Highlights of 2017
2017 in Review – A collection of our best Nights Out In Newcastle
As the new year drew to a close we looked back at the plethora of pleasurable adventures we had the fortune to attend last year and collected together a review of our blogging highlights of 2017.
Well it is safe to say we had a jammed pack year last year with a huge host of blogs. We covered everything from festivals to frightening Friday the 13th, cabaret to cutting edge cuisine, meeting comedians and musical legends a like. We’ve sifted through our archives and dug out some of our most enjoyable events of last year.
Which one is your favourite?
We’ll for us we enjoyed them all but some just stood out for memorable moments, amazing experiences and pure excitement. We decided to break them down into three main categories…
Best Gigs of 2017, Food and Drink, and Best Experiences.
Best Gigs of 2017
First up was our favourite gigs of 2017. We covered a host of musical, comedy and theatrical events across the North East last year, with a huge range of experiences and styles. But when we sat down and went through them all our musical reviews made the biggest impact, with some amazingly memorable nights and acts coming to Newcastle last year.
Gigs just seem to be getting better and better each year in the North East, with a huge array of acts coming to the region. We’ve seen pop stars perform at historic castles, musical extravaganzas the like the North East has never seen, more festivals than ever and some world-class musicians at the top of their game.
We decided to put our Top 5 together, handpicked for a host of reasons, they may not be to everyone’s taste or preferred musical genre but they all stood out for one reason or another in our memories.
Better than an away day with your lady to Haiti!
In October we headed down for some hip-hop at one of our favourite little venues Think Tank? We witnessed an amazing night of some of the regions best hidden hip-hop gems before the headline act Too Many T’s showcased their brand new album South City.
We had to put this night in as all the performances were epic and really stood out, showing the North East hip-hop scene is alive and well, on the rise and creating its very own distinct identity, which is great to see.
To read our blog on Too Many T’s at Think Tank click here.
Back in September we were lucky enough to pop down to The Cluny 2 to see American singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy.
This one really stood out for all of us as it was the simple stripped back performance of the support act Leif Vollbekk which blew us all away.
The highlight of the night had to be the random member of the audience joining in and Leif’s reaction of pure stunned but elated shock at what he had just heard. His amazing voice plus intimate feeling of the whole performance was a definite highlight of the year and one we will remember for a long time.
To read our blog on Leif and Margaret at The Cluny 2 click here.
Evolution Emerging 2017 took place on Saturday 27th May across 10+ venues in the Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle. We were lucky enough to have a couple of press tickets to go along and see what it was all about.
Showcasing young talent from across the region we were amazed by some of the performances, showing the North East music scene has great things to come in the next few years.
Presented by the UK’s leading music development agency, Generator and now in its ninth year, Evolution Emerging is the North East’s biggest event for new music and annually presents over 40 exciting emerging artists in some of the region’s best independent music venues, located in the thriving Ouseburn Valley.
This event stood out in our minds for all the right reasons. Firstly, the gorgeous bank holiday weather. Ouseburn really is one of the best places in Newcastle when the weather is at its best! Chilling outside with a pint and wandering the short distances from venue to venue it had such a laid back vibe.
Next up was the acts, Twist Helix got things off to a great start. Callum Pitt was outstanding and had the crowd swaying as one. Rebekah Fitch was flawless and her intimate performance at Ernest was stunning.
Finally the access to the acts and comradery between them made the whole day.
To read our blog on Evolution Emerging 2017 click here.
This was a tricky one as it could easily have been first if not for an epic festival just pipping it to the post!
We loved this event and will definitely be going back this year.
In Spring the Sage Gateshead opened its doors to thousands of music fans for the 13th Gateshead International Jazz Festival. We were lucky enough to be invited to sample some of the best, most innovative, challenging and exciting jazz from across the globe.
We saw some amazing acts, from local bands to international jazz stars. The whole day had a great vibe and was full of loads of pleasant surprises.
For us the show was stolen by Go Go Penguin though!
Their grand finale rightfully brought the house down and they received a whole-hearted and much earned standing ovation. I may have came not knowing their music but was well and truly a fan by the end of their epic set.
To read our blog on the Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2017 click here
When we went through all our blog reviews there was one favourite with everyone, although others did give it a good run for its money!
It just had to be the one and only Lindisfarne Festival.
We were very excited to be invited to this one, and dusted off the festival gear and packed up the Nights Out In Newcastle mobile with suitable supplies of beer, energy drinks, junk food and wet wipes!
It was a great festival and I can’t recommend enough! It has such a friendly and laid-back atmosphere and is really unpretentious. The organisers have done an amazing job of keeping the small and boutique feel but still giving a wide range of acts for everyone.
Our festival highlight was definitely Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5. With inflatable unicorns, Storm Troopers and the largest disco ball I’ve ever seen it was definitely an experience worth seeing, a real feel good memory, perfect for festivals.
It was a real party atmosphere and the crowd went wild. This was our stand out performance of the whole festival and we would definitely recommend seeing them if you get the chance.
To read our blog on the Lindisfarne Festival 2017 click here.
We will definitely be going this year and can’t wait to see what is on!
