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

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Image: Little Quirks

The festival experience has always been something utterly unique. The magic can’t ever be put down to one aspect; the atmosphere, the anticipation, the crowd belting out lyrics in unison, bonded by music. The euphoria of stumbling into something beautiful and fresh is the impetus behind Twisterella; returning to venues in Middlesbrough on Saturday 8th October, the annual success is ready to put on a dazzling show from beginning to end. 

The award-winning festival has turned heads for its celebration of shiny new music, cultivating a bustling hive of live music right in the heart of the town. Winning the AIF Independent Festival award for its ‘forward thinking bookings’, Twisterella is constantly diving into the future, plucking a veritable feast of talents from across the globe, as well as straight from the streets of the North East; each act that graces any of the six stages is brimming with potential, talent and energy.

Co-promoter Andy Carr is eager to jump into action: “Twisterella returns this October with an action-packed line-up featuring with some of the most exciting new and emerging artists around. We can’t wait for fans to discover and make an early connection with their new favourite act, and all of this right in the heart of Middlesbrough. It’s going to be another brilliant year!”

Venues including Teesside University’s Student Union, The Townhouse, TSOne and Westgarth Social Club host performances alongside pop-ups in some of Middlesbrough’s coolest bars over in Baker Street and Bedford Street. 

The award-winning festival has turned heads for its celebration of shiny new music, cultivating a bustling hive of live music right in the heart of the town

As for the line-up, expect local legends like power pop five-piece Komparrison; the jazz-inflected indie of Sarah Johnsone; angsty noise makers Benefits; fuzz rockers Pit Pony; Teesside rapper Shakk; affecting songwriter Jodie Nicholson; alt. indie artist Lizzie Esau; brat-pop firebrands ZELA; punchy rockers Onlooker; soulful songwriter Sisi; punky pop artists bigfatbig; the spoken word electro of Faithful Johannes and Teesside bedroom popster Cosial.

Plus, there’s a host of critically acclaimed artists from outside the region, including Edinburgh’s indie poppers Swim School; dance/rap hybrid Noisy; gentle lyricist Cara Rose; alt. rock project Tummyache; indie four-piece The Royston Club; all-female indie alt. rockers Prima Queen; Welsh punks Panic Shack; noise pop band Sick Joy; Leeds post-punks Treeboy & Arc; genre-bending hip-hop collective Nukuluk; York singer-songwriter Phoebe Hall and many more.

Despite the festival giving a platform to those names less known, co-promoter Henry Carden hints at one act that may be a potential standout: “We’ve confirmed Little Quirks as a headliner and we couldn’t be more excited. They’re coming over from Australia for their first ever UK tour and they’ve recently signed to the legendary Glassnote Records in New York; expect them to follow in the footsteps of their label-mates Mumford & Sons, Daughter and Aurora over the coming years.

The surplus of talent that floods from each of the 40 “brightest and best emerging artists” at the festival means the £20 ticket is a no brainer for anyone keeping their fingers firmly on the pulse of new music. 

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


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