All News and Updates

Venue 19 added today! Juke Shed Bar, North Shields

Delighted to add another “Acoustic Session” venue to the Crossing The Tyne Festival Programme today – at Juke Shed Bar, North Shields: Venue 19!

Venue 19 (N) Juke Shed Bar

2018 Website image - Venue 19 - Juke Shed Bar 600x314

Acoustic Session

  • 12:00 – 6:00 TBC
  • Host: TBC
  • Facebook Event
  • Location:
    16 Union Quay
    North Shields
    NE30 1HJ
  • Access: contact venue
  • Map: Festival Venues on Google Maps

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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:
    • 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:


Festival Google Map short-url

Correct short url for Festival Map

This is the correct short url: 

2018-08-05 Crossing The Tyne Festival Map Screenshot 800x509

Map update – Accessibility Info

  • There are now “wheelchair symbols” on the markers for Accessible Venues
  • There are also map “layers” for just the accessible venues.
  • De-selecting the “All Venues” layers will show only accessible venues.

Confessions of Festival Web Monkey:

“I accidentally linked to my private, editing view of the Festival Google Map instead of the Public View!”

This has now been corrected in Festival website Pages and Posts (please reinstate my supply of bananas, Steve Willis!)

Venue Accessibility?

Venue Accessibility Info

There is a new “Accessibility” Page on the Festival website – but not much information on it as yet.

These venues have access information on their websites:

Crowdsourcing accessibility info

The venues below have not published accessibility information.

Can you help us to give performers and visitors more info?

  • Please tick Venues that you would rate as “Accessible”
  • Let us know if you have any more accessibility information about these venues:
    • you can leave a Public Comment right after this post
    • or use the Contact Form below to send us a Private Message.

We are trusting you not to vote on a venue more than once!

Attitude is Everything

The website “Attitude is Everything(improving deaf and disabled people’s access to live music) has some good tips on Accessibility Information that people find useful.


If you are a venue with Accessibility Info that you would like us to add to the website – please get in touch!

Many thanks in advance for your help!

Accessibility Poll

  • This is a totally unscientific survey with no “Accessibility Criteria” so the results should be viewed with caution.
  • They might help you to shortlist venues to contact for more information.

Contact Form to send a Private Message

How to get to 2018 Festival Venues

Maps, Travel and Transport

There is a new section on the Festival Programme Page with info about how to get to, and get around, the Festival.

This is what it looks like . . .

Festival Venues – Google Map & Directions

Select the image to go to the map then click on the place-markers for info about Events and get directions:

2018-08-05 Crossing The Tyne Festival Map Screenshot 800x509

Short url for map:

Nexus: Bus, Ferry, Metro & Rail

Transport North East



  • Transport: There is accessibility info on the sites linked above
  • Venues: See Festival Accessibility Page. Please contact Venues directly for further information and advice.

Looking forward to meeting some if not all of you at the Festival!

Please do let us know if you spot any errors or have any questions or comments.

  • You can leave a Public Reply by commenting at the end of this post
  • or send us a Private Message using this Contact Form

Steve Willis
Festival Organiser

Don’t miss the boat . . . Ferry!

Crossing The Tyne Festival Programme

The Festival Programme is taking shape and is being continually updated with new venues and details!

Steve Willis, Festival Organiser, is hard at work putting the “rotational plan” for Performers together – we know lots of you like to make the most of the day by playing at more than one venue!

This is a particular challenge when people are playing on The Ferry and on dry land – making sure you have time to get to the Ferry for your slot.

Playing on The Ferry?

Performance “turnaround times” on the Ferry are very tight!

Some good advice from Ray Rowley, Host for “Music on The Ferry”, to make sure that you get maximum “play time” on The Ferry:

  1. Board the ferry BEFORE the crossing you are actually playing on.
  2. The best plan is to board from the same side that you will be playing your slot – which means 30 mins before your “gig-crossing”, eg.
    • catch 11:30 Ferry from North Shields to perform on 12:00 crossing from North Shields to South Shields;
    • catch 11:45 Ferry from South Shields to perform on 12:15 crossing from South Shields to North Shields;
    • catch 12:00 Ferry from North Shields to perform on 12:30 crossing from North Shields to South Shields;
    • catch 12:15 Ferry from South Shields to perform on 12:45 crossing from South Shields to North Shields;
  3. There is a page on the Nexus website with Ferry Times and a Ferry Timetable with maps and directions to the Ferry Landings that you can download.
  4. Check in with Ray when you arrive so he can confirm what you need on stage and he can get it set up in time.
  5. Timed playlists for “North to South Crossings” and “South to North Crossings” will be made available to help you to plan to get to the Ferry on time.
  6. Free Ferry travel “Pop Cards have been provided by Nexus for Performers on the Ferry – more info to follow!

Facebook Events

We will be creating the Festival Facebook Events very soon and will be inviting “Co-Hosts”.

This year we are going to use a standard format for “Event Cover Banners” so that people can easily identify Crossing The Tyne Festival Events. (A couple of venues have already created Facebook Events so we might not hit the 100% mark on this one!)

Venue Hosts:  please make full use of your Facebook Event to spread the word, invite friends. keep people updated, etc.

