10 Reasons Why Beyoncé Should Bring Her Next Tour To Newcastle

Everything Else, pop culture

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.

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Beyoncé performing live (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

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.

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Beyoncé performing live (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

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.

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Beyoncé performing live with Jay Z (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

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.

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Beyoncé performing live (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

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.

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Beyoncé performing live (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

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!

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Beyoncé performing live (image from Beyoncé’s Facebook page)

Mouth of the Tyne Festival Postponed Until 2021

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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.

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Mouth of Tyne Festival

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.”

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Sam Fender performing arts the Mouth of Tyne Festival in 2019 (photo from The Chronicle)

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;

https://mouthofthetynefestival.com

The Newcastle Venues That Need Our Help And How We Can Support Them

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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;

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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;

https://tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk/support-us/

Ouseburn Farm;

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Ouseburn Farm

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;

https://www.ouseburnfarm.org.uk/covid19-support

Horticulture;

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Horticulture

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;

https://horticultureuk.co.uk

Northern Stage;

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Performers on stage at Northern Stage

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;

https://www.northernstage.co.uk/Pages/Category/individuals

The Cluny;

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The Cluny

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;

https://thecluny.com/shop/

Alphabetti Theatre;

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Alphabetti Theatre

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;

https://www.ticketsignite.com/event/2740/alphabetti-theatre-donations

Seven Stories;

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Seven Stories

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;

https://www.sevenstories.org.uk/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-update

People’s Theatre;

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People’s Theatre, Newcastle

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;

https://www.peoplestheatre.co.uk/about/support-us

Billy Bootleggers;

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Performers on stage at Billy Bootleggers

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;

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/helpbillybootleggers

Gosforth Civic Theatre;

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Gosforth Civic Theatre

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;

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayCharityCampaignPage.action?charityCampaignUrl=gosforthcivictheatre

Tyneside Cinema;

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Tyneside Cinema

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;

https://tynesidecinema.co.uk/covid-19-statement/

Live Theatre;

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Live Theatre

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;

https://www.live.org.uk/support

Theatre Royal;

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Theatre Royal, Newcastle

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;

https://www.theatreroyal.co.uk/support/donate-now

Wylam Brewery;

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Wylam Brewery

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;

https://www.wylambrewery.co.uk/beer-store/

They have also put together an initiative so that supporters can buy NHS workers a pint, here;

https://www.wylambrewery.co.uk/Buy-the-NHS-a-pint-p189271985

The Sage;

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The Sage

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;

https://sagegateshead.com/sage-gateshead-coronavirus-resilience-fund/

Tyne Bank Brewery & Tap Room;

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Tyne Bank Brewery & Tap Room

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;

https://www.grabnortheast.co.uk/NE8-3DJ-takeaways/Tyne-Bank-Brewery/ck8li9i9jmqvc0973t2wimulp/info/

Or to find out more and get the latest updates, you can visit their website, here;

(COVID-19) Update

The Stand, Newcastle;

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The Stand, Newcastle

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;

https://www.thestand.co.uk/gift-vouchers

Or, if you’d prefer to give a donation, you can donate to the venue, here;

https://www.thestand.co.uk/donate

Full Circle Brew Co.;

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Full Circle Brew Co.

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;

https://shop.fullcirclebrew.co.uk/

The Little Buildings;

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The Little Buildings

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;

https://littlebuildings.bandcamp.com/

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.

A Pure Belter Geordie Pub Quiz

Everything Else

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!

Questions;

1. What year did the Tyne Theatre and Opera House on Westgate Road open?

A. 1867

B. 1898

C. 1910

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?

A. Tango

B. IRN-BRU

C. Lucozade

5. What year did Barry Manilow perform at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena (previously Metro Radio Arena) for the first time?

A. 1995

B. 1996

C. 1999

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?

A. 152

B. 193

C. 206

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…”

A. Rhumble

B. Fhumble

C. Thumble

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?

A. Invader

B. Space Raider

C. French Invader

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Space Invader style mosaics are dotted across Newcastle

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

B. Dubai

C. Cancún

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?

A. 3

B. 7

C. 12

14. What was the name of Jill Halfpenny’s character in Byker Grove?

A. Nicola

B. Annie

C. Chelsea

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

C. Hobgoblin

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

B. Pita

C. Pumpernickel

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

B. Balmbras

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?

A. Georgian

B. Modern

C. Medieval

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

B. Vera

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?

A. 2005

B. 2008

C. 2010

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Metroland inside Gateshead’s Metro Centre

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?

