Into Teesside Festival 2017 (May 2017)

By: Damian Robinson

I’m guessing that you and I share something in common. Something that makes us understand each other even though we may never have met. We share a profound love of music.

In the spirit of a disposable culture, what often rises to the surface is not always, unfortunately, the cream but those acts backed by huge marketing budgets with the ability to negotiate 4 page ‘specials’ in the Guardian or to push their material to the top of any Search Engine Optimization list.

It’s these budgets which can, if we’re not careful, mean that we are left listening to the sounds of infantilised pop music rather than the new, original, socially conscious, intensely personal sounds of music designed to change the world.

So you and I have something else in common, the responsibility to find new music as well as the responsibility of finding new ways to find new music.

One of those ways is already available to us; we can take note of the good people at Into Tomorrow - Teesside’s very own music promotion team with a track record not just of hosting live music shows, but also of building a community of like-minded music lovers, performers, radio shows, bloggers, record labels and well anyone related to music talent.

Speaking of the Teesside music community in particular, Into Tomorrow connoisseur Gary Walters added: “The Teesside music scene is the best I’ve ever come across. From the people, like David Hayhoe who films the gigs and Mal Lythe who really deserves his own entry in The Guinness Book Of Records for most gigs attended, and all the other regular gig-goers, to the bands who regularly muck in to help each other out, to my fellow promoters who back each other’s gigs and team up for things like Stockton Calling and Twisterella, it really is a proper community."

Building on the recent success of their Sun Inn Stage at Stockton Calling, Into Tomorrow’s next venture is the ‘Into Teesside’, free, all-day music festival on Sunday 28th May.

Promising to be a no-clash day musical extravaganza, Into Teesside will feature 14 fantastic upcoming acts across two stages, including Nine Tons, Chloe Chadwick, The Approved and Idle Violets. Set across an acoustic and a main stage, the festival promises to be a mix of musical genres and styles, offering something for all music lovers.

Main Stage headliners Lost State of Dance - with 80s synths and spiky guitars - are guaranteed to bring energy, whilst Acoustic Stage Headliners Major Matilda will be worth watching if only to see how they take their upbeat material and replicate it without their usual electrical gear.

Free all day gigs don't happen often, so I spoke to promote Gary Walters to find out how they’re able to make the festival free and why that is so important to him: “TSOne need to take enormous credit for that - they fund it and rely on getting it back over the bar. We agree a budget, every artist gets paid (maybe not a huge amount but something), and thankfully the good people of Teesside come out and support it. Because if they didn’t we wouldn’t be in our third year of doing it. As for why, when I first moved up here from Portsmouth there used to be these amazing free festivals called Middlesbrough Music Live which blew me away. Now while I can’t do anything on the same scale with my resources, I still love the idea and wanted to give something back to the fantastic Teesside music community who’ve made me feel so welcome.”

You and I may never have met but if you’re a lover of music, and looking to hear some of the best live bands around, then we may well meet at Into Tomorrow. If not, then let’s meet in the Into Tomorrow Community at some point soon.

Into Teesside takes place on Sunday 28th May at TSOne, Middlesbrough. Entry is free and doors open at 1:00pm.

Videos by David Hayhoe.

Photography by Gary Hughes.

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