Full Line-Up Announced for The Takeover Festival

Published: 14th May 2019

A packed programme of events has been unveiled for the fifth annual Takeover Festival at The Customs House. The youth arts week, which takes place during the May half-term, is programmed by young people, for young people, aged 25 and under, and features an eclectic mix of activities.

Highlights this year include live music with The Lake Poets, supported by The Young Musicians Project, cabaret masterclass with Bonnie and the Bonnettes, a drag make-up masterclass with Dixie and song-writing, acting and tattoo design workshops.

Izzy Finch, Learning and Participation officer at The Customs House, said: “The Takeover Team have been working hard to plan, programme, market and deliver their dream festival for young people and we are thrilled to announce the line-up for this year. Takeover Festival is an unusual arts-based project, because we take the risk of recruiting young people aged 11 to 25 with little or no experience of arts programming and put them in control of a week’s worth of innovative, young person-led arts programming and leadership.”

“Generous funding from Scottish Power means that in 2019, we have been able put our trust in young people’s ability to reimagine our arts programme for a week based on what they tell us young people want and need from a week of programming and events.”

The festival will welcome its first international artist this year as BBoy Redo, from Ill Abilities, a breakdance crew comprised of differently abled dancers, delivers an exclusive dance workshop and judges the Mean Teens breakdance jam.

Other events returning this year include The Takeover Open Exhibition, The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize and the North East Young Film Maker Awards. The festival will close with the premiere of Isolation, by Elijah Young, who was appointed Young Writer in Residence at The Customs House in April.

Izzy added: “Takeover is part of a national initiative that is particularly important in our area of low socio-economic status and enables us to provide employability skills, leadership opportunities and exposure to diverse art forms in a safe, inclusive environment. We have built upon the successes of the previous year’s Takeover to broaden participation from young people from all backgrounds and communities.”

“Once we had recruited all of our Takeover Team members and freelance Takeover co-ordinator Natasha Haws, we facilitated visits to buildings and organisations which are of cultural significance as part of our festival research, including Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Alphabetti Theatre and Tyneside Cinema.”

“Introducing young people to the concept of arts programming and participation as a career pathway in our region is part of our purpose and strategic vision. We are proud to create a legacy of young people as practitioners and professionals in visual arts, poetry, theatre, dance, film and youth work. Takeover gives young people the opportunity and a platform for self-expression, to be celebrated, validated and to interact with professional mentors.”

The Takeover Festival runs from Monday, May 27, to Friday, May 31. All events are Pay What You Decide, but places must be booked in advance. For full listings and booking details, visit www.customshouse.co.uk.

If you have any questions, e-mail izzy@customshouse.co.uk.