From a new festival in Sunderland which celebrates our rich maritime heritage to a Dig for Victory event at Beamish, there’s plenty going on in the region this weekend.
If you’re planning on getting out and about, we’ve rounded up ten of the top things to do.
1. River Festival, Sunderland, August 31 - September 1
The riverside, which welcomed some of the 1.2 million visitors to last year’s award-winning Tall Ships Races, will host the Sunderland River Festival from August 31 –September 1. This free, inaugural event will be both a celebration of the city's maritime heritage, and a tribute to its creative future. On opposite sides of the Wear at St Peter’s Quayside and Low Street, there will be a weekend of music and water based entertainment, with events, street theatre, activities and performances for all the family to enjoy. Photo: River Festival
2. Don McLean, Middlesbrough Town Hall
Music fans can look forward to a slice of American Pie when Don McLean plays a one-off North East date. Singer-songwriter and folk-rock icon Don will perform at Middlesbrough Town Hall as part of his current transatlantic tour. Responsible for the global classic American Pie, Don will perform at the venue on Thursday August 29. With over 40 gold and platinum records worldwide, the singer is one of America’s most beloved country artists and is widely regarded as one of the most prolific songwriters of all time. Having received global acclaim for his recently released 19th studio album, Botanical Gardens, Don is back on the road again with new material and promises to deliver classics from his substantial back catalogue which boasts American Pie – officially crowned as the fifth greatest song of the 20th Century – and other chart-topping hits such as Crying, Vincent (Starry Night); Castle in the Air and And I Love You So. Photo: Keith Perry
3. Book of Mormon, Sunderland Empire, until September 14
One of the biggest musicals this year, Book of Mormon opens at Sunderland Empire on August 28 and runs until September 14. This outrageous musical comedy from the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Bobby Lopez, co-writer of Avenue Q and Frozen, follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries. Photo: Book of Mormon tour
4. Les Misérables, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, until October 5
Les Misérables is running at Theatre Royal, Newcastle, until October 5. After nearly a decade since the last sell-out UK tour, Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed Broadway production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical Les Misérables has returned to the road. This brilliant new staging has taken the world by storm and has been hailed “Les Mis for the 21stCentury”. With scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, the magnificent score of Les Misérables includes the songs; I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Bring Him Home, One Day More, Master Of The House and many more. Seen by over 120 million people worldwide in 45 countries and in 22 languages, Les Misérables is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals. There’s limited tickets left for most performances. Photo: Les Misérables