Tramlines Festival 2021 Confirmed For Events Research Programme

Sold-out Tramlines Festival will go ahead at full capacity in Sheffield’s Hillsborough Park from July 23rd to 25th as part of Events Research Programme following the likes of Download Festival that successfully took place over the 4th-6th or June. Announced just twenty five minutes ago (12pm, June 29th) that it will join the third phase of the Government’s Events Research Programme, this means the sold-out music festival will definitely take place at full capacity on 23rd to 25th July. With hu

Tramlines Festival: The Start of Gender Balanced Lineups?

With festival season on the horizon and after a year away from them, everyone has been highly critical of the performers and lineups expected to be seen over 2021. With huge festivals like Reading and Leads (RandL) and TRNSMT being slated for their lack of diversity, I’m proud that a festival local to me seems to be disregarding this trend. Although the big headliners remain male, the rest of the lineup is sprinkled with female acts across the whole weekend. Taking place in the beautiful Hills

Online Gig Preview: The Samphires at The Globe, Newcastle

Local indie outfit, The Samphires, will be playing a fascinating online gig at The Globe in Newcastle on Saturday 17th April. The Samphires are an alternative indie band from Newcastle consisting of three teenage girls who studied music together at college. With Rosa Thomas on bass, Elise Shields on guitar and Gemma Watson on drums, they have a simple but intimate and powerful sound, with their songs discussing relatable topics of insecurity and fears for the future. With a range of emotional

Coat Rack Records: Local Female Creatives Launch Independent Record Label —

North East based Coat Rack Records is an independent record label, marketing and production company all in one. Aiming to be a safe space for artists to be comfortable knowing there is zero-tolerance for harassment, their goal is to embrace the transforming face of the creative industries in the hope of bringing a more ethical standpoint. Comprised of two women in their early twenties, Coat Rack offers a fresh perspective on the industry - striving to support and push artists to explore their c

Food and Drink: Tits Upon Tyne’s Anti-Spiking Beer Mats

Local collective Tits Upon Tyne have launched a new project, Called Out, in an attempt to make live music and nightlife safer. With spiking increasing 108% since 2015, Tits Upon Tyne recognised that something needed to happen to reduce this. Their first step has been to create beer mats with a hole hand-punched into it to fit a straw – allowing cups to be covered. Reaching out to multiple bars, many have already come on board with the project – including Northumbria Students Union. It’s a grea

Feature: Fightback Lager: The Beer that Saves Music Venues

In support of Music Venue Trust, Fightback Lager has been raising money towards keeping grassroots music venues alive during these uncertain times. Music Venue Trust is a registered charity that aims to protect, secure and improve grassroots music in the UK. And with closures to many live music venues, the industry is really struggling during the uncertainty. This means that new and inventive ways to fundraise, like Fightback Lager, will be heavily beneficial. However, while their #saveourvenu

Gig Previews: October at Prohibition Bar, Newcastle – NE Volume

Prohibition Bar has been working hard to create a safe space for performances to exist once again. Over the past few months, the bar has been fighting to create a schedule of shows which they are able to host inside their cosy walls under the clever new title, ‘The Prohibition Act’. Based on a 1920s speakeasy, the cabaret bar opened in 2015 and finally reopened after COVID closures on August 1st. Based on Pink Lane, in Newcastle’s busy West End, Prohibition took over the iconic Jazz Cafe – a genre which can still be heavily seen in their line-ups, although the venue was also created to accommodate a wide range of performances including circus skills.

Business Spotlight: Spinning Superiority

Spinning Superiority is a North East vinyl market that has been running for two years. With a new record store based in Flea Circus in Newcastle, they have joined the collection of 35+ local independent traders selling a wide range of items, from vintage pieces to art and music. While vinyl may seem outdated to some in a world of streaming services, its popularity has remained – thank god. I spoke to Jack Holmes who explained that Spinning Superiority “always try to be as diverse as possible wh

Business: “We have had the time to re-evaluate the services we offer and how to adapt to modern times” Blast Studios Continue to Support Musicians During the Pandemic

