Lethal Bizzle & Slaves to headline new North East festival

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A major new music festival for the UK’s emerging artists is heading to the North East this April.

Hit the North, the brainchild of Steve and Paul Davis of SSD Concerts, Keith Armstrong of Soul Kitchen Music and Management and Katherine Monaco of Famous 4:15, will see 116 bands perform in 14 venues across Newcastle on April 27, 28 and 29.

English punk rock outfit Slaves are set to headline the festival, which boasts a line-up including the likes of indie bands Nothing But Thieves and The Hunna, Scottish rockers Frightened Rabbit and award-winning grime artist Lethal Bizzle.

In addition to this, there is a host of local talent on the line-up with the likes of Lisbon, The Pale White, SoShe and Fletcher Jackson also performing.

Hit The North, described as a celebration of worldwide emerging bands and musicians, will encompass all genres of music from folk to hip hop, new indie and R&B.

The event will see an eclectic range of artists performing at some of Newcastle’s most-established venues including the 02 Academy, The Boilershop and Digital, as well as a range of intimate shows in independent venues such Jumpin’ Jacks, Think Tank, Think Underground (formerly the Head of Steam), and the Mining Institute and even Pink Lane Coffee, to name but a few.

Lethal Bizzle

Lethal Bizzle

Steve Davis, of SSD Concerts, explains: “Hit the North is Newcastle’s first city centre music event for emerging bands and we plan to put on something the region can be proud of.”

“We’ve seen events like Liverpool Sound City and Live at Leeds flourish and now it’s time for Newcastle to have its very own inner-city festival.

“We book bands for most of the leading venues in the city, so we thought we’d take things one step further and host a cross-city festival for the bands of tomorrow.”

The organisers say they’ll build on the buzz that emerging Newcastle bands have built in recent times, and will host a pre-festival night the day before the main event called Meet The North.

Taking place on Thursday, April 27, this will be specifically designed for local talent and will feature meetings with young A&R men, agents and artists from outside the area to offer help and advice. This is a great time for regional music and we have brilliant local bands at the moment,” says Steve.

“From Lisbon and Shields to the likes of The Lake Poets and newcomers Fletcher Jackson, SoShe and The Pale White, now is the time to get moving with an event like this and showcase what they’re all about.”

Keith Armstrong of Soul Kitchen Management – which manages Jake Bugg and has a proud history of breaking new bands from their Newcastle home – adds: “We were inspired by the depth of music represented as well as the great turnout for the 6 Music festival at the Sage.

“It’s important that Newcastle and Gateshead takes that forward and continues to promote great new music by bringing new acts from around the world, as well as inspiring and giving a platform for emerging North East artists.

Meanwhile, Katherine Monaco of Famous4:15 and creative director at Soul Kitchen, thinks it’s important that all genres are represented.

She said: “Coming from a hip hop background, I think it’s important that we have a multiracial, all-genre festival, hopefully our line-up will reflect our commitment to that.”

l Tickets for the Hit the North Festival, which are priced from £32 for the full line-up across the various venues in Newcastle city centre, are on sale now and can be purchased from http://www.seetickets.com