehive
C. He Wore A Black And Yellow Jumper
49. Where was the first ever Greggs bakery opened in 1951?
C. Forest Hall
50. The Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle was built in the 1800’s, but where does it run to and from?
A. Sandyford to Walker
B. Leazes Park to Dunston Staiths
C. The Town Moor to Ouseburn
(divvent show anyone these ‘til the end!)
A – 1867
B – The Old George Inn
A – Clayton Street
C – Lucozade
B – 1996
C – 3 years – construction started in August 1925 and finished in October 1928
C – 206
B – Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
A – Rhumble
A – Invader
C – Cancún, Mexico
B – Vegan Sausage Roll
A – 3 (or just over 3)
A – Nicola
B – Newcastle Brown Ale
C – A Flour Mill
A – Stottie Cake
C – Osborne Avenue, Jesmond
C – Blu Bambu
B – The Theatre Royal
B – Pie and Mash
A – Georgian
B – Vera
B – 2008
B – Jonny Wilkinson
C – Easternmost
C – Galaxy (or Galaxy North East)
A – Girls Aloud
A – Elswick
C – Sushi Me Rollin’
A – Antony Gormley
B – Lighthouse Family
C – Clough Sweet Shop
A – Vodka, blue curacao, taboo, orange juice & lemonade
B – JG Windows
A – Get Carter
A – Cows
C – The Blinking Eye
A – 1882
B – Jimi Hendrix
A – Dog and Scone
C – The Rolling Stones, June 23rd 1982
B – The Statue was Struck by Lightning
A – Blaydon Races
B – 2014
B – More than 170,000
C – A Military Vehicle Museum
C – He Wore A Black And Yellow Jumper
A – Gosforth
C – The Town Moor to Ouseburn
So there we go – I hope you enjoyed the quiz and maybe learned some new facts about the Toon. Please get in touch to let me know how you did!