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This month there’s only one thing we want to talk about – The Great Exhibition of the North. Over 80 days this summer Newcastle will host a dazzling line-up of concerts, events and wow moments that could fill up your calendar every day from Friday 22 June until Sunday 9 September.
There’s so much going on – from the big and bold to the innovative and unexpected – we can’t cover it all, so here’s a few teasers to whet your appetite:
Bend your ears around some of the best music talent in the north in a week of gigs curated by Sunderland’s sonic laureate Lauren Laverne. Our tip: Roisin Murphy, in town on 29 June.
Imagine a 3D timeline of the greatest northern achievements from Stephenson’s Rocket right up to Graphene. Now picture that model constructed out of LEGO®. I know, right? Take your mini model makers to visit the timeline throughout the full 80-day run and they can even add their models to the story too.
Stephenson’s Rocket is returning to Newcastle and – parked at the Discovery Museum – it’s just 10 minutes from Forth Street where it was built. Find out how this amazing machine helped to shrink the Earth by revolutionising the way the Victorians travelled.
The first two days of the exhibition give you the chance to browse and buy work from the UK’s most talented, established and emerging artists and designer-makers. Try to get in early as people are expected in their droves.
Preston-based Lubaina Himid is transforming the BALTIC with her vibrant, Turner Prize-winning art. There’s also a programme of free Sunday events where you can tap into your undiscovered creativity.
This bold as brass theatrical takeover of the Great North Museum takes in a wide range of subject areas. You can travel to space with Helen Sharman, pop off to the Cumbrian Valleys with Postman Pat, tour the origins of Pop Art in Newcastle and visit John Lennon’s Liverpool. After your wide-ranging rambles you can take in the serene and sinewy beauty of the world famous Whistlejacket – Stubb’s portrait of a Yorkshire racehorse.
Getting young people away from screens can be tricky but this exhibition might just do it – it’s all about video games. Find out about the industry, meet the developers and, this is the clincher, play the games – experience everything from retro classics to cutting-edge Virtual Reality titles. It’s free to attend, but you need to book tickets.
Head over to the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, grab some headphones, then set off along the riverside with a symphony of sound in your lug holes. Songs and stories of the river – old and new will draw you along the bank of the Tyne with stirring pieces from Opera North, accordion wizard Martin Green of folk trio Lau, and singer Becky Unthank. Each sound section will link you to the landscapes and history around you.
Come and have a gander at the world’s smartest and toughest little black dress. Made from Manchester’s miracle material graphene, this unique dress changes colour and design in response to the wearer’s breathing, using tiny LED lights. At just an atom thick, graphene is a million times thinner than a human hair, is stronger than steel and conducts electricity better than anything else known to humankind. It also goes well with kitten heels.
For a full listing of Exhibition events go here.
For more on visiting Newcastle, where to stay, eat, shop and play, look here.