Festival FAQs


Is this really a FREE Festival?

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

  • There aren’t any tickets, wrist-bands – whatever.
  • Everything else, 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 the Venue Host.

Who is paying for this Free Festival?

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

We are delighted that, for the first time, the 2021 Festival has sponsorship to help us to cover costs!

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 say that they want to be involved again and new people ask 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
  • Please contact the Venue if you need more information

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: