Twisterella Festival is truly something very special for the Teesside community and is an event any region would be incredibly lucky to have.
Launched in 2014 by promoters Pay For The Piano and The Kids Are Solid Gold, the event is centred around Teesside University, in local venues and pop-up stages.
Back again this October (Saturday 13th October to be precise), Twisterella is set to be even bigger and better than ever before. This year sees artists such as Avalanche Party and The Blinders headlining, with other acts including Fling, FEVA, Lhymes, Cape Cub, Llovers and Dylan Cartlidge, to name a few.
Speaking to Henry Carden, one of the event organisers, he spoke about Twisterella with utmost pride: “It feels a little bit clichéd to say it’s our best line-up ever, but I’m going to say it anyway!
“Acts like The Blinders, Boy Azooga, Avalanche Party and Bryde, to name but a few, have been picking up plaudits nationally all year, so to have them leading the way at Twisterella 2018 is something Andy and I are pretty proud of.
“The entire line-up is filled with bands who I want to say are ‘must see’ – whether it’s Scottish indie-pop kids Vistas, London-via-Hull dream-pop pioneers Night Flowers or Northern Irish future-pop star ROE, there’s just so much quality running through the bill.
“Boy Azooga are our ‘reverse headliner’ this year and they’ll be playing first on the Teesside Uni stage – if you needed an excuse to get down early, there it is!”
When I asked him what made Twisterella so important to the region, he explained: “When Middlesbrough Music Live (and then Intro Festival) fell by the wayside, Middlesbrough was left without a music festival. Although Andy and I don’t have anywhere near the same kind of budget as those events had, we still felt it was important for our town to have a music festival to be proud of.
“The focus of Twisterella is very much on bands breaking through and we’re lucky that the gig-going public in Teesside embrace that and are as passionate about discovering their new favourite band as we are!”
Previous years of the festival have seen the likes of Eliza And The Bear, Sam Fender, Black Honey and Clean Cut Kid take the stage, along with other local favourites such as Mouses, Ceiling Demons, Plaza and The Black Sheep Frederick Dickens.
Just last year, Avalanche Party headlined the packed Westgarth Social Club. With crowds piling out of the door, their set was truly ferocious – everything you’d expect from an Avalanche Party gig and a perfect way to sum up the insane passion and energy Teesside has for its local scene.
“If you’ve not been before, Twisterella is a multi-venue music festival so, essentially, we use actual venues – TSOne, The Westgarth Social Club, Teesside University SU and The Townhouse – rather than outdoor stages. Importantly, all of the venues are within 2 minutes walk of one another. Make sure you check out some of the pop-up stages too, where you’ll be able to see stripped-back sets in some of Boro’s coolest bars”, says Henry Carden.
In addition to the live acts, Twisterella features an (Un)Conference with the focus on bringing key music industry figures to the town to share their expertise and offer advice to new and developing North East musicians. Previous panelists have included Vic Galloway (BBC Scotland), Rianne Thompson (Amazing Radio), Simon Pursehouse (Sentric), Helen Hammill (Cattle & Cane), Bob Fischer (BBC Tees Introducing), Claire Dupree (NARC. Magazine), Tom Cotton (Absolute Radio) and Oliver Jones (Deer Shed Festival).
For fans of emerging local, national and international artists, Twisterella is truly a masterpiece of an inner-city bonanza – so don’t miss out, buy your ticket now.
Tickets, priced at £19.50 in advance including booking fee, are available to purchase online at seetickets.com or in person from the Westgarth Social Club, Sticky Fingers, or the Tea House in Middlesbrough.
For further information, please head to twisterella.co.uk.