During The Late Shows, museums, galleries, studio collectives and landmark historical buildings come together to offer visitors one-off events including hands-on workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, performances and parties. It's all about encouraging people to do something cultural with their evening in celebration of the national event Museums at Night.
The Late Shows began in 2007 and has now more than quintupled in size. In the first year, 14 venues took part, rising to more than 70 in 2016. Venues at last year's Late Shows recorded over 40,000 visits across the weekend. The main objective of The Late Shows is to encourage people to visit a cultural venue that they may not have visited before. In particular, our aim is to attract a younger audience and share loyal audiences between venues.
The Late Shows is supported by Port of Tyne and Sofa Workshop. It is co-ordinated by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums in association with Museums at Night, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, BALTIC, Northern Print, Mushroom Works, Gateshead Council, Newcastle City Council and Arts Council England.
Andrew Moffat CBE, Chief Executive of Port of Tyne said:
“The Port of Tyne is extremely proud to support The Late Shows and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. The event continues to get bigger and more diverse each year and we are delighted to be supporting it once again.
“Showcasing the region with the Swing Bridge at the heart, The Late Shows brings an exciting programme of events that can be enjoyed not only by local people but by visitors from far and wide, with many of the venues planning something especially for the occasion.
“The Late Shows open up the great cultural and leisure assets that we have in our river and Port as well as a reminder of its importance to the economy of the region.”
The Late Shows takes place on Museums at Night weekend in May. Friday night is for Ouseburn Valley venues only, 7-11pm. Saturday night's main event takes place at venues across Ouseburn, central Newcastle and Gateshead. Newcastle and Ouseburn venues are open 7-11pm whereas venues in Gateshead open from 6pm on Saturday so you can start your evening there and fit even more in.
The Late Shows is a culture crawl with scores of venues taking part across the weekend. Participating venues host special events with a 15-20 minute dwell time. There is no official route but line-up information will be released in early spring so you can think about what you want to see and do.
During The Late Shows, volunteer stewards will give out free event programmes and you can also use this website on your phone to see what's on near to where you are. You can pick up a free glow stick from a steward on the night - you'll see other people wearing glow sticks and know that they are on a Late Shows culture crawl too. Make sure you visit a Gateshead venue on Saturday to grab a special orange glow stick. You do not need a glow stick to gain access to any venue or to use the free buses.
All Late Shows venues are free to enter during the weekend and the vast majority of events are drop in. Some attractions such as guided tours have limited capacities and need to be booked in advance. You might have to pay for consumable materials if you take part in a workshop. The Laing Art Gallery charges an admission fee for its special exhibition. Many venues will be selling their wares as well as food and drink - your support is hugely appreciated.
Many venues are within walking distance from each other but we also offer some free buses to help you go further afield.
During Saturday's main event, four open-top City Sightseeing buses will be running a free timetabled service dropping off at key points in Ouseburn, Newcastle and Gateshead.
We've also teamed up with Stanley Travel to offer additional shuttle services. On Friday and Saturday, a half-hourly service will operate between selected venues in the Ouseburn Valley. A further half-hourly shuttle bus will run on Saturday from the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead so that you can easily get to more remote venues.
An accessible taxi service is available for disabled people to use. Please speak to a volunteer steward if you require a taxi and they will liaise with a venue to book you one.
The Late Late Shows brings together a selection of venues that are already customarily open during the evening. They'll be staying open beyond 11pm so you can end your evening even later if you want to. You might have to pay to enter a Late Late Shows venue but you'll get a discount if you show your glow stick.
In 2015, we commissioned zine-maker Mike Duckett as our artist-in-residence. See what he got up to on his Late Shows culture crawl by viewing his interactive map here.
For all enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Jonathan Loach on 0191 277 2168.