FEATURE: BBC 3 Free Thinking Festival @ Sage Gateshead | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Claudia Rankine by John Lucas

Held at Sage Gateshead, BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival consists of thought-provoking events including an amalgamation of thought and debate from a variety of disciplines, from poetry to science. The festival is also home to thematic discussions and displays of mastery that are entirely inclusive in their societal relevance, from experts in a variety of fields.

The over-arching connection for the festival this year, which takes place from Friday 6th until Sunday 8th November, is Tearing Up The Rulebook, and as a consequence the festival sees how varying disciplines and individuals go about navigating confines and restrictions, as well as the art of possibility. Highlights include actor Juliet Stevenson and Natalie Abrahami in conversation; author of highly rated novel Chocolat Joanne Harris, who delves into Norse mythology with Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough; scientific discussion from Jim al-Khalili; and the religious and scientific musings of Richard Dawkins. Musical talent also arrives in the form of folk from Bridie Jackson & The Arbour, vocalists The Marian Consort with Lucie Skeaping and orchestral brilliance of Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Poetic explorations take place on behalf of Claudia Rankine, and there’s literary explorations by John Yorke, Emily Woof, Bim Adewunmi and Allan Little. The festival also has discussion regarding the relevance of past and future in the evolution of ideas, as demonstrated by debate from James Rebanks and Veronica Strang. Debate regarding requirements for the workplace in the form of discussion between Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind and Paul Mason is also taking place, as well as a talk between Sheila Hancock, Bim Adewunmi, Neil Bartlett and Johnny Mitchell on gender. Tickets are free, but we highly recommend advance bookings.

BBC 3 Free Thinking Festival takes place at Sage Gateshead from Friday 6th until Sunday 8th November.

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