Bands F.C. exhibition returns to the North East as part of This Is Tomorrow Festival
An art exhibition where music and football collide is returning to the North East this month, at the This is Tomorrow Festival.
The event, in Exhibition Park, Newcastle, over the May Bank Holiday weekend, will be joined by the celebrated Bands F.C. exhibition.
Fresh from showing at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the unique and inventive exhibition will be on show from Friday, May 24, to Sunday, May 26.
Indie-rock legends Foals, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Stereophonics are the headliners of the event, which is set to welcome thousands of music fans to the site.
Oasis, The Stone Roses, Wu Tang Clan, Queen, Daft Punk and Beastie Boys are just some of the artists transported into the football realm in this stunning art project.
It also includes a Stiff Little Fingers-inspired Newcastle United shirt, thanks to its lead singer Jake Burns' support for the club, while other regional acts whose specially-made crests will feature include Prefab Sprout, Pet Shop Boys and Lanterns On The Lake.
An exhibition of some of the designs was displayed in January at Pop Recs in Sunderland, the community arts hub set up by Frankie & the Heartstrings.
Speaking about Band F.C's visit to This is Tomorrow, co-founder Nick Fraser said: “It was an idea that we thought might last a few weeks, that we would show to some friends. It's all gone a bit crazy around the world.
“We will have loads of our celebrated crests on show, as well as a whole load of brand new shirt crest designs for people to enjoy at the festival.
"We are making the exhibition an outdoor event, which means we can have it at the heart of what’s going on. We’re even ready for the rain, but we have it on good authority that the sun will be shining!”
Bands F.C. began in July 2018, and by September opened its first exhibition at The National Football Museum in Manchester, before heading to SoHo in New York.
It has also featured on BBC1's flagship football show Match of the Day, and in leading magazines, as well as on TV and radio shows all over the world.
Nick and his business partner, graphic designer Mark Liptrott, spotted a unique opportunity to combine two of the nation's most loved interests, football and music, last summer, at a music festival featuring indie icons The Charlatans.
“Last summer we were at a festival that The Charlatans had put together called North By Northwich, which I’d worked on with the band,” explained Nick.
“Myself, The Charlatans lead singer Tim Burgess and Mark were talking, and we had noticed that magazines and TV were featuring nothing but football. Music wasn’t getting a look in - unless it somehow referenced the World Cup.
“We decided that bands had to get more ’footbally’ to sneak into the coverage. Within an hour Mark and I were sending ideas for designs to each other. The NME got to hear about them and shared the crests and it’s been non-stop since then!”
Since its inception, Bands F.C's merchandise and art exhibitions – which includes their own spin on iconic football kits and club crests – has built an international reputation, as well as raising much-needed funds for an array of charities, including a specially-made football shirt for Sheffield band Pulp, which raised more than £30,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
This is Tomorrow Festival organiser Steve Davis said: “We don't want This is Tomorrow to remembered as just another music festival. We want this to be a fully immersive forward-thinking event that will stick in people's minds for years to come, and Bands F.C. is a perfect addition to our commitment to the arts.
“The name of the event is inspired by the father of pop art, Richard Hamilton, who lived and worked in Newcastle, and I hope we're matching his vision for pushing the boundaries of what is expected.
“The people of the North East love their music and football and we know they'll appreciate Bands F.C.”
The last few remaining tickets for This is Tomorrow Festival are available from the official website.