NEWS: TUSK Festival goes Virtual | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: OOIOO

While for many the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted and narrowed opportunities, for some it has opened up the possibility for infinite expansion. The adventurous TUSK Festival, scheduled to take place at Sage Gateshead in October, has befallen the fate of so many events – at its heart a festival which actively seeks to encourage international collaboration and performance, the global pandemic has rendered the event in its usual guise untenable.

TUSK, however, has always been a forward-thinking and cutting-edge event, having embraced livestream technology and digital programming for several years. That wealth of experience will now see TUSK Virtual offer an expanded programme of performances, exhibitions, film screenings and discussions which could only ever have been dreamed of pre-pandemic.

Taking place from Monday 28th September-Sunday 11th October, the 10th edition of the festival will be a truly global celebration of alternative and experimental culture where normal’ festival rules will no longer apply, making for a truly thrilling and completely immersive event.

Artists already lined up to perform include Norwegian noise artist Deathprod; math rockers Horse Lords; noise artist and improviser Maja S.K. Ratkje; audio-visual artist Sarah Hennies and Newcastle sludge rockers Lump Hummer. Now added to the line-up are avant garde jazz hero Roscoe Mitchell; manic/ecstatic father/daughter duo Yeah You; mostly-Ugandan sextet Nihiloxica; Newcastle radge punks Blóm; Chicago jazz maestro Angel Bat Dawid; Japanese experimental band OOIOO and influential experimental musician Jim O’Rourke and Japanese songwriter Eiko Ishibashi, who will team up for their first performance to take place outside Japan.

There’s loads more still to be announced, alongside an expanded film schedule and the always-inventive TUSK Fringe programme delivered by The Old Police House. The festival is intrinsically linked with venue partners Sage Gateshead, who continue to support TUSK in the expansion of the programme. We’ll bring more information on the ambitious event in our September issue, and you can keep informed on developments via their website.

TUSK Virtual takes place from Monday 28th September-Sunday 11th October

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