Plenty to see at big festival

The Vieux Carre Jazzmen, who will perform at Tynemouth Station on Friday, July 29, are pictured playing at a tea dance in Whitley Bay.
The Vieux Carre Jazzmen, who will perform at Tynemouth Station on Friday, July 29, are pictured playing at a tea dance in Whitley Bay.

The North Tyneside Summer Festival gets under way with some family fun in Whitley Bay this weekend.

Performers from around the world will bring free street circus shows to the Spanish City Plaza on Saturday and Sunday.

The annual Whitley Bay Sandcastle Competition will take place on Sunday from 11am and the weekday entertainment at Tynemouth Station starts the following day.

The event – which is being organised by North Tyneside Council – also includes performances during the weekends throughout the school holidays. Across the six-week break, artists will be appearing from a range of countries such as Japan, USA, Spain, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

Coun Eddie Darke, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “We are really excited to bring lots of free family entertainment to the coast and Tynemouth Station.

“There’s also a packed programme of events taking place across the borough this summer and I’d encourage people to check it out.”

American Todd Various will host this weekend’s circus events. Shows on the hour from noon feature the UK’s Nat Lunatrick, Joseph D’Amour and Mr Wow alongside New Zealander Simon West.

At Tynemouth Station, there are interactive sessions for those aged under five and their parents in the mornings – provided by various organisations – that are free and offered on a first come, first served basis.

There will be a range of live jazz music in the afternoons. Performers include Zoe Gilby (Monday) and The Vieux Carre Jazzmen (Friday, July 29).

For more information or to download the full festival programme, visit www.visitnorthtyneside.com