New music festival hits the North East

Ben Grundy reports on an upcoming musical event named after a song by The Fall

23rd February 2017

Following in the footsteps of city festivals such as 'Live in Leeds' and 'Liverpool Sound City', Newcastle has been rewarded with its very own 'Hit the North' festival later this year. The festival shall take place between Thursday 27th- Saturday 29th April and focuses upon upcoming talent from around the United Kingdom.

"65 bands are set to strut their stuff on stage throughout the course of the weekend"

Standout names include the likes of Slaves, Lethal Bizzle and Nothing but Thieves yet the real impetus lies not in the bigger names but the sheer volume of names as 65 bands are set to strut their stuff on stage throughout the course of the weekend. This can be nothing but beneficial for the city as locals and students are alike are spoilt for choice with artists available to suit all tastes. The festival also provides local talent with an unprecedented amount of coverage and outreach to share their music with locals and visiting festival-goers alike. Steve Davis, part of the SSD Concerts who conceptualised 'Hit The North', has emphasised how it's a "festival for the bands of tomorrow". For instance, the likes of North East newcomers "Fletcher Jackson Band" share a platform with up and coming bands such as The Hunna, Honeyblood, Clean Cut Kid, The Pale White, Paris Youth Foundation and many many more. Furthermore, more and more acts are continually being announced so it's worth keeping an ear out.

In addition, not only should the diversity of the artists talking part be noted, so should the number of venues participating too. In total, over the course of the weekend,  there are 11 venues hosting acts from the Boilershop to the Cluny which illustrates the unity and universal belief amongst Tyneside venues in the benefits of such a city-wide festival. Thus, it is not only the musicians getting coverage but the venues too as people may be more tempted to venture having paid for a ticket which covers numerous acts than risk going to see one solitary performer. Never been to Jumping Jacks or Think Tank Underground? When could be a better time? With prices starting at £32, it seems a lot of bang for your buck.

Whilst similarities may be drawn to the 6 music festival at the Sage Gateshead a few years back, Hit The North goes further as it brings in a vaster, wider spectrum of acts to the North East.

For me, Newcastle needs 'Hit the North'. Due to the city's slightly isolated location in the north east, artists often shun Newcastle as 'too far out of the way' and opt rather for Leeds and Glasgow. Consequently, we, as a student population, can miss out on acts touring the UK and, therefore, any festival providing wider opportunities for quality music of all genres to reach the ears of those on Tyneside must be seen as something positive and one we should all get behind.

Tickets for Hit The North are available from the likes of See Tickets and Songkick. Get yours before they go.

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