From 20 October, Juice Festival will be taking over cultural venues, libraries and public spaces across NewcastleGateshead with an action-packed nine days of theatre, music, arts, circus, film, dance and everything in between.
The award winning and inclusive multi-arts festival, developed by and for young people under 25, takes place during the October half term (Friday 20 October – Saturday 28 October) and offers something for everyone.
Produced by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, the annual festival showcases the outstanding work of children and under 25s, alongside work by regional, national and international artists.
This year’s event is inspired by Freedom City 2017, a city-wide programme across Newcastle marking the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. receiving an honorary degree from Newcastle University.
In response to this theme, Juice Festival kicks off with Our Time, an immersive, multi-art form event after hours at the Great North Museum: Hancock, which celebrates diversity and acceptance and how we can take inspiration from the past to shape the future.
Also built around the theme of Freedom City will be a powerful new co-production between Zest Theatre and Half Moon, created in consultation with young people from NewcastleGateshead. Set against the backdrop of Brexit, What Once Was Ours combines striking original music and immersive design to explore young peoples’ voices around diversity and equality. Prior to the main event, there will be a series of short performances by young people who have worked with Zest.
Gateshead Central library will present Illustrate, a collection of imagery inspired by the theme of freedom and created by primary school pupils in Gateshead, who have been working with artists to create their own illustrations. The exhibition will be accompanied by workshops throughout the week.
Chris Batstone, artistic director of Juice Festival, said,
“Juice Festival provides our region’s children and young people with a unique opportunity to express themselves and their creativity in an inclusive cultural event for people of all ages. By putting these talented young people at the forefront of the festival and showcasing their work, Juice Festival provides a platform to support the next generation of rising stars.
“Some of Juice Festival’s key events this year have been inspired by Freedom City 2017 which aims to bring Dr Martin Luther King’s legacy to life for a new generation”.
“With this in mind Team Juice have created Our Time, an immersive, multi-artform event which celebrates diversity and acceptance, and the ways in which young people can change things for the better. Our Time is designed for young people and young adults to engage in activities and join the conversation about the rights of young people and their place in society.”
Juice Festival also offers lots of accessible family events offering high-quality and affordable arts activities for children and their parents. These include Imagine That, a free day of events exploring stories in new and exciting ways, with rapping by Maxwell Golden, the House of Objects and the chance to meet author Chloe Daykin who will be reading extracts from her book Fish Boy.
The hugely popular Bare Toed Dance Company also make a spectacular return with their new aerial show Above and Beyond – suitable for children and young people with additional needs.
Other family-friendly highlights of Juice Festival include a variety of circus delights with Circus in the City, from amazing performances to circus skill workshops, a celebration of all things anime and manga including taiko drumming, food, and manga art with Anime Attacks, and a Comics Takeover at Seven Stories offering the chance to get hands-on and create your own comic artwork with professional artists and Team Juice.
Celebrating the very best in young film making talent across the Random Acts programme, Random Selection presents an evening of creative short films made by young artists across the north of England at Tyneside Cinema.
At Dance City, the Just Jam Battle Finals will showcase a diverse programme of hip hop dance performances including both classic street styles and innovative new work, whilst enchanting new production The Magic Fish retells a classic Indian tale through dance, beatboxing and storytelling.
Northern Stage will also be hosting some fantastic theatre performances including the world premiere of Rumpelstiltskin by the award-winning team at balletLorent, the poetic storytelling of Fairytales Gone Bad, unwinding the true stories behind the happily ever after, and Ipet, a performance about two magicians which is disrupted by the mischievous pranks of their trusty iPad.
As ever, Team Juice, the group of young people that have helped curate, develop and produce Juice Festival, will be present throughout the nine days – ready in their blue t-shirts to answer questions, show you around, and encourage everyone to get involved.
For more information and to book tickets for www.juicefestival.co.uk