INTERVIEW: Base Camp | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image: Faithful Johannes performing at Base Camp, Middlesbrough. Image by Keavey Gamwell

Words: Carmel Ramsey

Base Camp’s return after lockdown saw the transformation of our vast warehouse space into a new sit-down bar that hosted weekly gigs, films, quizzes and comedy clubs throughout the summer as well as art and photography classes. The sprawling Grade 2 listed building in the heart of Middlesbrough’s historic district has always been a versatile space but we were able to make the sheer size of the place work to our advantage with an impressive socially distanced set-up.

Stand out moments included the reopening event, Not Leeds Festival, which saw nine artists play over the Bank Holiday weekend. It was not only the bands’ first live shows since March, it was also the first time many of the audience had socialised in more than six months and the atmosphere was just incredible.

Like every venue, we’ve had a nightmare adjusting to the constantly changing rules and regulations. The table service, the extra cleaning, the logistics involved in putting on an event have all been really challenging, but we are lucky to have the most amazing team who just took everything in their stride and made every event a massive success. There were some very special memories created at Base Camp this year and I’m very proud of the fact that we didn’t have a single case of Covid linked to the venue. The fact that we managed to keep everyone safe gives me huge hope for next year, despite the restrictions we will no doubt be operating under.

As the recipients of Arts Council funding, Base Camp’s future is secured for 2021 and although things are going to take a long time to get back to normal, it’s in our nature to have big plans in the pipeline. We’re working on some really exciting events for next year that will happen both online and in a physical space once we are allowed to play out again. We’ve got some properly ground-breaking collaborators on board and one way or another 2021 is going to be our best year yet. Watch this space!”

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout