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NE1 Unveils its Summer in the City Programme

NE1’s exciting plans to transform Newcastle city centre over the summer are being unveiled with interactive installations, activities and exhibits appearing across the city. NE1 will be bringing the summertime fun for people to enjoy throughout the school summer holidays and beyond. Starting on 12 July, people will begin to see the structures appear as the build begins.

NE1 has spent the last six months planning a programme of activities that will combine permanent installations positioned around the city with a timetable of activities that will give people new things to see and do in Newcastle.

Among the new attractions are a ‘linear park’ along a 700 metre length of the Quayside featuring a Light Park including ‘Wave-Field’ created by CS Design and Lateral Office with soundscape by Mitchell Akiyama with eight large See Saws that light up and emit a unique sound sequence; illuminated seating and light reflecting installations designed and built in the North East, a 3-D street painting by world-renowned 3-D street artists ‘3D Joe & Max’; a 75-metre street vinyl designed by artist, Tim Gresham, otherwise known as the artist ‘Mr. Penfold’; a huge selection of plants, trees and greenery along the waterfront and around the city’s retail core, extensive fun seating located at major vantage points, together with an activities-led programme including guided tours and building open days.

Ben Whitfield, Head of Marketing and Events at NE1 said:
The aim of NE1’s Summer in the City programme is to take people on a journey across Newcastle, giving them new, exciting, and different things to see and do, and appealing to all ages and interest groups. Instead of hosting one or two large events that would bring crowds into the city at specific times, we have curated a summertime programme that will spread the fun and will remain in place for the duration of the summer. People will have the chance to enjoy the activities at their own pace, in their own time and can return as often as they like.

Installations will begin to appear from 12 July, with many attractions opening on 16 July, and events, installations and activities being layered on top of this throughout the next few weeks. Most of the attractions will be fully installed in time for schools breaking up for the summer holidays at the end of July.

For full and updated details of the Summer in the City activity programme and all that is happening in Newcastle visit; www.NE1SummerintheCity.co.uk


NE1’s Screen on the Green

June – September 5th

The summer season has already begun with the welcome return of NE1’s Screen on the Green, NE1’s large open-air cinema at Old Eldon Square. The programme kicked off at the end of June with the screening of Wimbledon and will be followed by a selection of sporting screenings including the Tour de France and the British Grand Prix, before commencing a summer programme of classic movies, family favourites and new Hollywood blockbusters all to be enjoyed throughout the school holidays from July 26th with two free movies each day.

Play Rebellion in Old Eldon Square

July 26th - September
NE1 has teamed up with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and artist Pippa Hale to commission a new set of ‘PlayShapes’ continuing the creativity seen in Hale and BALTIC’s recent Play Rebellion exhibition. Sixteen, 1m cubes which break down into steps, triangles, polygons, rectangular prisms, and cylinders will be located in Old Eldon Square throughout the school summer holidays, free to use and fun for people to enjoy. The shapes can be configured into endless combinations to create sculptures, playscapes, games or chillout spaces and, positioned to the left of the Screen on the Green, will be an exciting addition to the square. Audiences are invited to become active participants and reconnect with their inner creative geniuses.

3D Street Art by 3D Joe & Max

Starts work 12 July

NE1 has commissioned internationally renowned 3-D street artists ‘3D Joe & Max’ to create a show-stopping pavement commission on the Quayside and a second vertical piece on the front of the container that houses Screen on the Green at Old Eldon Square. 3D street art or ‘anamorphic’ art is 2-dimensional artwork that looks 3D when completed.

3D Joe & Max’s work is internationally famous and includes the World Record breaking, largest 3-D artwork in London as well as pieces in Madrid and Dubai. Artist Joe Hill of 3D Joe & Max will begin by painting his Screen on the Green commission in-situ in Old Eldon Square painting over 3 days, before finishing off his Quayside commission live on 16th July.

