FEATURE: Online Events | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Colourful Discoveries – Rainbow collage of Discovery Museum


Join a live Zoom chat with artist Linder Sterling via Laing Art Gallery‘s website on Saturday 5th December from 10:30am-12pm. Sterling’s artistic practice incorporates photo montage, zine-making, documentary photography, music and film and she’s an active figure in the punk and post-punk music scene, best known for her iconic album cover art and ephemera she’s made for bands including Buzzcocks and Magazine. For more information or to book this event, contact: zoe.allen@twmuseums.org.uk

Take a look at the Discovery Museum’s new online exhibition exploring museum collections through colour, with Google Arts & Culture. Colourful Discoveries encourages people to explore Discovery Museum’s diverse collections through a kaleidoscopic lens, from Victorian silk fans to activist material, 1960s dresses to WWI-era packaging, vintage film posters and more. Each week Discovery Museum will be publishing new content on social media celebrating each colour, including objects which didn’t make it into the final exhibition. This will be complemented by colour themed family activities.

If you are looking for something more focused, take part in Sage Gateshead’s Zoom event regarding Mental Wellness in Music with SK Shlomo & Dr Melanie Grundy. This will take place on Monday 7th December at 3pm. Featuring a short performance, conversation and audience questions, this event is particularly aimed at those navigating a career in the music industry would like to hear about mental wellness in music. SK Shlomo is an award-winning beatboxer, producer and live-looper and Dr Melanie Grundy is a GP for the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine.

Get involved in a festive, Christmas themed party organised by The Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company Xmas Kroc Klub! This event will take place via Zoom on Friday 18th December from 7pm-8.30pm, run by and for adults with learning disabilities. Have some festive fun whilst dancing to dance, pop, hip-hop and rock in the comfort of your home!

If you’re feeling creative, join Art Centre Washington’s online painting social, taking place on Wednesday 9th December and Wednesday 16th December. These sessions will be led by their art leader Vince Cooper, and it will give you the chance to connect with each other whilst encouraging you to create art over these uncertain times!

Take a look at MIMA’s new digital Thresholds exhibition presenting three artists who have reacted to the current crisis, responding to conflicted and complicated relationships with home. The artists include Sonia Boué, Lindsay Duncanson and Catriona Gallagher, who have created artwork in reflection of the changing relations due to Covid-19. This programme also supports Disabled curators to develop their practices and careers through working with MIMA, Midlands Arts Centre (MAC), Birmingham and Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge. Visit the exhibition here until 17th January.


Tune into Dance City’s Dance Edits, a livestreamed performance for dance lovers on Friday 11th December at 7:00pm. Showcasing North East and Scottish artists, the evening will be filled with live performance and dance film, presenting a variety of work and themes. From live improvisation by Lila Naruse, to contemporary routines by Meta4Dance, there will be something for everyone.

If you are looking for high energy jazz, soul and funk music, or just a good time, join the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band for Gosforth Civic Centre’s 10 year anniversary of Christmas concerts! This will be live streamed on Saturday 19th December at 7pm. Strictly Smokin’ has the finest array of commercial musicians in Newcastle playing with the band, at venues such as jazz clubs or festivals around the UK. For more information or to book tickets, click here

Tune into a range of musical performances live streamed by The Globe, from Friday 4th to Sunday 20th December. There’s something for everybody on different nights, with genres ranging from jazz to folk acoustic. Fergus McCreadie Trio (Sunday 6th December) who are praised in the jazz scene are just one of the many fantastic bands featured, with other artists including Pons Aelius (Friday 11th), Keiran Bowe (Saturday 12th), Francis Tulip Quintet featuring Xhosa Cole (Sunday 13th) and Zoe Gilby Quartet (Sunday 20th).

