Bernard Butler on curating new Tipping Point Live festival and championing Sunderland’s Pop Recs

Bernard Butler portrait. Credit: Delphine Ghosarossian
Bernard Butler portrait. Credit: Delphine Ghosarossian
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It’s been announced that Bernard Butler will be an official curator for this year’s Tipping Point Live music festival in Newcastle.

Bernard, who often champions Sunderland’s Pop Recs after performing there, has worked extensively as a producer/guitarist making records with the likes of The Libertines, The Cribs, Paloma Faith and Kate Nash to name a few. He also contributed to Duffy’s 7 million-selling debut album Rockferry, which was nominated for three Grammy Awards and won several Brits

Tipping Point Live, which will replace the festival Evolution Emerging, will also welcome a high-profile list of celebrated North East musicians to the curation team including Paul Smith of Maximo Park, Sunderland’s Barry Hyde of The Futureheads and Whitburn’s Nadine Shah as well as a string of music industry professionals including BBC Radio 6 Music’s Tom Robinson.

Tipping Point Live will take place on Friday, June 21 June and Saturday, June 22 at multiple venues throughout Ouseburn.

Speaking about his involvement in Tipping Point Live 2019, which will include a specially-crafted workshop, Bernard Butler said: “I am excited to be trying a songwriting experiment to a live audience and attempting this for the first time in Newcastle.

“I have worked with young people from all over the world in this way as a closed workshop collaboration. This will be the first time I have tried it to a live audience, and I am excited to meet my collaborators and young people I will have never met before or whose music I will not know.”

Delivered by the team behind Generator’s development programme, Tipping Point Live, will this year feature a full day of family activities, commissions, masterclasses and music industry sessions running alongside a full and diverse line-up of first-class musical entertainment.

Speaking about his return to the region and his hopes for the launch of Tipping Point Live 2019, Bernard added: “Musicians need to get out of their bedrooms and heads out of their laptops to really gauge where they are as artists and as people.

“There is no better instant source of feedback than throwing yourself to an audience in a performance setting. A community run event such as this, focussed on your city brings a welcoming atmosphere rather than a corporate, global affair based around brands, can only be a fantastic thing.

“The people running this event are music people and thrive off showcasing their community art and I’m really looking forward to being involved.

“I have great memories of the North East. I recently had a wonderful time working with Frankie & The Heartstrings, rehearsing with them in Sunderland, recording at Blast Studios in Newcastle, drinking with them in The Cluny, running along the river every morning, and of course playing in the Pop Recs store in Sunderland with Field Music, such a credit to the individuals for their achievements there. I had a lot of great times with them, made lots of friends, and now always jump at the chance to return.”

•Tickets for Tipping Point Live are available here.