A. Northernmost

B. Westernmost

C. Easternmost

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?

A. Meteor

B. Star

C. Galaxy

28. What is the name of the girl band that famous Geordie singer Cheryl found fame in?

A. Girls Aloud

B. Sugababes

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?

A. Elswick

B. Ouseburn

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

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Skittles cocktails at The Mushroom

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

C. Goldfinger

37. Newcastle’s Town Moor is home to which type of farm animal in the summer months?

A. Cows

B. Sheep

C. Horses

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?

A. 1882

B. 1903

C. 1921

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

B. Queen

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?

A. 2010

B. 2014

C. 2017

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A busy Northumberland Street before HMV moved into 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?

A. Gosforth

B. Byker

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

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The Victoria Tunnels in Newcastle

Answers;

(divvent show anyone these ‘til the end!)

  1. A – 1867
  2. B – The Old George Inn
  3. A – Clayton Street
  4. C – Lucozade
  5. B – 1996
  6. C – 3 years – construction started in August 1925 and finished in October 1928
  7. C – 206
  8. B – Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
  9. A – Rhumble
  10. A – Invader
  11. C – Cancún, Mexico
  12. B – Vegan Sausage Roll
  13. A – 3 (or just over 3)
  14. A – Nicola
  15. B – Newcastle Brown Ale
  16. C – A Flour Mill
  17. A – Stottie Cake
  18. C – Osborne Avenue, Jesmond
  19. C – Blu Bambu
  20. B – The Theatre Royal
  21. B – Pie and Mash
  22. A – Georgian
  23. B – Vera
  24. B – 2008
  25. B – Jonny Wilkinson
  26. C – Easternmost
  27. C – Galaxy (or Galaxy North East)
  28. A – Girls Aloud
  29. A – Elswick
  30. C – Sushi Me Rollin’
  31. A – Antony Gormley
  32. B – Lighthouse Family
  33. C – Clough Sweet Shop
  34. A – Vodka, blue curacao, taboo, orange juice & lemonade
  35. B – JG Windows
  36. A – Get Carter
  37. A – Cows
  38. C – The Blinking Eye
  39. A – 1882
  40. B – Jimi Hendrix
  41. A – Dog and Scone
  42. C – The Rolling Stones, June 23rd 1982
  43. B – The Statue was Struck by Lightning
  44. A – Blaydon Races
  45. B – 2014
  46. B – More than 170,000
  47. C – A Military Vehicle Museum
  48. C – He Wore A Black And Yellow Jumper
  49. A – Gosforth
  50. 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!

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Fenwicks in Newcastle back in 1966

The Cluny Need Our Help

Everything Else

The Cluny is one of Newcastle’s most loved pubs and independent live music venues. It’s one of Ouseburn’s go to haunts and it’s a venue that I personally can’t wait to head to as soon as there’s the slightest hint of warm weather.

Sitting in the middle of Ouseburn amongst its hidden gems and Newcastle’s wonderful city centre farm, it’s a pub that champions local indie businesses and does a lot for the community and music scene. Basically, it’s a really, really cool place to be and somewhere to shout about.

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The Cluny, Ouseburn

Sadly, under the current circumstances, The Cluny is struggling, and, like many independent venues at the moment, is facing uncertainty about its future. With a building to maintain, rent and bills to pay, excellent staff that they don’t want to disappoint, as well as a list of gigs that have had to be postponed, times are hard.

However, all is not lost as The Cluny have come up with a fantastic Crowdfunder to help fund their business until things can return to normal.

Their new initiative is “not asking for something for nothing”, so they are planning to hold four weekend comeback gigs, with acts tbc. They promise that the events will be cross genre, multi-band, all day events, featuring lots of local artists as well as more established bands and friends of The Cluny. Dates cannot be confirmed yet, but each of the weekends are set to be amazing celebrations of grass roots music venues, The Cluny’s staff and loyal customers, and, of course, returning to some sort of normality as the country recovers from this unstable and abnormal time.

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A group of my friends celebrating my boyfriends birthday that the staff kindly helped to organise as a surprise in The Cluny last year

The Cluny have stated on their Facebook page;

“We’re asking those who are able and want to support us to buy advance tickets for gigs that we’ll be hosting when we relaunch – lineups at this stage obviously TBC but we think you can trust us that they’ll be something special and will also be cross-genre… a celebration of what the Cluny is and what it will continue to be with your support and love.

Whilst the government has announced various initiatives, none of these are currently accessible and we need to be able to still pay ongoing large costs such as rent and insurance, etc whilst we are closed… we can’t get relief on these as of yet, if ever, we also want to get money owed to local suppliers as soon as possible and need money to tide over wage bills whilst waiting for government help. So none of any funds raised will go to waste. It’ll take quite some time for business to get back to normal even when we do reopen, and if we can manage to do so with the smallest amount of increased debt possible it will make survival both more feasible and indeed likely.”

Artist Oddisee performing at The Cluny last year

If you’d like to purchase tickets, you can follow the link to their Crowdfunder page, here;

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/cluny-comeback-gigs-help-us-survive-covid-19

If you aren’t quite able to afford the full price of a ticket, but would like to make a smaller donation, then you can purchase Cluny merchandise and gift vouchers that can be spent at the bar once it reopens, here;

https://thecluny.com/shop/

Our local and independent venues are a great asset to the North East, and something that our region should be incredibly proud of. Let’s help all of our indie venues as much as we can. Whether that’s by donating financially, or for free by showing love to them on social media.

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The Cluny’s bar

Boris Johnson Just Gave A Deathwish To The Events Industry

Everything Else

Yesterday, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, Boris encouraged the UK to ‘avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues’.

Surely, given the advice that medical and scientific professionals, or certainly those who claim to be on social media, have been giving – this doesn’t sound too daft? Social distancing is being explained as one of the most effective ways to slow down and hopefully stop the spread of COVID-19, as this will lessen the spread from those carrying the virus passing it on. Especially to more vulnerable people in the community. So, avoiding large groups of people certainly seems like the most sensible thing to do at the moment. 

However unfortunately this approach does and will lead to problems for many people, especially those working and making a living from the events industry. This includes theatres, arenas, sporting venues, social clubs, pubs, nightclubs, and other social and recreational venues.

Theatre Royal, Theatre, Theatre Royal Newcastle, Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne
The Theatre Royal in Newcastle

Yes, closing these venues may well be the best foot forward in stopping the Coronavirus from growing. And, yes, most of the people working in the events and cultural sector recognise this. So what’s the problem here?

The issue sits with the Government’s current approach to the situation. Unlike other countries that have called for an entire lockdown, enforcing venues to close, Boris has just suggested it. Because the Government hasn’t yet made it a mandatory precaution, it means that these businesses aren’t able to claim compensation or financial support. The Government has offered no actual backing to the events industry in this case, so venues, artists, managers and staff have been left to fend for themselves. 

This puts each cultural venue in the country in an impossible situation of either closing and going with this vague advice and ‘do the right thing’, or remaining open for now and being made to look like money hungry villains. 

The arts and social industry in the UK is a fragile one. With many businesses still struggling after the 2008 recession, and a lack of funding through the Tory Government for the arts, many venues have to survive day by day, event by event or as charities fundraising to be able to stay open. This doesn’t even take into account the many freelancers working in events and culture, that don’t have the safety net of a guaranteed wage from an employer. Or the thousands of people relying on temporary and zero hour contracts for income. 

Across the course of today, and possibly over the next few weeks depending on any further lofty information offered by Johnson, I suspect we will see a significant increase of venues closing and both small and large scale events being cancelled and postponed. Theatres in the West End of London and the Sunderland Empire have already announced closures until further notice. The Ambassador Theatre Group (who manage Sunderland Empire Theatre) released a statement last night, citing; 

“Given the current ambiguity and lack of clarity as to how long our theatres may be closed for, we hope to provide you with an update within the next 48 hours regarding the exchange of tickets.”

Sunderland Empire, Sunderland, Theatre, Sunderland Theatre
Sunderland Empire

And the Tyne Theatre and Opera House on Westgate Road issued yesterday;

“In response to the Prime Minister’s announcement today for us all to avoid non-essential social contact, we are liaising with promoters and organisers of our forthcoming events. We will keep you informed of the status of all shows as soon as possible.”

It goes without saying that times are extremely difficult for our theatres and performance venues right now. So, please, if you have tickets for upcoming shows be mindful of this, and know that they are currently doing everything in their power to muddle through the situation as it stands, with limited guidance or information from the Government. 

Please, please, please be patient and show some kindness to the incredible staff who are being bombarded with questions from ticket holders and customers. They may be at risk of losing their jobs and likely know as much as you for now, but are still trying their hardest to find ways to keep their customers happy, as well as keeping the venue afloat. 