This is what the Facebook Event Banners will look like – very plain but all the info that anyone needs if just the image gets shared 🙂

2018 Facebook Event Banner - Venue 1 - The Ferry v2


Remember what fun we had last year!

We have been ferreting out your photos and videos as a reminder of just how GREAT the Crossing The Tyne Festival was in 2017!

Check out this page!  2017 Festival

We have started adding pages for some of last year’s events too  . . .

2018-07-17 Screenshot for blog - Collage 600x425


. . . Looking forward to seeing all the photos and videos from the Crossing The Tyne Festival 2018 on Saturday 25th August! 


2018-07-12 Crossing The Tyne Flier 03 + GetNorth logo 600x829


Crossing The Tyne Festival – a Great Exhibition of The North Event!

Inspired_by_Logo_RGB 400x249

Be part of the Festival this year – Saturday 25th August


Contact Steve Willis, Festival Organiser

Or see our CONTACT PAGE for other ways to get in touch

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Steve Willis
Crossing The Tyne Festival Organiser
Timmerman Music


Crossing The Tyne Festival 2018

2018-07-12 Crossing The Tyne Flier 03 + GetNorth logo 600x829

Only six weeks to go now before the next Crossing The Tyne Festival!


Thank you to everyone who has already been in touch to say you would like to perform on Saturday 25th August.

We are still taking names and you can contact us in LOTS of ways – please see the Festival Contact Page

If you are on Facebook then an easy way to give us your name, or the name of your band, is to add it to this Poll that Lesley Tan has set up in the “Crossing The Tyne Festival Group”:  click through to add your name

  • Please note: Lesley’s poll is NOT a “popularity poll”
  • there is no need to tick the names of people who you would like to see perform
  • there is no need to ask people to tick your name
  • if you want to perform at “Strum on The Tyne”, please see below instead of using the Poll

Strum on The Tyne – Ukulele Festival

If you have not already done so, please contact Liz Panton directly using the “Strum on The Tyne” Contact Form

Venues and Hosts

We have started updating the Festival Programme Page with information about venues and hosts/organisers for 2018. This will include links to Facebook Events created for specific venues.

Updating the Festival Programme is ongoing as there are often changes in the run-up to the Festival.  To date, there are many venues listed as “TBC” (To Be Confirmed) but only because we do not have full details yet. We will post short “News Updates” to let you know when more details are added to the Festival Programme Page.

Great Exhibition of The North

Everyone who has contributed to past Festivals, or will participate this year, can rightly feel very proud that the Crossing The Tyne Festival has been recognised as source of inspiration by The Great Exhibition of The North!



Last year we raised over £700 for Oxfam in partnership with Oxjam Newcastle.  This year we are fundraising for Metro Radio – Cash for Kids.

Cash For Kids + metro radio

Steve Willis aka “Timmerman” – Festival Organiser

Congratulations to Steve, who with support from Generator, now has his own rather fetching website: “Timmerman Music“!

Steve has created and led the Festival with a massive amount of inspiration, enthusiasm and energy plus considerable coordination and organisational skills over the last four years. All that and buckets of diplomacy in managing to pull together a scattered team of volunteers, rally countless venues, hosts/organisers and performers on both sides of the river and on the Ferry – raising thousands of pounds for Festival charities along the way.

Festival Team

This will grow in size as we get closer to the Festival and we all seem to have multiple roles – but a big thank you is due to Dannielle Keys, for making the fliers that have got us rolling advertising the Festival this year!

Derrin Atkins
Jan Buglass
Dannielle Keys
Liz Panton
Ray Rowley
Lesley Tan

£712.43 raised for Oxfam by Crossing the Tyne Festival 2017!

2017 Crossing The Tyne Festival Poster - money raised 600x845

Thank you!

Crossing The Tyne Festival 2017 was a great success! Many thanks to EVERYONE who contributed – on both sides of The Tyne and on The Tyne. In North and South Shields, in Gateshead and Newcastle and on the Nexus Ferry!

Many thanks to the Performers, Festival Admin, the Venues, the Event Organisers and Hosts – to everyone who came along and made this such wonderful day and helped to raise funds for a good cause! The sun shone down and smiled on us too!

  • Great events!
  • Great performances!
  • Great community participation!
  • Best of all – over £700 raised for Oxfam with Oxjam Newcastle!

Many thanks also to everyone who has shared their photos and videos so that we can share them with you!

We will be posting highlights from 2017 but in the meantime you can see photos and videos on our Facebook Festival Page, Group and Facebook Events – and on the “Top Tourist” blog here! Crossing The Tyne Festival 2017

Next Crossing The Tyne Festival – 25 August 2018!

We have already started planning for next year!

Our new charity for 2018 will be “Cash for Kids ” as supported by Metro Radio

Come along, join in, have a great time and help raise funds for another very good cause!

Steve Willis
Festival Organiser

Festival Links:

Facebook: Festival Page

Facebook: Festival Group

Facebook: Festival Events Links

Twitter: @crossingthetyne



Lovely day on Tyneside for The Crossing The Tyne Festival!

The Met Office is supporting The Crossing The Tyne Festival! The weather is on our side!

Crossing The Tyne Festival: Programme

For updates see:

Crossing The Tyne Festival: Facebook Page

Crossing The Tyne Festival: Facebook Group

Crossing The Tyne Festival on Twitter: @music_northern