The Gateshead Quays is undoubtedly one of the most under-appreciated parts of the Quayside. Standing from Newcastle looking over the Tyne there are not only 7 bridges connecting Newcastle to Gateshead, there’s also some pretty amazing buildings and businesses that proudly call Gateshead their home.
There’s the Sage, a brilliant events space which hosts music, dance and all the arts in between in its impressive 1,640 capacity auditorium.
Then there’s the Baltic, with amazing and creative art exhibitions. Not forgetting fine dining at the top of the old flour mill at Six a gastro-restaurant which offers not only a beautiful view whilst dining, it also offers private dining facilities.
The Hilton Hotel with its renowned spa, a place for meetings and banquets and event space, overlooking views of the Tyne Bridge up close.
Q Festival is in town
These are just a few of the buildings which decorate the south bank of the Tyne. With the local council initiative, this Summer Gateshead plays host to the Q Festival. Funnily enough, a certain individual will be speaking about Why businesses should include influencers in their marketing strategy. This is only of nearly 80 different events happening between July and August.
Here’s a shameless plug to buy tickets to not only see yours truly but the gorgeous Rachel Kershaw from Life in Geordieland. Alongside the equally as fabulous Samantha Rickleton from North East Family Fun. As we discuss all things blogging and influencing. Make sure you get your tickets for this nearly sold-out event here.
There’s something on for everybody as the Jesterval’s 45 individual events are incorporated into a whole host of events. Including children’s Summer Holiday Workshops from the likes of Artventurers. A baby rave from Chalk and a performance from The Storyteller. For the gin fans amongst us a Gin Weekender with Steampunk gin. An 80s disco and even adult crafting events.
With Gateshead Council really putting everything into the success they expect to see over 15,000 people enjoy the festivities this Summer at Q Festival. All events which are hosted in the 1920s feel Spiegeltent.
My top 5 picks include:
Chalk Kids Disco – Saturday 5th August, 10:30am-12noon. Tickets £7 Adults, £7 Children.
Certainly one I’m borrowing a friend’s child for as Chalk host The Breakfast Club Coffee Rave. Let your little ones pay homage to some of the 80s big hitters including Bowie, The Smiths, OMD and Psychedelic Furs. Rummage in the dressing up box to get that 80s look. Enjoy the sounds of the live DJ, sensory projections, power grabbing and hula hooping. Let the little one in your life scribble on the giant drawing floor, bathe in bubbles and get throwing some serious Saturday morning shapes!
These Chalk events are targeted at families and as long as there are children in the party, everybody is welcome.
Cal Halbert – Saturday 29th July, Doors: 2:45 pm & Show 3 pm. Tickets £5.
Setting himself a mission, Cal has accepted to reach as many impressions as possible in one hour. Join him for a fun packed show full of voices, stand-up and a musical number or two. This is billed as not one to be missed with the Britain’s Got Talent Judge David Williams claiming the show as ‘Brilliant’.
Arrr We There Yet? – Saturday 29th July, Doors: 4.15pm & Show 4:30 pm. Tickets £12 Adults, £8 Kids, £30 Family.
Join the award-winning Australian Circus company Head First Acrobats. In association with Let’s Circus for this side-splitting adventure which follows 3 sailors hitting the high seas in search of treasure. Enjoy the family-friendly adventure with a scallywag pirate, a muscular sailor and a chef with a seafood allergy make for a hopeless crew. They’re fighting for the title of Captain aboard the ship. Watch these acrobatic pirates turn ship life upside down, where walking the plank becomes the high-flying teeterboard. Cooking for the crew means you’ll have to watch out for flying knives, and steering the ship is spinning upside down.
Drag me to Love – Wednesday 26th July, 7pm-10pm. Tickets £7.
Imagine being a 14-year-old drag queen. This golden stiletto, sassy fishnet number transports you to 2009 to Doncaster. In an autobiographical three person show that combines drag performances with theatrical storytelling creates the world of Bonnie Love & The Bonnettes. With pop and glitter follow Cameron as he dons a pair of 6inch stilettos whilst wobbling through life making friends and foes. Throw away the inhibitions and rules because for one night only you’re going to go through a rollercoaster of emotions, laugh and cry. Sing and dance. Whatever you do make sure you’re in the drag race.
Ed Byrne – Monday 31st July, Doors 7:45 pm & Show 8 pm. Tickets £15 (£13 conc.)
I remember the first time I saw Ed Byrne at Newcastle’s City Hall. He was one of the funniest stand-up comic routines I’ve ever seen so when I saw him topping the bill I knew he was going to be my favourite choice of the whole festival. Head along to this hilarious preview of his Edinburgh 2017 show and the cut-down version of the National Touring show which tours September 2017-June 2018. You’ll not want to miss the show as The Sunday Times bills Ed Byrne’s show as ‘Comedy’s holy grail’. From experience, if there’s one thing you don’t miss out this Summer then make sure Ed Byrne tops your list.
Of course, you also need to go to Blogging; create your own opportunities on Monday 17th July from 6pm-9pm. Whilst you’re booking tickets make sure you head to the 90s pub quiz. Hosted by my party favourite quiz mistress Cheish from No28 (which if you’re about is the home to the BEST burgers at The Grind).
The event space
The Spiegel is being erected on Monday and takes 2 days to come to life and features a fully licensed bar and food vendors. These include Little Fishy (which we can vouch for amazing food). Scream for Pizza, Green Guerrilla, Fipnfast and The Waffle Co to name a few. Which are permanent fixtures throughout the whole Summer of Q Festival. Whilst there’s nothing on at the venue you are able to pop in to have a look around and stop by for a drink.
The festival is billed to be a huge success with big names such as Ed Byrne, Sara Pascoe, Zoe Lyons and Hal Cruttenden to name a few coming to the Gateshead side of the Tyne. You can check out the full programme of events here where you can also purchase tickets for the different events.
Some facts you need to know about Q Festival
- Q Festival is accessible and provisions can be made for disabilities and special requirements.
- There’s no allocated seating at the event. It is advisable to get there in plenty of time to get the best seats in the house.
- Most of the events are ticketed events, however, there are ‘Meet me at the Spiegel’ events which are FREE drop-ins. You can enjoy the space, have food and drink and kick back with friends.
- The outside of Q Festival is open to all from midday until late daily and is open to anybody to enjoy the carnival atmosphere.
- Pre-booking is advised. Most events will sell out if on the occasion that tickets are available they can be purchased at the door.
- Q Festival advise travelling by public transport to the event.
- There’s no dedicated Q Festival car park, however, there are lots of car parks which attendees may use.
- Event security will be present and there’s security on site 24/7 for peace of mind.
- Jesterval has been incorporated into the Q Festival to create a bigger and better atmosphere than previous years.
- The Q Festival is more than just a tent it is a purpose build Spiegel for the Summer events.
Where to stay
Looking for a hotel over the Summer? We highly recommend the Malmaison where you get 20% off all room rates when you show your Q Festival tickets. Just tell them we sent you! Find out more about the newly launched Chez Mal here.
So make sure you get yourself to the Q Festival and quench your thirst for Summer…