Festival FAQs


Is this really a FREE Festival?

  • If you are travelling on the Nexus Shields Ferry you still need a ticket or travel pass (Nexus has provided free “Pop Cards” for Festival Performers)
  • All the venues in North & South Shields are Free Entry
  • There is an extra event in the evening at Cluny2 in Newcastle that is NOT free entry
  • Please see the Festival Programme

Where do I get Tickets, wrist-bands – whatever?

  • There aren’t any – well for all but one event
  • If you want to go to the Extra Event (Circle of Five) on Saturday Evening at Cluny2 in Newcastle, there is information about tickets on the Cluny Website
  • If you are travelling on the Nexus Shields Ferry you still need a ticket or travel pass (Nexus has provided free “Pop Cards” for Festival Performers)
  • Everything else, you just turn up.
  • The whole idea of the Festival is that people are free wander from event to event and use the Shields Ferry to explore venues on both sides of Tyne

How do I get there and find my way around?

If I just turn up, will I get a spot to perform?

  • It depends on the type of event
  • Check the Festival Programme for venues with “Open Stage” times or “Sessions”
  • Whether you get a “spot” depends on how busy the Programme is at that Venue and is at the discretion of the Venue Host
  • If you want to go on the “Reserve List” in case a set time becomes free at a particular Venue, please contact Steve Willis, Festival Organiser (there is a Contact Form further down)

Who is paying for this Free Festival?

– Is it the Council?
– Or have you got charitable funding or business sponsorship?

None of the above!

Aren’t you just exploiting professional musicians?

– Performers deserve to be paid and need to earn a living.

  • We are aware of and support the Musicians Union campaign #WorkNotPlay
  • The Festival does not have any money to pay anyone – it is all entirely voluntary
  • Every year, musicians and other performers come back for more and new people want to join in – so we must be doing something right
  • What we offer is the chance to see other performances for free, to meet and jam with other musicians, visit and play in new venues, wow new audiences, raise funds for a good cause and have a great day out.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements?

  • Some Festival venues are inside or in the grounds of Public Houses.
  • Normal Licencing Laws apply.
  • Please contact individual venues if you need further information.

What about transport and parking?

Please see the Festival Programme section: Maps, Travel and Transport

How accessible are venues for people with disabilities?

  • It varies and we do not have accessibility information for all venues.
  • If  a venue has Accessibility information on its website, it is linked on the Festival Programme Page
  • You can find the same information on the Festival Accessibility Page
  • Venues that are “accessible”  have a wheelchair symbol on the Festival Map (short url: bit.ly/CrossingTyneFestMap)
    • you can filter the Festival Map so that you see only Accessible Venues
    • some are not fully accessible: please check details and contact the venue if you need further details

How can I contact the Festival Organiser?

There are lots of ways to contact Steve Willis, Festival Organiser – please see the Festival Contact Page – or use this Contact Form:


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