All Is Revealed … Great Exhibition Of The North Opens Today

Great Exhibition of the North 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              *Press Release

Great Exhibition Of The North Opens Today

The full programme for Great Exhibition of the North – includes trails, venues, exhibits and installations across Newcastle & Gateshead officially opens today (Friday 22th June). We’re off to Newcastle today to catch some of the magic!

At 1pm, the start of the free, once-in-a-lifetime Exhibition will be marked with a burst of confetti along the Quayside, and a sound installation by artist, Steve Messam, Whistle, which will send the sound of a steam locomotive whistle around the route of Newcastle’s ancient city walls.

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:

“The Great Exhibition of the North is an incredible celebration of the very best of Northern innovation, design and culture. It is a unique showcase that demonstrates the role the North of England is playing in shaping our future. Newcastle-Gateshead will put on a fantastic festival for the whole country. It will once more highlight the creative strength of the Northern Powerhouse and how cultural investment can boost economies and inspire communities.”

The day will culminate in a spectacular free, sold-out evening event, which will see the Quayside come to life. With an anticipated live audience of over 20,000, and thousands more via live streaming, crowds will be immersed in an opening spectacular with bands, choirs, dance, animation and street performances.

Event-goers will enjoy a live performance from Mercury prize nominated, Northern rock band, Maximo Park, and an appearance by renowned poet, Lemn Sissay introducing his newly created Anthem of the North.

Visitors will witness the UK’s largest water sculpture, measuring 80m in length. After dark, the water sculpture will dance to specially commissioned musical collaborations by Maximo Park and Kate Rusby with Royal Northern Sinfonia and Darkstar.

Maximo Park at The Great Exhibition of the North

Maximo Park Musician, Paul Smith, said:

“As someone born in the North East, and who has remained here to make music and be part of our artistic community, I’m very proud to be part of the Great Exhibition’s opening event. Playing an open-air concert while floating down the River Tyne will be lots of fun, and I’m excited to see what the water feature will look like when it synchronizes with our newly-commissioned song, ‘North By North East'”.

The Opening Event will draw to a close with a UK premiere showcase by Skymagic – a newly launched performance drone joint venture from Leeds-based Newsubstance – who have created a magical drone-led art show that will fill the sky with a mesmerising performance. Developed around music created by Darkstar, and with the North Star as a key motif, the performance drone display explores the notion of ‘home’, drawing on the region’s rich heritage and celebrating its bright future.

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Patrick O’Mahony , Creative Director of Newsubstance, said:

“This spectacular show is the UK’s first large scale drone performance and the first by the exciting new joint venture between Newsubstance and Skymagic.  With our roots firmly in the North of England, we are very proud to be part of the Great Exhibition of the North. As one of only a few companies in the world with the resource, expertise and vision to deliver performance drones we are delighted to have the opportunity to perform on home turf.”

Patrick continued: “Autonomously flown, swarm drone performances add a unique element to events, leaving audiences amazed, inspired and with lasting memories. The Great Exhibition of the North supports pioneering spirit and innovation – two pillars that are at the core of what we offer and we are very much looking forward to playing our part.”   


We’ve been looking forward to this event since the start of the year when it was one of our top picks for events happening in the North in 2018. You can find the full programme of events happening throughout the summer on their website.

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