The name has changed over the years, but 2019's event will be the 135th.
It’s an important part of the North East’s heritage, and a unique experience. Here are some aspects you might recognise if you’re a regular at the Big Meeting.
That giddy feeling you get when you spot your village's banner in the sea of crowds and think "I'm from there! That's mine." Especially as the day goes on and the bands bring out the pop songs. Who hasn't had a boogie to Valerie on Gala day? Everyone knows there are only two occasions when it is acceptable to have a pint for breakfast: at the airport at 5am before you go on holiday, and before the big meeting. This year will be the fourth on the trot that Mr Corbyn will be speaking at the Gala, and the chants of ‘Ooooh Jeremy Corbyn’ get louder every year. ‘Speeches start at one’ the programme gleefully states every year, but all regular Gala goers know this is rarely the case. Just pray it doesn’t rain and sit tight. There’s always a few extravagant outfits in the crowds. And the obligatory kids dressed as miners make you think. It’s hard not to get caught up in the feelings of the day, especially after a few drinks. The history and significance of the region's mining heritage is something to be celebrated. It’s always a sight to behold. The County Hotel balcony is a TARDIS and can seemingly fit all of the who’s who of Labour politics and unions on it. It’s a great way to work out who’s in favour this year ... and who’s not. Kill some time while waiting for the speeches to start and join the thousands of children at gala day on the fairground rides. This is not recommended for those who indulged in breakfast pints! After 6pm all train carriages and buses are packed with chanting crowds, and the streets are filled with people walking miles and miles back to where they hope they parked their car.