It’s heartbreaking to write about, but there are venues in the UK who are now in very real danger of closing for good, and staff who may lose their jobs indefinitely. While this is a scary and difficult time for everyone in the UK, if you can do anything small to help your local community theatre, or the historical venue in your city that relies on charity to stay open and keep the building running, then any small gesture would surely be greatly appreciated. Even if it’s just words of support, as our event industry is definitely not receiving anything like that from Boris Johnson or the Government at the moment.

Tyne Theatre, Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Newcastle theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne, Westgate Road
Tyne Theatre and Opera House

The Show Must Go On… So please don’t blame venues or performers

Everything Else

The UK, along with the rest of the world, has been set to panic mode due to the national pandemic of COVID-19. Scaremongering from the media and an ill prepared Prime Minister have done their best to cause havoc and worry across Britain.

While other countries such as Italy and the United States have taken stronger measures to stop the spread of the Corona virus, England is still just in a bit of a purgatory over what happens next. This has left many people scared about what would happen if their jobs or businesses were to be affected, if the country were to go into lockdown or quarantined.

This, of course, could affect many different industries, not least of all the events and cultural sector.

It’s understandable that many people may be left confused or surprised that events, gigs, shows and concerts are still going ahead across England, given that citizens in other countries have been advised to self isolate and avoid busy places. Scotland has even put a ban on all mass gatherings of over 500 people.

So, why haven’t theatre performances, concerts or comedy shows just stopped altogether? Basically, because the government haven’t yet called for it, and it puts the entire industry, as well as workers finances in jeopardy.

Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne Theatre, Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Newcastle theatre
The Tyne Theatre and Opera House in Newcastle

The nature of the live performance sector is complex as there are so many people involved in each and every show that’s created. From a headline tour across arenas or stadiums, to local community theatre productions, the labour and investments involved are huge.

You may scoff at the idea of someone like Ed Sheeran being left out of pocket if one of his tours got cancelled, but the fact is it isn’t just Ed’s tour. It’s his managers, his tour managers, his stage techs, his transport providers, his caterers. It’s the managers of each individual venue, the venues PR assistant, the zero hours contract cleaners, security staff, bar staff and box office workers. This can add up to hundreds, more likely thousands of staff for large tours, all losing hours and income. And of course, no one wants to disappoint fans that have paid a lot of money and waited a long time for these shows either.

For smaller shows at your cities comedy club, or am-dram group, the risk is often even bigger. Small and independent venues depend on shows going ahead to make each performance viable, pay the bills and hire a plumber to fix the leaky toilet.

A lot of theatres operate as charities without audiences even realising. Even here in Newcastle upon Tyne, the Theatre Royal, Northern Stage, Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Live Theatre and People’s Theatre are all not for profit venues. That’s only to name a few in the North East. Charities like these often don’t have pots of money to fall back on as a safety net.

Northern Stage, Newcastle upon Tyne, Theatre, Newcastle theatre
Northern Stage in Newcastle

Cancelling performances, and especially clusters of performances is also no easy task. As there are multiple people to go between across the venue, and the shows production and management team.

If and when a show gets cancelled, each of these venues, their staff and the performers and crews of travelling tours all take a significant hit. If shows are cancelled for an undetermined length of time, the affects of this could be dreadful for the arts across the UK, if not further. That’s without mentioning the local bars and restaurants that all benefit from these events going ahead. The hairdressers not getting booked up for blow drys, or the taxi drivers unable to find jobs.

People’s theatre, Newcastle theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne
People’s Theatre in Newcastle

Lastly, finance isn’t all there is to it. As almost anyone who works in the arts will tell you, show business often isn’t well paid. Live performance and cultural events are a labour of love and passion. It’s people’s life’s work, it’s keeping choirs alive, it’s giving a spectacular hobby to OAP groups who wouldn’t be able to socialise otherwise. It’s skill building and workshops for people with disabilities, it’s children being able to see their hero singing live on stage. It’s feeling part of a community and getting lost in a performance while the world outside is in turmoil.

The show must go on, but please don’t take anger, fear or frustration out on our venues, staff or performers.

At the moment, they are doing everything they can do to ensure their audiences are safe, they are constantly keeping up with the news and any advice from the government, they are worrying how they are going to survive closing for the foreseeable future without causing damage to their historical building, or leaving their staff without pay.

At the moment, the only advice they can give you is that the show is going ahead as normal, until any further notice. It’s as frustrating for them as it is you, but sadly there’s nothing else they can say, apart from the obvious please wash your hands and turn your phones off during the production.

Live Theatre, Live Theatre Newcastle,  Newcastle upon Tyne
Live Theatre in Newcastle