Monstrous New Year’s Eve bonfire to take place on Newcastle’s Town Moor

NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Newcastle City Council have announced a fantastic new event to take place on Newcastle’s Town Moor on 31 December – celebrating New Year’s Eve in theatrical style with a beastly bonfire and a breath-taking firework display.

East of the Sun, West of the Moon will take place from 4pm – 6pm and is produced in collaboration with outdoor arts experts Walk the Plank, the team behind the hugely popular New Year’s Eve carnivals of previous years.

Entry is free of charge but ticketed. A ballot system will be operating to ensure a fair ticketing process and people will be able to apply online to enter the draw.

In the days counting down to the end of 2017, local people who pass through Exhibition Park and onto the Town Moor may notice a thicket of brambles and the shapes of strange animals in the undergrowth as a thorny lair begins to take shape and grow in size as we approach New Year’s Eve.

This incredible structure will form a monstrous bonfire, the centre piece to the evening’s theatrics, which will also include processions of dancers and masked people from local community groups.

The event takes inspiration from Norse mythology and local folklore and will culminate in a firework finale.

Vikki Leaney, Senior Festivals and Events Manager at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said:

“We’re thrilled to be working once again with Walk the Plank to produce a brand-new event to mark New Year’s Eve in Newcastle. With East of the Sun, West of the Moon, we hope to take the popular dark and supernatural spirit of our previous New Year’s Eve carnivals to create something equally unique and memorable.

“We are inviting people to come and celebrate the end of the calendar year, the promise of new possibilities, and the rise of a New Year sun with an unforgettable experience on the last day of 2017.”

Walk The Plank and Newcastle City Council will be working with over 250 community group participants to create meaningful opportunities for community engagement and participation in a high quality and professional performance. Prior to the event these community participants will take part in artistic workshops to create costumes and masks, before performing in the fire-lit parade on the night itself.

Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities, Cllr Kim McGuinness, said:

“This year’s event promises to be more spectacular than ever, and offers something for everyone. Its new location on the Town Moor gives the event an open space so more people can attend and get close to the action on the night.

“As with previous years, community engagement lies at the heart of our New Year’s Eve celebrations. Community groups from right across the city will come together and create a fantastic performance for all to see. We hope to inspire and engage people of all ages to get involved or to come along and celebrate the end of 2017 and welcome in 2018 in good spirits.”

Liz Pugh, Walk the Plank Creative Producer, said:

“We’re delighted to be returning to Newcastle once again on New Year’s Eve, and this time with an innovative new piece of work. Whilst previous year’s winter carnivals in the centre of the city were hugely popular, they presented several restrictions and limitations – so this refresh in format and location on Newcastle’s Town Moor has enabled us to explore a range of creative avenues and new ideas. We look forward to putting on an unforgettable show and welcoming 2018 in dramatic style!”

Sponsored by Jamie Clark Fun Fairs, there will be a range of funfair entertainment and food and drink concessions available. The event will also be hosted by Heart Drivetime’s Tom Campbell who will keep everyone entertained prior to the main event.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Suitable footwear and waterproof winter clothing are a must.

The approximate timings for East of the Sun, West of the Moon are:

4pm: Event space will open for visitors to gather and enjoy the funfair and entertainment
5pm: The main performance will begin
6pm: Event finale
* All timings are approximate and subject to change

East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a free event but will be ticketed using a ballot system. All applicants will hear the outcome of their ballot entry in the first week of December 2017.

For more information and to apply to be included in the draw, visit