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

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Image: Clean Cut Kid

Industry events and multi-venue festivals are ten-a-penny these days, but not all have the heart and soul that Twisterella has. Now in its third year, the ‘metropolitan music festival’ takes place on Saturday 8th October and will feature over 40 live acts across seven venues in Middlesbrough, welcoming over 1,000 music-loving punters keen to sniff out the latest and greatest regional and national bands. A handful of acts have come from further afield too, making this year’s Twisterella a truly international affair.

Co-organiser Andy Carr, who works alongside fellow Teesside promoter and musician Henry Carden to deliver the festival, is justly excited for the event. “We are delighted to have assembled a hugely exciting line-up packed with national and international emerging talent. The line-up also includes some of the North East’s most exciting acts. Twisterella is an absolute treat for discerning music fans and we’re all set for another landmark day in the heart of Middlesbrough.”

We are delighted to have assembled a hugely exciting line-up packed with national and international emerging talent

Taking the top spots are Liverpudlian soulful popsters Clean Cut Kid, danceable funk punkers WHITE plus local favourites Frankie & The Heartstrings and Kingsley Chapman & The Murder, who have both had a cracking year with some truly excellent releases and festival shows aplenty. Elsewhere on the line-up, highlights include intense songwriter Eliza Shaddad; perky alt. rockers Flight Brigade; dark indie rockers October Drift; Norway’s music scene gets a little showcase of its own, courtesy of power popsters Beezewax and Oslo indie pop band Stereopol; there’s slick alt. pop from Natalie McCool; and Old Crow Medicine Show musician Gill Landry journeys across the pond to Teesside.

The local contingent do the region proud too, with spots from Coquin Migale, Avalanche Party, A Festival A Parade, Drifts, James Gray Robson & The Lovely Burn, Zach Said, James Leonard Hewitson and Tough Tits among many others, plus there’s pop-up performances throughout the day.


Image: Stereopol

There’s more to Twisterella than just great music though, and the (Un)Conference has become a must-attend event for musicians looking to gain insight into the industry. Taking place at Teesside University Student’s Union from 11am, it’s a free entry event open to all. This year’s panel focuses on three main strands: getting noticed, establishing a presence and building momentum, how to make an income from music, and an A&R session, where industry professionals offer advice on how to develop work in progress. Panellists include long-time supporter of the festival BBC 6Music DJ Vic Galloway, Cattle & Cane’s Helen Hammill, ITB Agency’s Amber McKenzie, Goy Boy McIlroy musician, promoter and all-round firebrand David Saunders and lil’ ol’ me, on hand to offer advice on getting press coverage.

“Our aim is to provide aspiring regional acts with great advice so that they are able to get the exposure they want for their music.” Andy explains. “We have assembled a panel of highly respected tastemakers and industry professionals who are looking forward to sharing their experiences and offering high quality advice. The conference is a key part of our Twisterella offer and we a very proud of the practical advice it offers to acts who are serious about their music.”

The festival has firmly established itself as a music-lovers Mecca, and with this year’s line-up as exciting as ever, the £15 advance ticket price seems absurdly good value. See you down the front!

Twisterella Festival takes place at various venues in Middlesbrough on Saturday 8th October.

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