If you read my last post about the gin festival we went to last weekend you’ll know that festivals are something I can take or leave. I don’t like being part of a captive audience and spending an extortionate amount of money on something I wouldn’t normally drink (unless it’s a white wine festival).

Gateshead Beer & Music Festival first started off in 2010 with the emphasis on creating a great local community festival. Moving forward nine years the festival has grown into an event that is loved both locally and nationally, whilst maintaining its community beliefs. In 2016 they were named as a Finalist in the Tyne & Wear Lifestyle awards – Best live experience.

This year’s festival incorporated the SIBA North-East Regional competition, featuring beers from Berwick -upon-Tweed to Sheffield. For non beer fans there is a selection of ciders that are sourced countrywide. In addition to the popular Cava bar, there’s the return of Gin filled Jam Jar Bar and Prosecco cocktails.

Despite being a festival philistine, I can honestly say this is the best festival I’ve ever been to. The cost of entry (£12 on the Friday, £15 the rest of the weekend) gets you a half pint glass and a programme. The festival runs a token based system and for once, the tokens are actually reasonably priced (£10 for 6 of beer/ale or £10 for 5 of lager or cider) and they take cash and card. There are loads of pumps to choose from and a member of staff to 1 or 2 pumps so getting served was an easy process.

The staff were great, really friendly and knowledgeable and more than willing to offer tasters before deciding what you wanted to spend your tokens on. Particular stand outs for me were a dark raspberry stout and a chocolate orange beer (really chocolatey and orangey!). For those of you who don’t fancy any beer, they’re normal clubhouse bar is also open, which isn’t part of the token system, where you can get wine or spirits.

In the marquee tents they had an array of musical acts on, and bearing in mind the dreary May weather we happen to be experiencing at the moment, the strong heating fans were welcome. In the marquee they have plenty of tables and chairs as well and some food stalls and the gin/cava/prosecco bars. Los Capitanos were playing when we were there who are a three-piece acoustic band specialising in mash-ups and covers with a Latin twist. Their version of Jumpin Jumpin by Destiny’s Child was inspired and I’ll definitely be checking them out at other gigs across the north east.

We went after work on the Friday and felt like we hit on a good time; still busy from the afternoon session but not too busy before the evening crew came out. The clientele were great too, in fact a kind gent gave Dave 2 of his beer tokens as he was leaving and they weren’t getting used; got to love that good old Geordie hospitality.

Gateshead Beer & Music Festival is probably one of the only festivals I would go back to. I had the mis fortune of having the car on this occasion but with some better planning I reckon we could have really made a night of it. I can’t wait to go back next year!

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Disclosure: All Reviews have been provided by gifted opportunities or press access offered to us in return for an open and honest review. All reviews are subject to the opinion of the reviewer.

Review Written by Helen Newman from

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