North East house music festival is back for a Shindig

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CLUBBING institution Shindig will be marking its 23rd anniversary in style in May. Katy Wheeler speaks to East Durham DJ Ian Blevins who joins the star-studded bill.

House nights in the North East don’t come much bigger than Shindig.

Since it began in Newcastle, in 1992 it’s evolved into a fixture in the North East music scene.

It returns with a bang over May Bank Holiday weekend with its second By Day By Night event on the Newcastle Quayside site Spillers Wharf featuring a bill of big name DJs from around the world – including Annie Mac, Duke Dumont, Pete Tong, The Martinez Brothers and Gorgon City – as well as the region’s finest resident DJs.

As well as the By Day event, which is set to attract around 15,000 revellers on May 2 and 3, there will be two By Night club events at Shindig’s regular pop up home, Warehouse34 in Hoults Yard.

Horden’s Ian Blevins will be playing Spillers Wharf on the Saturday.

Once one of thousands of clubbers who flock to the event, he’s going to be stepping behind the decks after forging a strong career in the industry.

During the summer months Ian has a weekly residency at the famous We Love...at Space and Zoo Project in Ibiza, as well as being involved as a resident for Future Disco at Carl Cox’s night.

He juggles his residencies with playing across the world at venues including Playground Festival in Sydney, Garden Festival in Croatia and 360 in Dubai.

The former Easington Comprehensive School pupil said: “Shindig was one of the first clubs I started to go to, alongside To The Manor Born, when I first started ‘clubbing’.

Like many folk at the time I went weekly and loved it. I got to meet a lot of friends there for the first time and it’s still one of my favourite clubs I’ve been to. The atmosphere and vibe were on the money.

Ian Blevins on Shindig

“Like many folk at the time I went weekly and loved it. I got to meet a lot of friends there for the first time and it’s still one of my favourite clubs I’ve been in. The atmosphere and vibe were on the money.

“I’ve played at the Manor Born now on three occasions so it’ll be good to tick Shindig off the list too. When I first started going out and learning to DJ I wouldn’t have thought I’d get to do that. It’s pretty, pretty decent.”

When he’s not listening to and searching for music, Ian heads home to Horden.

“I usually spend a good bit of the winter travelling with stints back in Horden in between the summer and that,” he said.



“I also lived in Australia for a couple of winters.

“This time I’ve been back since October and getting my head down into making as much music as I can.”

Ian says its ethos of quality music has helped Shindig to still be going strong all these years later, when other nights have come and gone.

“It’s always had a good following ever since I’ve known about the club night” he said.

“Its name is generally associated with quality music and a quality party regardless of who’s playing, which is what a club night should be.”

He added: “I’d say since the rise in popularity of house and techno over the last few years, there’s definitely been more clubs available to attend. The important thing is for these to keep making brave decisions when booking guests and keeping things moving forward.”



Ian, who co-runs That Old Chestnut club night back in the North East, says he’s looking forward to joining the crowds once his set’s done.

“There’s an abundance of talent on display that weekend,” he said. “There’s a few former That Old Chestnut guests, Gerd Janson and PBR Street Gang for sure I’ll be listening to.

“I’ll be definitely catching Dixon and DJ Tennis. I love what those two play and how they put it all together.

“Bar that, I’ll be rolling around the place, hanging with friends and generally doing my best to enjoy myself.”

•Shindig 23rd anniversary takes place on May 2 and 3. For tickets, and the full line up, visit www.shindiguk.com.