This festival is a firm favourite of ours and gets our whole-hearted Nights Out In Newcastle recommendation.
“Celebrate what you want to see more of” ~ Tom Peters
Food and Drink highlights 2017
We have some great restaurants, pubs and bars in the North East and we have been lucky enough to visit many of them with our reviews. This plus the plethora of food and drink festivals, pop-ups and events in Newcastle meant we have been well fed and watered in 2017, with more than a few pounds put on the old waistlines this year!
Many have stuck in our minds, for a host of reasons, but we narrowed it down to our Top Five Food and Drink blog reviews of 2017…
With all the amazing restaurants, eateries and gastro pubs in Newcastle these days it may come as a surprise to many to see PizzaStorm in here in fifth. But we loved the concept and more importantly the pizza!
We popped in last August and had a great meal. Their restaurant in the new Intu Eldon Square development is part of a major overhaul of food outlets in town and brings “Your Pizza Fast” to Newcastle.
The fast and unpretentious service, plus the price and unlimited toppings are a great selling point.
This place has become a favourite for lunch in a hurry for all our staff at Nights Out In Newcastle.
To read our blog on PizzaStorm Newcastle click here.
Here at Nights Out In Newcastle we love beer, and we love music, so it is no surprise the aptly named Gateshead Beer and Music Festival made it in our Top Five.
This was the 8th Annual Gateshead Beer and Music Festival. It took place over 3 days starting on Friday the 28th April and finishing on Sunday the 30th, leaving the bank holiday Monday free for hangover clearance.
We sent John down to this one and he had a cracking night.
To read our blog on Gateshead Beer and Music Festival 2017 click here.
Here at Nights Out In Newcastle it is safe to say we love a good Gin and Tonic. So imagine our excitement at being invited to the Newcastle Gin Festival 2017 at Newcastle Racecourse.
This was our second year at the festival with us reviewing 2016’s event at Castlegate.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable time at the Newcastle Gin Festival and would definitely recommend the event. There were some amazing drinks on offer from across the globe. We really enjoyed ourselves at this one and it is safe to say we enjoyed more than a tipple or two of some delicious gins.
Their warm and friendly staff, brilliant organisation and beautiful gin made for a great night out.
We can’t wait for Newcastle Gin Festival 2018.
To read our blog on Newcastle Gin Festival 2017 click here.
This one was uplifting…literally! We sent Ashleigh along to the quayside this August for Newcastle in the Sky.
She was sent to enjoy a lunch with a difference from Reds BBQ. The difference being strapped into a chair and be dangled in the air 100ft above the Quayside in Newcastle!
Being afraid of heights and seeing The Sage from such a high point and was something Ashleigh had never experienced before. But she braved it for us and enjoyed herself, it is great to see such dedication to the job from our bloggers!
She said “It was a wonderful experience and one I would love to do again”.
The food was great too, with tasty pulled pork, juicy sausage and the most amazing ribs you have ever tasted.
To read our blog on Dine in the Sky click here.
“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody” ~ Samuel Pepys
It was very close but Newcastle Whisky Festival just edged it for us. Organised by The Whisky Lounge this event was a sure-fire hit with our team. It was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend an afternoon and I’d recommend it to anyone, Whisky expert or novice drinker the Newcastle Whisky Festival has something for everyone.
For those who have not been to this epic celebration of the grain before it is a cornucopia of everything Whisky, with some truly outstanding exhibitors bringing Newcastle a taste of the legendary drink. The venue was a fittingly grandiose with the stunning architecture and lavish 60’s decor of Newcastle’s Civic Centre a perfect match to the event.
We tried some legendary tipples and all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
To read our blog on Newcastle Whisky Festival 2017 click here.
“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” ~ Mark Twain
Best Experiences in 2017
We have had some amazing times last year at some truly fabulous events. We’ve been lucky enough to be invited to some spectacular shows, awesome events and press days, as well as finding ourselves in a range of bizarre and bewildering situations. Here is our Top Five Experiences of 2017.
There was something for everyone with this amazing variety show. Last October we had the considerable pleasure of being invited along to the stunning Tyne Theatre & Opera House for The Greatest Show on the Tyne.
Hosted by twisted Magician and Escapologist Chris Cross fronting this North East Variety Show we knew it was not going to be dull!
The Tyne Theatre and Opera House was celebrating its 150 year anniversary that year and showed why it has been around for so long! It also proved conclusively that variety shows still have a place in the modern entertainment industry.
To read our blog on The Greatest Show on the Tyne click here.
Total Tattoo magazine arrived in the toon this April at the Metro Radio Arena bringing the glorious smell of disinfectant and the buzz of guns. Obviously we had to go!
The Show brought 300 of the world’s very best tattoo artists together under one roof along tons of acts and entertainment. A unique day out for all the family, tattoo enthusiasts and the curious. Organised by Total Tattoo Magazine, the event showcases the best in tattoos, the culture, the history and how it has changed.
All in all it was a great event and I’d definitely recommend for both tattoo enthusiasts and those simply curious about tattoo art, with something for everyone.
