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BBC Radio 3 announces music festival celebrating the North East

The Sage Gateshead (Owen Humphreys/PA)
The Sage Gateshead (Owen Humphreys/PA)

BBC Radio 3 has announced plans for an all-night music festival celebrating the “fizzing creativity emerging in the North East”.

After Dark Festival will take place across the spring equinox weekend of March 18-20 and run from dawn to dusk at two Newcastle concert venues.

Sage Gateshead on the River Tyne will showcase a programme featuring classical, electronic and jazz artists as well as poets and thinkers.

The night will begin with a sunset event and a poetry cabaret, hosted by poet and writer Ian McMillan, starting 12 hours of continuous events at the venue – from 6pm to 6am.

A traditional Indian raga, performed by the Leeds-based sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun, will mark the arrival of sunrise as part of a dawn event that will also feature beatboxer and sound artist Jason Singh.

The Star and Shadow space, meanwhile, will host a selection of alternative acts, including Manchester-based rapper and DJ Iceboy Violet and violinist Rakhi Singh.

The festival will also see Radio 3 presenters Elizabeth Alker, Hannah Peel, Sara Mohr-Pietsch, Jennifer Lucy Allan, McMillan and Matthew Sweet interviewing artists and leading the audience through the night.

Performances from the festival will be broadcast on Radio 3 and BBC Sounds in various programmes between March 24-27, ending with an all-night edition of Night Tracks as the clocks change to British Summer Time.

Radio 3 controller Alan Davey said: “BBC Radio 3 has always championed alternative, adventurous music, from late night jazz with Freeness, amazing collaborations in Late Junction, to eclectic electronic and acoustic mixes in our Night Tracks series.

“That’s why we’re thrilled to be working with Sage Gateshead and TUSK Music to bring After Dark Festival to the North East.

“This is a brilliant opportunity to celebrate the tremendous talent across the North, and to bring top alternative artists like Kinbrae and Memotone to as many of our audiences as possible, both in live venues and across BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds.”

Tickets are available from February 18 online.

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