Where’s the music, Newcastle?
According to an article in The Telegraph late last year, Newcastle has been voted the 20th best city in the country.
The Telegraph made the announcement as part of their annual Telegraph Travel Awards, in which 90,000 of their readers voted.
It’s clearly a popular city within the rest of the UK, with our rich culture and, arguably, welcoming accent...but if we’re so popular, why aren’t we as popular with the music industry?
It’s occurred to me for years that Newcastle isn’t always on the map for artists when they begin their UK tours.
While 2018 has signaled a growth in popularity with the UK public, the city still isn’t a common destination for many popular national and global artists, bands or musicians.
Two years ago, Beyoncé announced she was hitting the North East - it was the first stop off on the UK leg of her 'Formation' tour - and folk went crazy.
Why? Because artists like Beyoncé don't come to the North East of England very often - the singer has been famous for 20 years and had only frequented the region twice prior to this.
But what about up-and-coming artists whose name still may not be familiar to everyone? Where are they?
Take Khalid, for instance. In 2016 I became a fan of the American Teen and found that I could go and see him for around only £12 that month.
I knew he'd be popular and I knew I would never get to see him so cheaply ever again, however I didn't catch that performance, because that performance was in London.
It's a common occurrence.
When artists do attempt to conquer the rest of the UK, Newcastle tends to be forgotten about. People seem to forget about the space in-between Manchester and Glasgow.
There are actually a few people residing there; a canny few, actually.
We're a popular long-weekend destination, and not just for stag and hen do's.
We have a highly ranked university. We have architecture. We have galleries. So where is the music?
Well it’s actually not too far away.
I could complain about no one visiting Newcastle, but rather than doing that, I could just look for new artists in the city instead.
We’re an up-and-coming city, so we have up-and-coming artists.
All it takes is one look on an entertainment website to see that there are many gigs across venues such as Think Tank and Riverside almost every other day.
So if I can't get artists to come to me, I'll go and find some new ones.
The music is here, it just might not be music that’ll pop up on your suggested music platform playlist.
I stand by that Newcastle isn't as well versed as the rest of the UK when it comes to gigs (of all kinds), but if you look further than in front of your nose the music is there.
You've just gotta' be open minded.
No, not even that. You just have to be willing to try and find it.
But if you do use a platform to find music, maybe try and localise it.
There may just be a slightly higher chance of them performing in Newcastle.