Artists are out of doors with al fresco activities

Since moving to Cullercoats in the mid-1970s, I’ve always wanted to run a festival here. The village is unique and makes you want to bang the drum.

Cullercoats is beautiful without being twee; it welcomes visitors but is also a working village not preserved in aspic via tourism; the strengths of a small community while the Metro artery to central Newcastle prevents it becoming too insular. Occasionally the village drives me mad and occasionally I drive the village mad, but I’ve never seriously considered moving.

The group of people who help run the festival similarly love the place. One reason maybe why its predecessor, the 2013 IRON Age Festival won Best Event Tyneside in The Journal Culture Awards.

The festival belongs here. The village has been waiting for it.

Many village people have volunteered help. Terry and Janice Jones are organising a free Festival Fringe for Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the open space on the corner of Beverley Terrace and Mast Lane.

It’s a chance for aspiring musicians and others to show off their talents.

Those interested should contact Terry at (0191) 251 3203 or at

More al fresco activity comes with the Writers on a Rock. We asked north east authors to convince us we should stick them out on a Cullercoats rock for a three-hour session.

The writers who most convinced us were Joan Johnston and Sandy Chadwin.

They’ll be denied the trappings of social media – mobiles, tablets, iPads etc – and be armed only with notebook and pen.

On the Sunday evening both writers will speak about the experience at the Festival Late Night Club in the Salt House. Could it lead to a book?

Festival tickets now going fast. They are available over the counter in Cullercoats Coffee (John Street) as well as via the festival website at or call (0191) 251 6009.