Tickets selling well for event

Ann Cleeves.
Ann Cleeves.

With the Eclectic IRON Festival one week away, advance ticket sales are already close to £3,000.

The four-day festival of ‘words, music and oddities’ opens Thursday, June 4, with the premiere performance by drama students from Marden High School at The Crescent Club, Cullercoats ,of a new Peter Mortimer play, Fracking in Cullercoats.

Over the weekend dozens of writers, musicians and story tellers will gather in venues on Cullercoats seafront for a wide variety of events – half of which are free.

Already sold out is the Crime Writing Day for hopeful novelists and there are just a few tickets left for Baiku, a 20-mile bike ride along coastline and through countryside followed by a haiku workshop.

A reading by the leading poet Tony Harrison has already sold more than 100 tickets and a big audience is also expected at the event with crime novelist Ann Cleeves, who lives in Whitley Bay.

Local talent is also celebrated each night at Brown’s Salt House where the Festival Late Night Club will feature the 12 musicians from the Coast Buskers CD, recorded specially for the festival. Here and in the Crescent Club, bottles of Eclectic IRON beer – brewed specially by Cullercoats Brewery – will be on sale.

Programme, details plus tickets at, over the counter at Cullercoats Coffee or Cullercoats library or on (0191) 251 6009.

“The festival looks to celebrate both the unique nature of Cullercoats and the work of IRON Press which has been based in the village for most of its 42 years,” said IRON Press editor and festival organiser Peter Mortimer.

“Although we do have a few famous names, it’s very much not celebrity based.

“We look more for unusual events such as sticking two writers on a rock for three hours.”