We’re now in July so that can only mean one thing – the SummerTyne Americana Festival is back.
The Sage in Gateshead will once again be hosting the year’s biggest celebration of American roots, blues, country, folk, and even some of those other purely American musical genres which give you a sudden overwhelming craving for barbeque pulled pork or Cajun spiced chicken wings.
As usual, the weekend (Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd July) is packed full of top-notch trans-Atlantic musicians, including some big-draw ticketed events in the main halls and auditoriums, and also not one but two free showcase stages to pick from.
There are two famous names topping the bill too; Friday is an evening with Graham Nash, showcasing his 50-plus year career from The Hollies through to Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young) and his solo work – he’s also joined by acclaimed folk artist, Shawn Colvin. The Saturday night promises Steve Earle & The Dukes, with The Dukes doubling up as opening act The Mastersons.
Also performing in Sage One and Two across the weekend will be Natalie Merchant, Sam Alladio, Striking Matches, Sarah Darling, Iris DeMent, Davina & The Vagabonds, Kelly Willis and Emily Barker. The all-standing SummerTyne Lounge also offers some bumper double bill shows – Robert Vincent Music and Yola Carter on the Friday night, and Holly Macve and Jade Bird on the Saturday.
“The Sage in Gateshead will once again be hosting the year’s biggest celebration of American roots, blues, country and folk”
Tickets are priced individually depending on the act and seat, but multi-buy discounts become available if you buy tickets for two or more Sage One or Sage Two performances. Some years, it’s worth picking the band with the best name even if you’ve never heard them play before – my personal choice would be Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys, who play with Charley Crockett on the Friday night.
Veteran local roots music promoters Jumpin’ Hot Club will once again be hosting the free outdoor stage of the same name – grab your spot on the hill early as this is always popular, possibly just for the fantastic views of the Quayside alone. Acts playing over the three days include Sam Gibson, Jinski, Portraits and Gem Andrewson on the Friday), followed by Tom Blackwell, The Rosellys (with Rachel Laven) and Arkansas Dave on Saturday and rounding off with CD Wallum trio, Strange Blue Dreams, Hymn For Her and Curse of Lono on Sunday.
Even more free music is available indoors at the Concourse stage: acts include Wandering Hearts, The Often Heard, Mel Greggain, and Georgie – you’ve also got the chance to catch The Rosellys and Arkansas Dave again, this time in the guaranteed warm and dry. However, there have been promises that even more acts are due to be announced – their Twitter page (@SummerTyne) is the best place to see the new names as they get announced.
The festival feeling spreads beyond the music – the whole surroundings of the Sage will be filled with craft stalls, family activities and foodie offerings over the weekend. Get your skates on (or your specially imported custom-made leather cowboy boots, if you prefer) and head down between Friday afternoon and Sunday night, over the 20-22nd July weekend.
Tickets for each of the main acts can be bought directly from the Sage website and Box Office, but the rest of the festival is free to enter on all three days. Exact performance times for the free stages will be announced nearer to the event – check social media for further details.
For further information about this year’s event, and for all enquiries, please also head to sagegateshead.com.