Thousands at urban games and kite festival

Whitley Bay kite festival
Whitley Bay kite festival

THOUSANDS of people visited the coast last weekend as two events proved popular.

More than 8,000 were at The Links in Whitley Bay over Saturday and Sunday for the Urban Games and Hip Hop 2011 event and the annual Whitley Bay Kite Festival.

Bikers, skaters, free-runners, DJ, street dancers and more took part in the hip hop event at Panama Skatepark.

The event was organised by Newcastle-based community interest company Solar Learning Services.

Spectator highlights included the Pro Trials Riders competition, featuring stunt cyclist Joe Oakley from Britain’s Got Talent, which was won by Brett Penfold.

Two world records were set by national stunt cycle team 3Sixty while – in a first for the region – more than 30 young ‘free runners’ moved across a range of objects including a derelict car.

Throughout the weekend, young amateur skaters, bikers, DJs and dancers took part in ‘jams’ to win prizes and medals.

And more than 400 people attended the Urban Games Experience at the Playhouse Whitley Bay on Saturday night, which included a stage show and demonstrations by the professional performers.

Solar Learning managing director, Michael Evans said: “This year’s Urban Games and Hip Hop 2011 event in North Tyneside has been a real success, with over 300 young people competing, performing and volunteering.

“We had huge crowds who were able to see some great competitions and performances in urban sports and arts.

“This is an event young people staged for their community and it is now established as one of the must see events.

“And in a week when young people have been in the news for the wrong reasons, this was a weekend that showed all that is good about the young people of our region, a real example of positive social behaviour.”

For more information on the Urban Games and Hip Hop Event 2011 visit

And visitors to the coast were also entertained by the Kite Festival, which was organised by North Tyneside Council.

Hundreds of kites were on display over the weekend, including a tiger, shark, and a 100m long dragon kite.

There was also a sky aquarium, a display of oriental kites from China, Japan and Indonesia, and a vintage kite display.

Pete Warne, tourism and events manager at the council, said: “The kite festival is a firm family favourite and its always great to fill the sky above Whitley Bay with weird and wonderful kites from around the world.

“With the Urban Games event alongside on the Links, and family activities outside the Dome on Sunday, it was a really busy weekend and I’m sure lots of people enjoyed themselves.”