This 3rd year was the BEST year yet for Crossing The Tyne Festival. There were performers in and around North and South Shields, Newcastle and Gateshead, around the River Tyne area of the North East of England. They “Crossed” The Tyne via the Shields Ferry and performed in venues on the “other” side of the river. Performers also did gigs on the actual Shields Ferry as it transported people across The Tyne – hosted by the talented Ray Rowley. One crossing was for each group of performers.
All events were free with monies collected in Charity Buckets donated to the very deserving cause: – Oxfam via Oxjam
South Shields was alive with the sound of music from the ferry and four nearby venues: The Word, The Alum Ale House, The Customs House and The Steamboat. Many people were seen walking around with guitars, all smiling and chatting to everyone. A very happy atmosphere and the weather was great too!
On the North Shields side venues such as The Bell and Bucket, The Old Low Lights Tavern, Old Low Light Heritage Centre – The Net, The Quay Taphouse and The Magnesia Bank were also hosting various events. This went on from around midday to around 5pm (and well into the small hours in one or two places) with everyone in a musical party mood!
Some of the venues were “Turn Up And Play”, there was also a Ukelele Hub, Folk Music, Rock, Poetry Readings, Indie, Jazz, and a lot of other genres too. There was something for everyone to enjoy and Family Friendly too.
Further up The Tyne, Newcastle and Gateshead venues like Trillians, The Bridge, The Newcastle City Castle (a real ancient castle with a fabulous atmosphere), The Central Bar, Arch 16, Prohibition Bar, Riverbeat and the Railway Club were popular venues.
Admin and some of the many helpers for the fest this year: Jan Buglass, Derrin Atkins, Liz Panton, Lesley Tan, Ray Rowley, Wayne Bordoli, and a whole host of others all lead by ‘Festival Creator’ Steve Willis. On the Oxjam side, Michael El J Jax and many more lead by Stephen ‘Oxjam’ Ferrell of Nova Radio North East.
In the evening there was a ticketed ‘musical party’ on the Shields Ferry. It left South Shields, went up to Newcastle (the Millennium Bridge was raised and lowered for this) and back down again. The party was extremely well attended by the performers themselves and the public. The ‘Live’ music was lead by the excellent Chloe Chadwick and ‘friends’ (loads of fabulous local CROSSING musicians) and Hollie Cavanagh (DJ Hollie Disco-Dollie) Vinyl DJ. This ‘after-party’ ended with almost every performer ‘jamming’ together. Fantastic! A night to remember!
Next year’s Crossing The Tyne Festival is set for 25th August and was highlighted on Sunday 10th September, 2017 when past performers of the Crossing The Tyne Festival turned up at Harton Quay, close to South Shields ferry terminal, to entertain the thousands of people lining up to CROSS the Tyne to see the Great North Run 2017. As some people waiting for the ferry had to line up for quite a long time, they were kept entertained by the great music. This event was also highlighted by the Red Arrows flying over the North East of England. What a great sight and a great place to live!
Crossing The Tyne Festival is one of the best free festivals around, I will certainly be there next year!
Photos by Wayne Bordoli, Darren Turner and Lesley Tan