About Us

About The Late Shows

The Late Shows – is a free late-night culture crawl. In 2019 it will take place in NewcastleGateshead over the weekend of Friday 17 - Saturday 18 May.

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 has three parts, Twi-Lates 4-7pm for 12-17 year olds, the main event 7-11pm and the Late Late Shows 10pm-late. Friday night is for Ouseburn Valley venues. Saturday night's event takes place at venues across central Newcastle and Gateshead.


The Late Shows began in 2007 and has grown considerably in size. In the first year, 14 venues took part, rising to more than 70 in 2016. The Late Shows attracts 30-40,000 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 audiences between venues.

Get involved


Submissions from venues are now closed and the line up will be announced soon. Get in touch if you have any queries via info@thelateshows.org.uk.


If you're an individual who would like to volunteer as a steward on the Late Shows weekend, find out how you can get involved here.

Our supporters

The Late Shows is co-ordinated by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums in association with NewcastleGateshead Initiative, BALTIC, Northern Print, Gateshead Council, Newcastle City Council and Arts Council England.


  • When is it?

The Late Shows takes place over the weekend of Friday 17 - Saturday 18 May 2019* to coincide with the national Museums at Night festival. Friday night is for Ouseburn Valley venues only, 7-11pm. Saturday night's event takes place at venues across central Newcastle and Gateshead.Glowsticks

  • Twi-Late

On both nights there will also be Twi-Lates from 4-7pm. We piloted twilight events successfully in 2018, drawing in new audiences of 12-17 year olds as independent visitors or with their families.

  • Glowsticks

The iconic glow sticks given out at previous Late Shows events will not feature in the 2019 event.

This year, neon yellow metal button badges will be available as souvenirs for participants to pick up at all 60 venues.

Bill Griffiths, Chair of The Late Shows Steering Group, said:

“Although glow sticks have been a part of the Late Shows since the first event, enabling people to connect visually in the evening light, we have decided for ethical reasons that we won’t be producing them again.

“Awareness of environmental issues and particularly single use plastic has vastly increased since we first adopted the glow sticks thirteen years ago and the Late Shows steering group felt very strongly that we could not justify generating so much single use plastic for this event. I’m sure people will understand and support our decision. We hope the badges will be a much sought after souvenir for people wishing to remember visiting the Late Shows in 2019!”

  • How does The Late Shows work? Is there a set route?

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.

  • How much does it cost and do I need to book?

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. Some venues may charge an admission fee for special exhibitions or activities. Many venues will be selling their wares as well as food and drink - your support is hugely appreciated.

  • How can I get around between venues?

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 Newcastle and Gateshead.

We also offer additional shuttle bus services. On Friday, 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.

  • What's The Late Late Shows then?

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 Late Shows pin badge or programme.

2015 artist commission

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.

Get in touch

For all enquiries please email info@thelateshows.org.uk.

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