NE1 will be capturing the artist at work with photographers and videographers documenting the progress of the piece as it starts to take shape. The subject of the artwork is being kept under wraps and won’t be revealed until the work is finished and unveiled.
More information on 3D Joe & Max can be found at www.3djoeandmax.com

Quayside Linear Park

Starts 16 July

Good quality green space has been hugely important for people during lockdown. The pandemic underlined the importance of spending time outdoors for both physical and mental wellbeing.

NE1 wanted to create a city that provides welcoming, relaxing outdoor spaces for people to enjoy their time outdoors here in Newcastle, making the most of the Quayside waterfront by creating a linear park filled with installations and exhibitions along its length. Beginning at the Guildhall, the ‘park’ will spread past the Pitcher and Piano to the East of the Millennium Bridge, a span of over 700m.

72 large concrete planters filled with trees, grasses, bamboo and flowers will line the route, together with areas to sit and relax so people can stop and enjoy the iconic views along the Quayside route together with a series of art installations and new points of interest.

The linear park and garden will extend along the Quayside ‘bread crumbing’ the route for people, with reminders that there is more to see and do past the Pitcher and Piano.

Continuing the theme of ‘greening’ the city and adding more decorative features to enhance the existing beauty of many of Newcastle’s iconic spaces and buildings, NE1 is working with North East floral design specialists, the Pretty Picture Company to beautify 15 doorways in the city centre as well as the entrance to Eldon Square on Old Eldon Square. Floral installations will be used to decorate the entrances and will remain in place throughout the summer.

International artist Mr Penfold - Pavement vinyl

Begins 19 July

Internationally renowned artist, Tim Gresham, otherwise known as the artist ‘Mr. Penfold’, has been commissioned by NE1 to create a 75-metre-long pavement vinyl to be installed along the busiest stretch of the Quayside, creating a vibrant, colourful, and Instagrammable talking point for visitors.

The artwork features a pattern of shapes and colours, designed by Mr Penfold whose chosen fields range from explorative, abstract paintings and screen printing to bold, large scale murals and immersive installations. His work has been exhibited in galleries and institutions globally and he has collaborated with some of the world’s most iconic brands.

NE1 worked with Unit 44, a local art and design consultancy on High Bridge, Newcastle to commission the piece. The Unit 44 team work with national and international artists and chose Tim Gresham for his expertise in the realms of public art installations.

Urban Garden, Wesley Square

Starts 12 July

In place of NE1’s Quayside Seaside, this year NE1 is creating a huge urban garden which is double the size of the space usually afforded to the pop-up beach at Wesley Square located between the Tyne and the Millennium bridges. The urban garden will extend more than 50 metres in length with astro-turf, planters and the usual quirky and unique seating expected of an NE1 installation, as well as extra space for family-friendly activities with outdoor rugs and giant garden games including chess and interactive chimes.

Throughout the summer, the urban garden will also host pop-up kids events including yoga and hands-on gardening sessions to teach kids how to plant and garden.

To improve safety for families using the space, a large swathe of the Quayside will be pedestrianised for the summer with buses redirected along City Road mirroring the route they take on Sundays during the Quayside Market.

Light Park – Wave-Field, Illuminated Seats and Dichroic installation

Opening 16 July

Since lockdown, footfall on the Quayside has changed with more people exploring a wider area extending past the Pitcher and Piano. This summer, NE1 is capitalising on this often-forgotten space which has no vehicles passing through to create a destination area incorporating a Light Park and artistic installations.

Central to the park will be ‘Wave-Field’ created by CS Design and Lateral Office with soundscape by Mitchell Akiyama, a fun installation for young and old alike featuring eight giant see-saws, four large and four small. The see-saws light up and emit a unique sound sequence while people interact with the park attraction. They will be free to use and will be operational between 9am – 9pm.

Continuing the light theme, Wave-Field will be surrounded by illuminated seating including 8 Loop lights, doughnut shaped seats from Denmark, together with light-up swivel chairs and dichroic installations designed and built by raskl – an art and architectural company based in the Ouseburn, experts in high-end design and fabrication of artistic installations.

