Freedom City on the Tyne

A day-long performance across NewcastleGateshead that will be an unforgettable commemoration of Dr Martin Luther King’s visit to Tyneside to receive an honorary degree at Newcastle University.



Freedom City on the Tyne will be your chance to take over the city in an exciting and joyous celebration of the people’s global struggle for civil rights. Whether you prefer to act as a protester, a soldier, or a government minister; or to dance or sing in a chorus of hundreds; or march and chant amongst thousands; or help organise the event alongside our team of producers and designers there will be a role for you.

Freedom City on the Tyne is a people’s day. We need you. Join Us!


Out of the buildings and through the streets of NewcastleGateshead will come an unique day-long experience of theatre, music, dance, circus and art to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of those who have led the long march for civil rights.

A great drama will engulf NewcastleGateshead, inspired by epic struggles from the past and present and far and wide. Alabama 1963, India 1919, South Africa 1961, Manchester 1819, and Tyneside 1936 will be woven together with today’s tumultuous world in a unique immersive performance featuring a local cast of hundreds that will be scheduled throughout the day in different locations. As night falls, an uplifting climax will bring the city to a standstill for an unforgettable moment of light, sound and spectacle.

The culmination of Freedom City 2017, showcasing the exceptional talent of hundreds of local people of all ages and backgrounds and led by a world-class international team of creative artists, Freedom City on the Tyne will embrace the historic buildings and renowned artistic institutions around the banks of the Tyne.

The hundreds of local actors, dancers, musicians and performers will be recruited from NewcastleGatesheads’ diverse communities and prepared throughout 2017 by a team drawn from the city’s exceptional institutions and companies. Freedom City on the Tyne will be led by acclaimed international director Tim Supple and award-winning writer Roy Williams working alongside Tyneside’s finest creative talent and leading actors from the UK and abroad.

Freedom City On The Tyne is a partnership between Northern Roots, Newcastle Gateshead Initiative and Newcastle University. It is produced by Mike Griffiths and executive produced by Patrick Collerton. Freedom City On The Tyne is inspired by an original idea by Patrick Collerton.