Sage Gateshead are live streaming a range of music events throughout December and January. Of particular note is their Christmas Cracker virtual concert, filmed at the venue and premiered on YouTube from Friday 18th December (and available until 4th January). Performers will include Sam Fender, who collaborates with Royal Northern Sinfonia, Martha Hill and Paul Edis in a ‘big band’ special, The Young’Uns, Voices of Virtue and Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia. As part of their Make Musical Virtual Programme, the venue have created many different online groups for all ages, from Early Years Live (Mondays and Wednesdays) to Blues Guitar Taster (Tuesday 15th December at 7pm). Their virtual Christmas Party (Wednesday 16th December, 5pm-7pm) encourages as many people as possible to come along and sing some carols, participate in a Christmas quiz, and the opportunity to perform a song!

If you’re interested in indie, funk, jazz, or pop music then tune into Motorhouse Studios’ live streamed gigs. Sunderland’s pop rockers Picnic perform on Thursday 10th December from 8pm and the region’s favourite rock’n’roll and Western swingers Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra play on Wednesday 16th December at 8pm.

You won’t want to miss the Cutty Bang International Film Festival taking place on Friday 18th December from 8pm-11pm. This is the online gathering of original storytellers including comedic, surrealistic, poetic, live art and political features in the form of DIY short films shot on camera phones – this will be an exciting event filled with lots of laughs!


Tune into one of Star and Shadow Cinema’s many radio events throughout December and discover an eclectic range of music. Black Cat Radio is a fortnightly Goth music show, introducing you to different alternative genres such as goth, metal, punk and more. With discussions relating to the artists played and general alternative music chat, join Tim Sinister and ‘cool cat’ Claire in a wonderland of alternative music. Shows take place on Wednesday 16th December and Wednesday 30th December at 8pm.

Dear Listener is an eclectic yet melodic radio event hosted by Maxïmo Park’s Paul Smith. This eclectic music show features segments focussing on one particular theme or artist each week. With his background in alternative rock, Paul will take listeners on a musical journey, experiencing many different genres. Shows take place on Monday 7th December, Monday 14th December, Monday 21st December and Monday 28th December all at 7:30pm.

If you are looking for something completely unique, tune into a classic martial arts movie club event. Chop Socky Dojo Quarantine Session will explore the underground classics of Kung Fu, Karate, Chanbara, Cut’n’Paste Films and many more for a truly entertaining experience. Shows take place on Thursday 10th December, Thursday 17th December, Thursday 24th December and Thursday 31st December all at 7pm.


Get involved with a video chat ceramic workshop courtesy of Gold Tapped, every Thursday. These free or pay what you feel sessions will guide you through relaxing techniques to create a ceramic piece of art, suitable for ages 5 and over. Gold Tapped can either deliver new clay to your doorstep within 1.5 miles of Newcastle City Centre on Mondays, or you can purchase clay yourself ready for the workshop. For more information about times or to book, contact: goldtapped@gmail.com 

Visit one of BALTIC’s exhibitions via Zoom with your toddler and call it home schooling, with their Wonder & Wander Virtual Tour. Using movement and sound, let a member of BALTIC’s learning team enhance your toddler’s sensory exploration with materials from around your home. The next session takes place on Tuesday 15th December from 9.55am-10.25am. Visit this link to book your slot.

Northern Stage are hosting their first ever virtual Christmas show – The Emperor’s New Clothes, from Saturday 12th to Thursday 31st December. Their virtual stage will be showcasing this festive take on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic folktale – a Christmas special for all the family.

Join in with Alphabetti Theatre’s new Christmas online show, Love From, on Monday 21st December at 12pm. Created by Alphabetti’s award-winning Artistic/Executive Director Ali Pritchard, this unique Christmas experience is compiled from various workshops run outside and online with West Rainton Primary School, Springfield Lodge Care Home, Carr Hill Community Primary School, and Hotspur Primary School, weaved into a heart-warming script.

Darlington collective Tracks present the BIG Little Gigs Stay At Home Christmas Session with The Christmas Witches on Saturday 12th December at 2pm. Your kids will love this festive singalong session performed by the Christmas Witches, concluding with storytelling of a well-known Christmas story. What’s more, there will be 100 free ‘gig in a box’ treats to accompany the event.

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