NE1 challenged raskl to create a range of seating for the Light Park using Dichroic film. The film reacts to sun and acts as a kaleidoscope casting colourful light and shadows which will create a dramatic installation in the area which is south facing, and thus enjoys direct sunlight throughout the day. raskl are building the seating and the special dichroic installations in the Ouseburn.

Blackett Street Family Fun Weekends in August

For four weekends in August, including the Bank Holiday on 30 August, Newcastle’s busy Blackett Street will close to buses for the return of NE1's popular, family fun weekends. The astro-turf returns to cover the entire road to provide a long stretch of family-friendly space for seating, outdoor games and fairground rides.

During the summer, Blackett Street will also provide the location for a series of World Record breaking attempts by Phil Pugh, who holds the World Record for being among the oldest team to row across the Atlantic in 2012.

On the 14/15 August, Phil will attempt to beat the World Record for tyre flipping and will also embark on a 24-hour tyre flipping challenge. The public will be able to take part in the fun by joining a tyre flipping relay race and other interactive activities.

Activities Programme – Talks and Open Days

Starting 16 July

As well as the physical installations that will make the city a more pleasant place to stop and dwell and provide ideal images for photographs and social media posts, NE1 is launching a city-wide activity programme, including walking tours and historic talks from local operator, Iles Tours.

Iles Tours

Starting 16 July – 3 October

Grainger Town & Grey’s Monument – 11am Friday
Bigg Market and Old Newcastle – 1pm Friday
Quayside Tour & Gateshead Millennium Bridge – 11am Saturday
Grainger Town & Grainger Market – 1pm Saturday
Quayside Tour & Swing Bridge – 3pm Saturday – starting 24th July (TBC)
NE1 has teamed up with local historian and tour guide, Alex Iles to offer heavily discounted, friendly local tours of the city on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer starting on the 16 July. Two tours will take place each day and are likely to be highly sought after with a limit of 10 places on each tour.

With a booking fee of just £5 for adults and £3 for kids, the tours will grant unrivalled access to some of the most iconic buildings and places in the city.

The tours will include; Monument Tour including Grey’s Monument. Always a highly sought-after tour, the trip will give people the chance to climb the Monument’s 164 steps to see panoramic views of the city as well as learning about the buildings and streets surrounding this famous landmark.

The Grainger Town Tour will give a historic insight into the area, with a tour of the famous Grainger Market.

Other tours include; The Quayside including the Swing Bridge, The Quayside and the Millennium bridge and the historic Bigg Market.

All the tours will last approximately one hour and provide interesting insights into the city’s history. Bookings via ilestours.co.uk/ne1s-summer-in-the-city/

Building Open days

Working with a number of heritage properties in the city, NE1 is also offering the public ‘behind-the-scenes’ access to some of the city’s historic and interesting properties to continue the theme of rediscovering your home city.

Water activities on the River

Even more activities than ever will be taking place on the river Tyne to allow locals and holidaymakers to take to the water to see Newcastle from a completely different perspective thanks to NE1’s partnership with CBK Adventures.

Cultural pop-ups

As part of the activity programme, NE1 will be teaming up with cultural venues and wellness providers to provide pop-ups from theatre, ballet and opera to wellbeing and fitness classes including HIIT workouts and yoga sessions that will be hosted at NE1 pop up parks across the city.

Ben Whitfield said:
We hope NE1’s Summer in The City programme will encourage people to rediscover the city, to visit places they have never been before and to make the most of the free, family-friendly activities that will run throughout the school summer holidays.

“We want to remind people who may not have visited Newcastle in a while of all that the city has to offer and demonstrate the huge, transformational improvements that have been made while they’ve been away. During lockdown the city has changed for the better and now is the perfect time to enjoy summer in the city.

For full details of the Summer in the City timetable visit; www.NE1SummerintheCity.co.uk