To read our blog on The Big North Total Tattoo Show on the Tyne click here.
Last August we had the pleasure of being invited to The Fifth Point Dive Centre in Blyth. Here we met owners Nic and James, and learned about their passion for diving, marine conservation and the environment.
We took part in a Beach Clean, as well as dusting off the swimming cossies for a try dive at their state of the art indoor dive centre.
It was an amazing day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Nic and James are amazingly knowledgable, friendly, warm people and have a real passion for what they do.
To read our blog on The Fifth Point Dive Centre click here.
We were very excited and a little bit nervous when asked us to come to the Scream Factory for their Friday the 13th special VIP event. They promised us a sneak peek at what they had in store for Scream Factory 2017.
We had been to review them in 2016 and had just about recovered from the fright! So we were interested and a little nervous to see what they had planned for Halloween that year.
Scream Factory is located at the Kirkleatham Museum on the outskirts of the Seaside town of Redcar.
This is the sixth year of Scream Factory and they have gone from strength to strength. It has grown every year with new additions to the site, this year has seen the sell out on multiple nights and even added two more time slots on a couple of nights because of the popularity of it.
So we were interested and a little nervous to see what they had planned. We turned up at Kirkleatham Museum at 7pm as instructed and were led through to the hall were people were gathering. It was decorated with floating candles (Hogwarts style) and all the usual Halloween fair, cobwebs, skulls, spiders, etc. We grabbed a drink of punch and a Halloween themed cup cake before grabbing a seat with the other waiting victims (I mean VIP’s!). We chatted away to our fellow bloggers and press when a terrifying looking clown appeared behind us as if from nowhere!
Suitably fed and watered we were put with our group of would-be adventures, then led through to the start, where we were briefed about what to do.
From start to finish it was terrifying, weird and dark. We were met by a host of strange ghoulish creatures as we bundled through the maze of twists and turns.
It was a really twisted but fun experience! One we will remember for a long time.
We would definitely recommend the Scream Factory as it is a truly great activity for a night out. The level of professionalism, attention to details and sheer size of the staging really blow your mind. The actors make sure you have a unique experience and get your moneys worth in terms of frights. They can even make sure you have a special personalised surprise or two for your stag or hen weekend if you contact them to arrange it.
We’d give the Scream Factory a solid 10 out of 10 as the whole trip was amazing from start to finish. The organisation was perfect, we never had to stop or meet another group once on our experience, giving a seamless personalised feel to the event.
To read our blog on the Scream Factory click here.
There could only be one winner (although they are all winners in our opinion).
It just had to be the utterly bonkers and bizarre Festival of Thrift at Kirkleatham. It was an amazing day out and full of surprises! As experiences go it was purely mad, enjoyable, interesting and had a highly infectious feel-good vibe.
This event is the brainchild of designers Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway. It aims to promote “Living Sustainably with Style“, with a range of activities designed for all the family. Showing you how to save money, be environmentally savvy and live a rich and creative life.
We were not entirely sure what to expect but were blown away by the huge range of fun activities, stalls, crazy travelling bands, artwork and things to do. A real family day out it stole the show.
The message was a serious one but the festival itself did not take itself seriously. This was great to see!
All in all it is a fun, well organised, slightly crazy and infectious festival that highlights some serious issues around consumerism and our throw away culture without being preachy or judgemental.
The highlight had to be being enrolled into the musical mayhem that was Cardboardia. They got everyone involved and before you knew what was going on you were part of the troop! I felt a little like someone who had suddenly accidentally joined the circus!
To read our blog on the Festival of Thrift click here.
“Good parties create a temporary youthfulness” ~ Mason Cooley
There were so many blogs, entertainment and nights out which did not make it into our list but they were all pretty good and we’d like to thank everyone who invited us to review their events.
As special shout out to a couple that did not break into our list.
We had a great time interviewing Chris Ramsey ahead of his homecoming gig. We had a great laugh and much did not make the edit because it was too blue. We got to find out his favourite North East curry house as well as if he’d rather drink a Sex on the Beach in The Strawberry with Sting or a Tia Maria with Tino Asprilla in Tiger Tiger?
Another comedy event that had us laughing in the aisles was Tom Stade at The Stand Newcastle. Hats off to The Stand Newcastle for this gig, it was an epic night and one that will stick in the mind for a long while. After the gig Tom posed for endless selfies with his fans before going off to enjoy a good night on the Toon. For all we know he maybe still out there somewhere!
Special thanks also to everyone at Adonis Cabaret Show for showing our girls at Nights Out In Newcastle a great time!
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing team of bloggers, writers and photographers for making this all possible, as well as all the events, venues and organisers for their warm welcomes and hard work.
It has been a fabulous year here at Nights Out In Newcastle, meeting some amazing people and doing crazy, fun and challenging things.
We hope you’ve’ve enjoyed it as much as we have!!!
Did you know you can subscribe to our blog? Never miss out on our news, views, reviews and competitions. Just fill in your details on the top right and click subscribe, could not be easier! Keep up with everything happening in Newcastle and the North East.
Or maybe you have an idea for a blog feature or would even like to write for us? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org