The Takeover Festival

The Takeover Festival

Each year The Customs House is taken over by emerging artists and arts professionals aged up to 25 years of age for a week of theatre, cinema, music, dance, poetry, hip hop and visual art.

The Takeover Festival runs throughout the May half-term with an exciting line-up of events, competitions, films and performances. The festival is linked to the Takeover Day national initiative, encouraging emerging arts professionals to take on key roles as part of The Takeover Team. Previous Takeover Team members have went on to gain employment in the arts and retail sector.

Highlights of The Takeover include:

  • North East Young Filmmakers Awards. The Customs House brings together emerging filmmakers from all over the region with industry professionals to celebrate the best North East talent. Prizes will be awarded for the best screenplay, cinematography and sound & music, along with the grand prize of North East Young Filmmaker. The event includes judges’ masterclasses, red carpet party with live music, screenings of all shortlisted films and award presentations. Enter now at FilmFreeway.
  • Terry Kelly Poetry Prize. We’ve worked with The Shields Gazette and The Word to establish a new prize for local writers. The prize celebrates the life of critic and journalist Terry Kelly. An anthology of shortlisted poems is published. The event includes presentations from head judge Tom Kelly, with readings from shortlisted poets and award presentations. Prizes are awarded in three age categories – under 11 years, 12 to 16 years and 17 to 25 years. Contact Elizabeth for more information.
  • Mean Teens Breakdance Jam. Breakdancers from around the North East, North Yorkshire and the wider United Kingdom compete each year to crown the Mean Teens winner. Live DJs and MCs create the atmosphere for exciting one on one or duo battles. The competition is open to dancers aged 19 years and under with prizes are awarded for first and second place. Contact Daniel for more information.
  • Theatre Residencies. Three residencies have taken place during previous Takeovers. Zip Zap Boing! was written by Youth Theatre member Jonothan Graham for 2016’s Takeover residency. The play was rehearsed during the festival and performed by eight emerging North East actors, with two signed by an agency after the show. The residency culminates in a performance on our main stage to finish the festival. Contact Fiona for more information.

Takeover Team roles for 2018:

  • Film Award Coordinator. Promote the competition to encourage entries from the wider region. Shortlist films and work with the judges to decide on winners. Plan and deliver the award ceremony and events throughout the day.
  • Hip Hop Coordinator. Encourage dancers to take part. Work with hip hop professionals to plan and deliver the event. Generate ideas for further events linked to the Mean Teens.
  • Poetry Prize Coordinator. Work with schools and libraries to encourage entries. Shortlist poems and work with the judges to decide on the winners. Plan and deliver the competition’s event. Edit the poetry anthology.
  • Theatre Coordinator. Develop ideas for the drama residency and support recruitment from around the region. Work with drama facilitators to deliver the residency. Work backstage during technical rehearsals and performances.
  • Visual Arts Coordinator. Develop the visual arts strand of The Takeover by looking at the potential for exhibitions and activities in our gallery spaces.
  • Events Coordinator. Ensure our guests have the best possible time at the festival. Organise and dress spaces, purchase required resources, and book DJs/performers.
  • Marketing Coordinator. Work with print, online and broadcast journalists to promote the festival. Oversee the design and distribution of publicity materials. Lead on social media and e-newsletter before and during The Takeover.
  • Commercial Coordinator. Develop commercial ideas linked to The Takeover, purchase stock and lead on sales.
  • Family Workshop Assistant. Support Mini and Mega Makers workshops. Set-up spaces and resources, engage families and collect evidence of work.
  • Box Office Assistant. Greet visitors, take phone calls and sell tickets. Answer questions about the festival and refer visitors to events that suit them best.
  • Front of House Assistant. Take tickets before events and distribute flyers and brochures. Collect donations and feedback forms after all events.