Last Summer, we reported on how our venues were returning to face-to-face public engagement, albeit it with a modified offer, after 2020’s initial Covid outbreak. After a winter of further restrictions, we are now opening our doors once again to ensure art, heritage, science, cinema, and live theatre are at the heart of the NewcastleGateshead’s, and our region’s recovery.
Our communications network has worked collectively over the entire pandemic to keep abreast of changes in restrictions, ensure our audiences are kept in the loop and that we comply with our joint commitment to Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ kite mark, which all venues now display.
Museums and galleries were able to reopen first, with Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums opened their outdoor based Roman Forts, Segedunum and Arbeia at the start of May. The rest of their venues, including the Archives Search Room at Discovery Museum, were open by the 8th of June.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art’s Virtual Care exhibition by the UK collective Pakui Hardware, along with a range of other shows installed pre lockdown, welcomed ticket holders from the moment indoor restrictions were lifted in on the 17th of May.
In the Ouseburn, Seven Stories opened with two free exhibitions on the 31st May: Could there really be SEVEN STORIES in all the world? And Winnie and Wilbur Make Reading Magic, while Life Science Centre is gearing up to open, ensuring everything is ready for the interactive experience they are famed for by the 10th of July.
Dance City has remained open throughout the latest lockdown as a place of work for professional artists and formal education dance teachers. Online dance classes have been offered since April. Socially distanced in-person classes have been available since the 17th of May. They have also offered socially distanced theatre performances and are planning a full return to public programmes from September 2021.
Live Music is back as Sage Gateshead’s inaugural post lockdown performance by local boys The Futureheads was both in-venue and live streamed on the 5th of June. The organisation has also been working with the North East of England Chamber of Commerce to strengthen dialogue and increase understanding between the region’s arts and business sectors.
Our theatres also have plans for in-person guests to take their seats once again with Northern Stage’s first public performance on 25th August, and Live Theatre to restart shows on the 2nd of September. Newcastle Theatre Royal plan to reopen with the now socially distanced show SIX on the 12th of July. With the recent Government guidance and delay of step 4, the theatre has had to act quickly to change their plans from a full capacity seating plan to a socially distanced one for SIX (which was originally sold out).
Tyneside Cinema will also again extend a walm welcome to audiences on the 21st of July, after sticking to downloadable and steamtable content since restrictions were first implemented in 2020.
As always, plans are subject to change as we monitor the ever-evolving situation. We very much hope to be back to our pre-covid best by Autumn, but please check individual websites for updates in the meantime.
To book your tickets to a NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venue here: