This weekend, the region’s biggest and best culture crawl – The Late Shows – kicks off with its usual two-day, out-of-hours celebration of the museums, galleries, landmark historical buildings and venues Newcastle and Gateshead has to offer. The best bit about The Late Shows is tucking into the smorgasbord of culture, discovering places and activities you never knew were there and getting the chance to sample all the different venues as you meander around Newcastle and Gateshead.

This year – there are even more bars, pubs, events and have-a-go workshops than ever to entice you on this cultural exploration and The Late Shows is FREE!

With so much going on and not long to cram it all in – we recommend you do your research and pick your favourites rather than racing around the whole city. We’ve whittled down the full programme to a handful of highlights from each of the four Late Shows zones to give you a head start.

(For the full and unedited list of activities – head to The Late Shows website here or do a search for Late Shows events on Facebook and you will be blown-away by the choice!)

Ouseburn

(some venues are available Friday & Saturday night – check website for specifics)

If you’re hitting Ouseburn, arguably the cultural hub of the city, then indulge your senses at 36 Lime Street with a piano performance in total darkness or try your hand at some hula hooping and circus skills at Labyrinth on Foundry Lane. Families and big kids alike will not want to miss a chance to dress up and enjoy an intergalactic story time at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books. Beware the Time Bandits who will treat you to grisly crime reenactments in the winding passages of the historic Ouseburn.  Make sure to check out the Ouseburn’s most recent addition – Arch 2 Brewpub & Kitchen - where you can refuel for your culture crawl.

Gateshead

(Saturday night only)

Whether you go back to the future in a retro 80s night at Gateshead Library or head down to the Dunston Staiths to listen to a pop-up choir, the Gateshead route is packed with promise. Shipley Art Gallery have also travelled back in time for their Late Shows contribution which invites you to drop in for 1920s music, cocktails, canapés and craft, and the chance to bag a classic outfit at the vintage clothes stall.

Central Station/Quayside

(Saturday night only)

The Discovery Museum have live action role-play games for you to get involved in whilst the newly refurbished Side Gallery is a new addition to The Late Shows line-up. Celebrate forty years of the gallery with a look at a series of exhibitions and installations. Dance City are serving up a Latin-infused Late Shows with taster sessions and performances as well as Latin inspired drinks available all night in their café bar.

Newcastle City Centre/Haymarket

(Saturday night only)

Saturday night is the ideal opportunity to wander around Newcastle City Centre and be surprised by the thriving art scene sometimes hidden in the heart of the city. Pop-up art events at 13 Grey Street promise an evening of “immersive, multi-artform experience spanning installation, live art, lectures and everything in between.”  The HUB Studio invite you to the Midnight Garden Party while specialist picture framers and art gallery Gallagher & Turner are hosting a drop-in life drawing class – so unleash your inner artist!

If all that isn’t enough, Kommunity are hosting a Late Late Shows evening of 80s poptastic fun and frivolity, 90s luxe hedonism to celebrate the late great George Michael.

Grab your glow sticks, charge up your Fit Bit and get yourselves out there!

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