Pass on local heritage with a new folk festival at Sage Gateshead

Friday 3 and Saturday 4 March sees Sage Gateshead celebrate the local heritage and tradition of the North East in the only way it can; introducing Folkworks: Pass it On Festival.

Folkworks: Pass it On Festival is a celebration of local heritage through singing, music, dance and storytelling passed down from one generation to the next. Alongside performances in Sage One and Sage Two, expect a range of free activities to accompany the event, from heritage walks to rapper dance workshops.

Friday and Saturday will see a collection of the region and country’s top folk performers. A momentous coup for the festival, folk legend Shirley Collins will perform for the first time in 35 years. She is joined by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emily Portman, the incredible vocals of The Wilson Family, Instrumentalist of the Year Rachel Newton, Alasdair Roberts, Anglo-American folk duo Cath and Phil Tyler and Bottle Bank Band throughout the weekend.

The festival will rooted in the local community with six local primary schools performing on Sage Gateshead’s Concourse on Friday while the results of a six week heritage project for Gateshead Key Stage One and Two students will be presented on Saturday together with performances from an ensemble of dance teams and folk collaborators, plus stalls from local craftspeople and artists.

A drop-in storytelling lounge will be open on Saturday, where story seekers of all ages can pop in to hear tales from First Storyteller Laureate Taffy Thomas and Young Storyteller of the Year 2014 Jake Evans. Free workshops will invite participants to raid the folk archives with award winning musicians and singers Emily Portman and Rachel Newton.

Pass It On Festival is part of Folkworks: Pass it On – The Tradition in Your Hands, an exciting new project supported by Heritage Lottery Fund. This year round project explores regional archives and collections, bringing them to life through performance, learning, festivals, talks and exhibitions for participants and audiences across the North East. Without the support of Heritage Lottery Fund, these free and accessible heritage events would not be possible.

Folkworks Pass it On takes place on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 March 2017. To book tickets please go to or visit Sage Gateshead Ticket Office either in person (open from 12noon) or by calling 0191 443 4661.