Gigs : Is the North East Missing Out?


Although the North East is blessed with a plethora of music venues, (in fact I was once told that Newcastle has has more music venues per head than London) I often feel that bands seem to ‘miss out’ the North East from tours and was wondering if anybody felt the same or had any thoughts on this?

Over the last few years I have found myself heading to Manchester or Glasgow to see bands. This isn’t just the ‘bigger’ bands, Fleetwood Mac and Prince etc (who I assume the Arena is too small for) I have found myself in venues in no bigger than The Cluny around the country, The Soup Kitchen in Manchester and Broadcast in Glasgow to see bands that have omitted to add Newcastle to their tour dates.

I once had a conversation with an artist (who shall remain nameless) on twitter with regard to his latest tour and when I mentioned he wasn’t playing the North East he responded that he was playing Norwich! However I don’t think that all artists geography is as bad as this!

I quick flick through the gig listings in any of the music magazines seems to back up my theory.

Do we lack a venue bigger than the Academy or The Sage but smaller than the Arena say 3000- 4000 or do bands think that whatever the size of the venue Newcastle isn’t big enough a city to pull a crowd?

Any thoughts?

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Russell Poad
1 year 9 months ago

I’m not so sure that’s the sole reason. I think some agents choose to omit the North East from tour schedules because previous gigs involving other bands on their roster have not sold as strongly as hoped. Also, because bands can become more widely known across Europe and beyond, due to spread via internet exposure, support in Europe means routing a tour across the continent is more viable than before. So bands tend to go further afield than previously. and for logistical reasons then limit their UK dates. Where to miss out – Leeds/Manchester? Glasgow? The North East is less populated and so is the first territory to be dropped from the schedule.

1 year 9 months ago

I don’t know much about venues in the region but I suspect that Andyb is right. I find it difficult to believe that local audiences are the problem Russell. We are so friendly up here after all lol. All of the gigs I go to are well attended.

1 year 8 months ago

Gig audiences in the North East stick to what they know and never venture out in big numbers for bands from outside the area. Why should they then come here once they’ve made it? Agree with Russell about the geography too – Leeds and Glasgow bigger cities so why stop in the NE if you’re an established band?


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