Andy of Newcastle’s Blast Studios, a Solid State Logic (SSL)-based recording facility, spoke to Emily Duff about the effects of COVID on the business, working in the recording studio during lockdown, and how they’ve implemented guidelines during the recording process. As with any business, there is a lot of uncertainty about what is going on. We closed for a period of time in the first lockdown, but following advice from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport we have remained open

News: Corona Covers Collaborations

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, live music in the North East has undoubtedly taken a hit. In response to venue closures and gig cancellations, Lee Tuck and 19 other local musicians have worked together to cover Aerosmith’s ‘Love in an Elevator’ with the aim of lifting spirits during this time rather than gaining profits. Each musician recorded their part with resources in their homes which, together, created the full piece. So far, I had only seen this with classical music so it’s great to se

Dance/Theatre: Darlington Hippodrome Classes: Off Stage but Not Offline

Darlington Hippodrome has set up a range of online dance and drama classes to beat the isolation blues and keep up (or start-up) a new skill. The classes are available for young people and adults alike as a way of keeping the body and mind active during this period of social distancing. Hippodrome Youth Theatre sessions are split into three age groups (7-10, 11-13 and 13+) and take place on Mondays or Thursdays, depending on the age group, and last for an hour and a half. The aim of each class

Museum: Durham University Launches Free ‘Museum from Home’

As a way of engaging learners of all ages, Durham University has launched a free ‘Museum from Home’ online learning package to help you to keep busy during lockdown. Available through the University’s website, each package is designed to require minimal equipment and is accessible without the need of a printer. The site offers a weekly under-5 streamed Little Dragons Club for stories, games, and online activities that follow the school curriculum – and there are downloadable creative tasks too

Art: BALTIC Goes Online

With galleries around the world closing, the BALTIC has had to evolve by moving online-only. Their website is providing art gallery tours of what would have currently been on exhibition, their beautiful views of Newcastle/Gateshead, as well as offering extra activities to get involved with all from the comfort of your living room. Although you can’t wander through the gallery in person at the moment, each of the current exhibitions can be toured online. Have a look at the current exhibitions:

Event: Black Lives Matter Demonstrations

Since the start of June, the world has begun to fight for black rights with a new passion. Started by the death of George Floyd in America, many people question why the UK is joining the protests and demonstrations. Racism in the UK is clear, from issues from The Windrush Scandal and Grenfell Tower to the fact our government continues to sell the plastic pellets and tear gas being used to abuse the protesters in America. For these reasons, demonstrations all around the nation have been taking

Literature: Stay Home, Stay Queer

Created by local theatre maker and self-titled binary breaker, Melody Sproates, Stay Home, Stay Queer is a 30-page downloadable resource pack that’s perfect for keeping you busy during lockdown. With support from many local companies and Sproates’ creative friends, the pack includes mental health website links, tips on how to celebrate yourself and a wide range of craft activities, from making DIY flags to colouring in pages. Sproates has also created a ‘zine to go with the pack and it’s full

Music: Little Buildings Bootlegs: A More-For-Your-Money Fundraiser

Newcastle independent venue, Little Buildings, have gone for a quirky take on modern fundraising. Since the announcement of venue closures as a result of the coronavirus, many businesses have been left struggling. In response to this, Little Buildings have created an online store via Bandcamp. Using this platform, Little Buildings are releasing a collection of bootleg copies from their archive of past sets. At a very reasonable price of just £3.50, each set can be downloaded in a range of form

Literature: The Lit & Phil’s Virtual Library

The Lit and Phil Library is Newcastle’s best-hidden gem. Sadly, along with many others, it has been closed due to coronavirus. Despite this unexpected closure, however, it has been able to create a new virtual replacement. For over two centuries, The Lit and Phil has been around, yet this is the first time it has had to close its doors to the world. Being the largest independent library outside of London, many would be lost without it. Thankfully, in replacement, they have been able to provide

Come Together NE: Supporting the Local Music Scene

Founded by Matthew Lacey, Come Together NE (CTNE) is an online community/festival that has so far raised £1,675 for NHS Charities as well as working with local charities like Newcastle West End Food Bank. Set up on March 20th, the same day as Boris Johnson’s closure announcement, Come Together NE aim to create a community for everyone, not just musicians left hopeless by the gap created within the industry. Lacey has received an “outpour of love and solidarity” and has created a new dynamic tha
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