The Late Shows reveals record visitor figures

The Late Shows – North East England’s annual after-hours culture crawl – recorded its highest ever visitor numbers at 2016’s tenth anniversary edition.

40,689 visits were counted by the 70-plus arts, culture and heritage attractions that took part in the programme of free late-night events over the weekend of Friday 13 and Saturday 14 May 2016. The previous high was 2013’s figure of 32,960 visits.

Co-ordinated by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and supported by Port of Tyne and Sofa Workshop, The Late Shows takes place each May as part of Culture24’s national Museums at Night festival.

The event sees venues that don’t customarily open at night come together for two special evenings celebrating the very best of NewcastleGateshead’s burgeoning cultural scene.

Visitors at 2016’s Late Shows enjoyed a vast programme of free attractions ranging from tours of the Swing Bridge, Grey’s Monument and the Victoria Tunnel to a stunning light show at St Thomas the Martyr Church and memorable performances from Streetwise Opera, FERTILE GROUND, Circus Central and Appetite Dance Productions.

This year’s visitor figures appear to suggest that the appetite for culture in the North East continues to grow.

Bill Griffiths, Head of Programmes at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and Project Manager of The Late Shows, said:

“It’s incredible that so many people came out and enjoyed The Late Shows, making it our best year yet.

“There aren’t many other places that can boast an event like this. Making it to 10 years was not in our minds when we came up with The Late Shows in 2007 but people have loved experiencing the culture that Tyneside has to offer in a completely different way. They keep coming back year after year.

“Thanks to the Port of Tyne for supporting The Late Shows as headline sponsor for a second year running. We’d also like to thank Sofa Workshop for their additional sponsorship, our participating venues for their incredible efforts in making the event a success and, of course, everyone who joined us for The Late Shows this year.”

Rosie Clarke, Campaigns Officer at Culture24 added:

“Newcastle/Gateshead’s Late Shows programme is always a key highlight of the Museums at Night festival, which aims to encourage museums and galleries to run creative after-hours events to attract new audiences.

“After having personally experienced the amazing range of activities on offer to the delighted visitors this year, I can see why The Late Shows are so beloved. Congratulations to everyone involved – here’s to the next decade.”

Dates for The Late Shows in 2017 have been set by Culture24 as Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May, with further information to follow in the autumn and new year.

Stay tuned to www.thelateshows.org.uk for all the latest updates.