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DJ Yoda Headlines as New Music Programme Revealed with Opportunities to Get Involved in NOVUM Newcastle’s Newest Festival

Live DJ sets and intimate folk gigs, jazz fusion and indie singer songwriters have been announced as the second NOVUM Festival makes serious moves towards being Newcastle’s most significant cultural event. An eclectic and packed music programme has been curated to complement the four day event which will feature spectacular visual arts installations, dazzling circus performances, spoken word and live theatre alongside free family friendly activities. There is also the chance to get more directly involved now through participating in workshops, signing up to be a Breaking champion and even in becoming a piece of art.

  • Highlights of performances taking place in the Civic Centre Banqueting Hall include:
  • DJ Yoda, the world-class turntablist, music producer, and trailblazing video artist is headlining with an exclusive, bespoke and immersive Audio Visual showcase created especially for NOVUM where audiences will experience the heartbeat of Newcastle like never before (Saturday 10 August)
  • Indie singer/song-writer and the first artist to sign on to HMV’s new record label, 1921 Records, Newcastle-based India Arkin (Thursday 8 August) will be performing the soulful grunge pop found on her debut album “Home Truths”
  • BBC Young Folk Awards finalist Amelia Coburn will be stopping off on her nationwide tour in Newcastle to perform her recently released debut album (Thursday 8 August)
  • Dance music with a jazz, gospel and house edge from Newcastle quintet Knats, Friday 9 August

Those interested in becoming part of the festival can get involved now in a number of ways:

  • Individuals can apply to become a living, breathing work of art, suspended - safely and beautifully - as part of ‘SHRINK 01995’, Lawrence Malstaf’s striking installation which will be at the Great North Museum, Hancock.
  • Sign up to take part in a masterclass with photographer Andrew Brooks, including a tour to some secret Newcastle locations, ahead of a Secret Cities exhibition.
  • ‘Triple Threat’ - an original Breaking (breakdance) competition premiering as part of NOVUM and celebrating Hip-Hop culture, community, and dance are looking for individual participants and crews to take part and ‘battle’ in what will be the closing event for NOVUM 2024

Jim Mawdsley (Events and Culture Newcastle City Council) said: “There’s real breadth, depth and diversity to this year’s Novum music programme that plays on the strong emerging talent of the region mixed with some sensational national headliners. Personally, I’m excited to see DJ Yoda’s one off especially commissioned Audio Visual set for Novum, with his take on what Newcastle has to offer. Over the coming years we want to build on all of these commissions and make Novum one of the UKs most forward thinking, ground breaking multi arts, cultural events and by placing this programme in the council chambers and banqueting hall of the Civic Centre we can offer a unique setting and feel for the variety of people who will attend these gigs.

Ciara O’Connell, Senior Producer at Curated Place, organisers of NOVUM, said: “We have worked incredibly hard to create a programme that is wide ranging and can honestly say its offering something for all ages and interests. NOVUM is a multi-disciplinary festival and as such we are able to bring together a line-up of events, workshops and exhibitions that celebrates and highlights the remarkable talent based in the North East alongside national and international artists bringing their outstanding shows to the city.

The iconic Chamber at Newcastle’s Civic Centre will be the location for a series of spoken word and acoustic gigs.  This circular venue, with its original 1960s furniture by acclaimed Danish designer Arne Vodder and acoustic cladding specially designed to enhance the sound properties of the space, creates a more intimate performance for artist and audience.

Appearing in the Chamber will be:

  • Kate Fox, Regular on BBC Radio 3’s ‘The Verb’ explores what a more positive, neurodivergent-affirming world could look like through poetry and comedy (10 August)

A set from Middlesbrough’s own BBC Introducing ‘One To Watch’ artist, Finn Forster (11 August)

  • Czech artist, cellist, singer and composer Taliraw (10 August) with a performance, showcasing the raw sound of cello layers and her vocals.
  • Brown Girls Write perform – creative writing workshop and safe space where women of colour come together to share and write, return to the council chamber to share their poetry and spoken word (9 August)

These new acts join the previously announced line up - anthemic spiritualists Flamingods; North Shields’ own Hector Gannet, masters of a kind of new, modernist folk music; Kima Otung, the exciting Welsh-Nigerian Pop/R&B artist and witty, soulful solo artist from Newcastle, Ruth Lyon. 

NOVUM has been created through a partnership between Newcastle City Council, North of Tyne Combined Authority, UK Government, Levelling Up, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Arts Council England, The Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Generator, Nexus, Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums and The Great North Museum: Hancock.

For the full programme or to get involved, visit  

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