Our lifestyle editor Katy Wheeler rounds up 10 of the top things to do around the North East.
1. Brass Festival, until July 21
One of the region’s liveliest festivals is back with a bang and is continuing to celebrate the very best contemporary brass music from across the globe until this Sunday. From salsa, swing and big band, to choral masterpieces and rock and roll, Durham BRASS caters for all tastes and ages over the course of its fortnight’s run. The headline act for 2019 is Brighouse and Rastrick Band, which have performed at the highest level for over a century and achieved global fame with their recording of the Floral Dance in 1977. The band will entertain audiences at the Gala Theatre in Durham on Sunday, 21 July, at 3pm. Tickets cost £18 or £16 for concessions.
2. Hartlepool Waterfront Festival, July 20-21
Hartlepool Waterfront Festival takes place on the Hartlepool Waterfront in the heart of Hartlepool Marina over the weekend of Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21 from noon-7pm, and will feature a wide range of arts, music and entertainment. This year’s theme is Harbour of Refuge, historically the name given to a safe haven for ships seeking free shelter from stormy seas on the Headland. The festival will re-imagine this concept and celebrate the good-old Hartlepool welcome for those from different communities seeking a better life. This year’s event will be the first ever Pay What You Decide outdoor arts festival in the country. Visitors will be able to make anonymous donations based on their experience of the event, with all monies being used to providing extra children’s activities at next year’s festival.
3. SummerTyne Americana, July 19-21
Kiefer Sutherland is to headline this weekend’s SummerTyne Americana Festival at Sage Gateshead. The Hollywood superstar turned singer-songwriter released his debut album in 2016. His second album, Reckless & Me, comes out at the end of the month and has country music at its heart, taking influence from Americana, folk, rock, blues and more. k.d.lang is the headline opening act for the Friday. Strictly Country featuring The Wandering Hearts, Lauren Alaina, Eve Selis and Catherine McGrath will headline the Saturday night. Kiefer will close the weekend on Sunday night with Americana rocker Jesse Dayton as special guest opener.
4. Abba Mania, July 19
Abba Mania will take to the stage at Sunderland Empire on July 19. The tribute show features a special concert presentation, which celebrates the music of ABBA in a respectful and enjoyable way, reviving special memories of when the group ruled the airwaves. The show, which celebrates the hits of the iconic band, is aimed at all ages. So dig out those platforms, dust down those flares, join in and enjoy all of your favourites, including Mamma Mia, Voulez Vous, Dancing Queen, Winner Takes It All, Super Trouper and many more.